Ann-Marie Flemming, local owner of Dog Quality won Purolator’s Small Business Dream into Reality Contest. Flemming received a cash prize of $10,000 and $5,000 in Purolator shipping credits. Millar Hill photo.

Ann-Marie Flemming, local owner of Dog Quality won Purolator’s Small Business Dream into Reality Contest. Flemming received a cash prize of $10,000 and $5,000 in Purolator shipping credits. Millar Hill photo.

South Cariboo business wins national innovation contest

‘I learned that there was a lot of people out there like me’

Local business owner Ann-Marie Fleming is a lead example of using innovation to achieve goals, at least according to Purolator.

The South Cariboo based business, Dog Quality, has been taking an inventive approach to improving the quality of life for senior dogs – helping restore their sense of dignity and adventure.

“Mobility and incontinence are big areas that affect seniors dogs and we try to do a lot to manage that,” said Fleming. “It’s an opportunity for us to really make a difference in a dog’s life. It helps make the dog’s life more enjoyable and family members don’t have to be left feeling sad.”

Earlier this year, Purolator set out to make one small business’ dream a reality. The company put together a contest that was easy-to-apply to for small business owners across the country. Small businesses had to submit their stories and explain how they are using innovation to achieve their goals.

“At Purolator, we know that small businesses are the backbone of the economy, they contribute to the countries exports, innovative advancements and domestic products,” said Melanie Cheng-Kai-On, the courier’s director of marketing.

The winner received $10,000 in cash and $5,000 in shipping credits. The Canadian-based courier company chose Fleming’s business.

“We really wanted to find a connection between our commitments at Purolator through leadership and continuous improvement, with our contest winner,” said Cheng-Kai-On. “When we read Ann-Marie’s submission we felt it really aligned with the theme of the contest. She clearly explained how she adopted innovation to launch her business. Her business won the hearts of Canadians across the country.”

Flemming said she was skeptical when her business won. It wasn’t until Purolator contacted her directly, that she believed the news.

“We were really excited when they announced that we were selected amongst the 3,000 applicants. We were told that we left the team at Purolator in tears after they looked through the stories that our customers had. It was great to get their support on this.”

When asked what was done with the money, Flemming said she put it right back into the company, specifically into inventory.

“That is one of our biggest challenges. We are selling at a fast rate and it takes quite a bit of time to take those sales and invest it back into inventory so we avoid running out,” said Flemming. “To get a lump sum like that was wonderful because we put it right back into our inventory. In fact, we specifically put it into the rubber flooring for our ramps, so it helped get another order going much quicker and be able to help more families.”

The idea for the business sparked from personal experience.

“My first two dogs were a french bulldog and a pug,” said Flemming. “I would have never thought about a diaper or stroller until they began to struggle. Everything we do is for senior dogs.”

Flemming looked for help outside of the vet and realized there was a lack of options she had as a dog owner.

“I started the company really small, I tested the waters,” said Flemming. “I learned that there was a lot of people out there like me.”

The company started with diapers for senior dogs and it grew from there. The company now sells strollers, pads, socks and ramps for senior dogs.

“Having a different perspective for this stage of life for dogs is crucial,” said Flemming. “It’s easy to be sad because your dog is slowing down and no longer being able to do what they used to do. We are trying to change that with our products. You don’t have to stop enjoying your life with them – we are just going to do it in a different way that accommodates their needs.”


newsroom@100milefreepress.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

South Cariboo business wins national innovation contest

Just Posted

A sign indicating a COVID-19 testing site is displayed inside a parking garage in West Nyack, N.Y., Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. The site was only open to students and staff of Rockland County schools in an effort to test enough people to keep the schools open for in-person learning. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
4 more deaths, 54 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

This brings the total to 66 deaths in the region

The 100 Mile RCMP is currently looking for this man in connection with reports of a stolen vehicle. (Photo submitted)
Police seek ‘person of interest’ in truck theft

Vehicle went missing on Jan. 26 in 103 Mile.

Canim Lake Band remains in lockdown. (Martina Dopf photo)
Canim Lake Band grieves loss of second Elder due to COVID-19

Elder, who lived away from home, was ‘matriarch, a fierce protector’, Chief says.

A spaced, pruned stand of Douglas fir in the foreground shows fuels are cleaned up off the ground. In the background is a denser untreated area high in fuels. (Photo submitted)
Wildfire risk reduction project in Big Bar Lake area nears completion

Crews have created a series of fuel breaks to help reduce intensity of approaching wildfires.

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin makes preparations at Toronto’s mass vaccination clinic, Jan. 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
3 deaths, 234 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health over the weekend

One death connected to outbreak at Kamloops’ Royal Inland Hospital, where 20 patients and 28 staff have tested positive

Dr. Penny Ballem, a former deputy health minister, discusses her role in leading B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination program, at the B.C. legislature, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. holds steady with 407 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday

14 deaths, no new outbreaks in the health care system

A Cessna 170 airplane similar to the one pictured above is reported to be missing off the waters between Victoria and Washington State. Twitter photo/USCG
Canadian, American rescue crews searching for missing aircraft in waters near Victoria

The search is centered around the waters northeast of Port Angeles

Interior Health reported two more COVID-19 deaths at Sunnybank Retirement Center in Oliver Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021. (File photo)
COVID-19 claims lives of two more South Okanagan care home residents

Five residents of the Oliver care home have died since the outbreak was first declared

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Jonathon Muzychka and Dean Reber are wanted on Canada-wide warrants. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Convicted killer, robber at large after failing to return to facility: Victoria police

Dean Reber, 60, and Jonathon Muzychka, 43, may be together

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens during a postelection news conference in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
30% of B.C. recovery benefit applications held up in manual review

The province says 150 staff have been reassigned to help with manually reviewing applications

Adam Dergazarian, bottom center, pays his respect for Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, in front of a mural painted by artist Louie Sloe Palsino, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Kobe Bryant’s presence remains strong a year after his death

Tuesday marks the grim anniversary of the crash that took their lives

Surrey RCMP are investigating after a pedestrian was struck and killed at 183 Street and Highway 10 Friday night. (File photo)
Modelling of predicted transmission growth from the B117 COVID-19 variant in British Columbia. (Simon Fraser University)
COVID-19 variant predicted to cause ‘unmanageable’ case spike in B.C: report

SFU researchers predict a doubling of COVID-19 cases every two weeks if the variant spreads

Most Read