We're so thrilled to be pawtnering with Puppy Mama, founded by seriously cool dog mom Theresa Piasta!
Theresa founded Puppy Mama, Inc., a tech start-up and lifestyle brand to help enhance the lives of dog moms and their pups around the world.Before founding Puppy Mama, Inc., Theresa Piasta was a Vice President at JPMorgan - spending six total years in the Investment Bank and Sales & Trading businesses at two Wall Street banks. Prior to that she served as an Army Captain in a Field Artillery Brigade.
Theresa attended the Stanford Graduate School of Business Ignite program in 2016 and received a B.A. in Economics from Wellesley College in 2006. She also studied military science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a ROTC scholarship recipient and was a collegiate soccer player for two seasons during her time at Wellesley College.
We're loving the serious dose of #girlpower! Holly talks to Theresa to find out more...
HS: So tell us about Puppy Mama Theresa...
TP: Puppy Mama, Inc uses technology to connect women who passionately love their dogs. ThePuppy Mama web application helps dog moms around the world to connect with one another, effortlessly schedule fun meet-ups, share their stories and rate businesses according to a 5-paw rating to help create a more dog-friendly world.
Throughout the past two years raising my dog Waffles, I discovered that I wasn’t alone in the love that I felt for her - that there were other women that were as passionate about their dogs as I was. And I learned that millions of women around the world wanted to include their dogs in their daily lives with access to restaurants, travel, apartments and other businesses.
HS: What are you most excited about?
TP: I am ecstatic to have this opportunity to build a business empowering women and advocating for canine therapy. I spent the first 22 years of my life surrounded by women (highly supportive Mother and Grandmothers, three sisters, soccer, all-women catholic high school, and all-women Wellesley College). The next decade was the polar opposite; after graduating Wellesley, I spent four years in the active duty U.S. Army and six years on Wall Street - surrounded by men.
And, I am very proud of the Puppy Mama Community for opening up so courageously. I’ve learned firsthand how powerful canine therapy can be, I wanted to gather the stories of others who were willing to share. Starting last October, I asked puppy mamas on Instagram for 2-3 sentences on how their pups are special, and I was inspired by their candor.
This special community has proven that canine therapy should be taken seriously as a therapy for a variety of illnesses and that women are stronger when we support one another.
HS: You must have met some really inspiring people on your entrepreneurial journey - who has been the most memorable?
TP: I have been inspired by the many female founders whom I have met this past year. These founders are persevering to solve problems despite difficult obstacles, including raising capital. Here is a stat:”Most venture capitalists and entrepreneurs are men, with female entrepreneurs receiving $1.5 billion in funding last year versus $58.2 billion for men” - NYTimes. Despite such challenges, I’ve been impressed with how savvy and creative women entrepreneurs are, such as my friend Anne Cocquyt, Founder ofThe GUILD.
HS: Do you have a favourite quote/mantra?
TP: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
- Robert Frost
HS: What's been the most moving Puppy Mama story you've shared with the community so far?
TP: We recently shared a story how a husky helped a young Australian couple cope with infertility. You can find it here.
HS: What should people do to begin their journey with Puppy Mama?
TP: Puppies of any age heal us and bring incredible joy to our lives. We designed the Puppy Mama app to make it easier for us to bring our pups everywhere. Use the web app for free at Puppy Mama to:
Set up puppy play dates, yappy hours, brunches, etc
- Connect and share
- Discover and rate 5-paw rated hotels, restaurants, bars, workplaces, apartments, etc around the world
Every member's contribution will help us all learn where dog parents are welcome. As we gather your feedback, reviews, insights and discussions, we will be better equipped to persuade more businesses to adopt dog-friendly policies and encourage governments to ease restrictions regarding pet access
HS: What's your favourite thing to do with Waffles when you have time away from work? Any top tips for dog friendly restaurants and places to visit in San Francisco?
TP: We are very fortunate to live on the beautiful Embarcadero along the San Francisco Bay where there are many friendly pups who are out and about enjoying stunning dog parks, and numerous restaurants and bars with dog-friendly patios.
Our favorite San Francisco locations are: EPIC Steak, Crossroads Cafe and the Ferry Building.
EPIC Steak is a PAWfect location for puppy brunches and yappy hours! Their patio seating is a luxurious experience, overlooking the Bay Bridge. Recommend the Bay Bubbles champagne special during weekend brunches, and pup guests are delivered water bowls.
Crossroads Cafe is a dog-friendly gem. The outdoor enclosed patio has a stunning garden with Bay views, and the staff treats Waffles and other pups so well! They even offer their pup guests turkey treats.
We also highly recommend visiting theFerry Building during your San Francisco visit. Well-behaved dogs can enter many of the shops and there are a variety of restaurants and cafes with outdoor dog-friendly seating, such asBlue Bottle Coffee andThe Slanted Door.
Thank you so much for sharing these great insights Theresa, we are so excited about your launch and delighted that Puppy Mamas will now be able to shop Teddy Maximus on the site!
Be sure to check it out and help build the community!
Photo credits: Amber Mae Bailey