There is a start-up company in Largo that is turning garbage into pet supplies.
Tristen Gratz grew up loving two things: the environment and pets. So she decided to combine them, turning recycled plastics into dog collars, harnesses and leashes.
“And I kind of married the two together: my two loves and my two passions and I came up with EcoBark Pet Supplies,” said Gratz.
Inside her Largo warehouse there are boxes among boxes of pet supplies, all of them sharing the same trait.
“Everything has an eco-friendly aspect and reduces your carbon footprint,” said Gratz.
This six-person, million-dollar sales operation, has been five years in the making.
“I only had $1,500 to start out, so I had to grow it very small,” said Gratz. “I did everything myself for the first four years, it was out of a garage.”
After all that hard work, EcoBark Pet Supplies has found themselves being recognized on the national scale. Out of thousands of applicants they are one of six finalists in the running for the Amazon Small Business Spotlight Award.
“I definitely wish my mother was still here, she died a month before I started the company, so I know I’m making her proud somewhere,” said Gratz.
The winner will be announced at the end of the month. Gratz said it’s nice to know that you can run a successful business while at the same time making a difference.
“I couldn’t be happier in any other job because I’m helping animals and the environment,” said Gratz.