Virtual Dog Days of Summer Sparks Passion in Young Entrepreneur
Fifth-grade student Grace Miller combined her innovative and creative ideas, her compassionate and giving spirit, and her love of dogs to create Ziller Dog Supplies. Grace and two friends started the business in late 2020 and have already made and sold several dog blankets and dozens of dog toys, in a variety of sizes, ranging from $1 to $7 each. Proceeds from sales are used to buy supplies to make more blankets and toys, which Grace donates to her local Humane Society and to dog shelters in her relatives’ communities.
Grace’s venture was inspired by her participation in last summer’s Virtual Dog Days of Summer Program. Grace’s mom, Melissa, works with Fidelco client Bill DeMaio. After Bill told Melissa and Grace about Fidelco’s Dog Days of Summer Program, Grace signed up. During one of the activities, Grace learned to make blankets and toys for dogs. She gave two of the first fleece blankets she made to Bill’s guide dog, “Lyric,” and his retired Fidelco guide dog, “Izaac.”
Grace has already made and donated over 40 dog toys to the Newington Humane Society and to a dog shelter in Florida. She says one of her favorite parts of running Ziller Dog Supplies is seeing pictures of the shelter dogs and puppies playing with the toys she has made and donated. With Grace’s compassion for helping dogs in shelters and her entrepreneurial spirit, she is using her many gifts to give back.