This month's featured #bloomgirl is Annie Blumenfeld! We love Annie's sincerity, passion, and heart for animals! We are so inspired by Annie and we know you will be too! Read a little bit more about her below!
Tell us a little bit about yourself!
I am a sophomore at Cornell University studying hospitality management with interests in entrepreneurship and real estate. I run an organization called Wags 4 Hope where I work to encourage responsible pet ownership and support shelter and rescue animals’ medical needs.
How did you start Wags 4 Hope?
My family began searching for three years through countless pet stores, shelters, newspapers, and private dog breeders for a loving and loyal friend. Our search happily ended when my family was searching the Internet and stumbled upon a two-year-old shaggy dog that had been rescued from a high-kill shelter in Houston, Texas.
Teddy was saved by Houston Shaggy Dog Rescue. At his veterinarian checkup, it soon was discovered that he tested positive for heartworm disease through an antigen test. Teddy had to be given two injections of arsenic and remain in a crate. It broke my heart to know that my dog had endured great pain. Having learned the devastating effects of heartworm from my loving companion, I seek to raise awareness of Teddy’s story. I decided to sell my custom animal portraits to help other animals like Teddy. Wags 4 Hope also works to encourage responsible pet ownership. His wagging gives me hope that so many other animals can be saved.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced, personally or professionally? How have you overcome it?
When I was 15 years old, I proposed a bill to include a heartworm disease awareness message on the Connecticut Dog Licensing Form. It was difficult to establish credibility as a high school student who did not have a veterinarian degree. I actively sought support for my bill from animal shelters and veterinarians across the state to initiate a change in the form which would occur a year and a half later.
If you could talk to yourself 5 years ago, what advice would you give yourself?
To not be afraid to pursue new interests. Five years ago, I was a freshman in high school playing competitive soccer. This was a sport I had played since I was four years old and was all I had known. I was hoping to play at the collegiate level when I was younger. However, my true interest lied in Wags 4 Hope which was just beginning at the time. I recognized that I would need to fully invest myself into Wags 4 Hope in order for it to make a substantial impact. It was difficult to retire my cleats at the time, however, it was one of the best decisions I have made looking back.
What are some key books/learning experiences that helped shape you/your company?
My experiences with Wags 4 Hope have been invaluable. I have gained hands-on experience in business by running an organization. For instance, I have worked with people from different backgrounds and perspectives across the world. I know how important it is to be receptive to new ideas in order to further my mission.
What are your favorite bloom products, and why?
See some examples of Annie's work here:
We hoped you loved reading about Annie's story! Find out more about Wags4Hope here: http://wags4hope.org/. Do you have a #girlboss story to share? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to be our next featured bloom girl!
the bloom team