Scottsdale teen Lola Johnson has ‘bone-a-fide’ business helping rescue pets

Lola Johnson holds “Curie” at a recent Foothills Animal Rescue Brynne Smith Campus visit where she donates to help shelter pets. (Submitted photo)

Lola Johnson, 15, is making “money moves” with her bonafide business named “Foreverwoof” as she donates much of the proceeds to help rescued animals.

The Notre Dame Prep freshman has a website: foreverwoof.com to assist with a gratifying mission to enrich the lives of pets and people — a goal to benefit those paired together in forever homes.

The online store has a plethora of pet-centric products for purchase that range in price and can be personalized. Her company raises money for shelters while “allowing people to express their love for dogs,” according to the website.

For several months, Miss. Johnson has regularly taken donations to the Foothills Animal Rescue at 10197 E. Bell Road in Scottsdale. The Brynne Smith Campus uses the monetary donations that she contributes from selling pet-themed clothing and accessories, for pet care including such things as food, cat litter, laundry detergent, and regular supplies for the daily needs of the homeless animals.

“She is awesome. She has an amazing website. She comes in on a regular basis. She’s just a little, entrepreneurial genius. You can tell that you will see this girl on Shark Tank one day,” said Foothills Animal Rescue Customer Experience Manager Vivian Barnes.

Ms. Barnes complimented the Scottsdale teen’s professionalism from her website to her business wherewithal.

“It is amazing how professional it is. A lot of organizations can learn from this site. Lola has quite the business savvy. She is a smart cookie. She sets an example,” she said while preparing for “Paws to Celebrate.”

The rescue organization’s signature, catered cocktail event, with auction items and outdoor activities, is slated for April 6 at the shelter, she noted, adding how thankful she and others from rescue agencies are for donors like Miss. Johnson who give to local animal shelters.

The young entrepreneur has always been fond of animals, which is why she makes it her business to be a voice for rescued animals and give them a second chance at better lives. Miss. Johnson has wanted to become a veterinarian since she was three years old, she said in a recent interview.

She attributes her desire to contribute money to benefit shelters to her dog, “Stella,” who she rescued last March from the Humane Society.

“She was my inspiration for the company. Shortly after I got her, I wanted to raise money to help rescues,” Miss. Johnson said.

The teen boss enjoys designing products for dog lovers and those who experienced the loss of a pet while collecting money for “fur babies” to benefit displaced pets, she noted on her site. Meanwhile, she took time to describe her business endeavors and aspirations below despite being busy with school, running a business and volunteering.

The Independent reached out to learn more about Miss. Johnson’s entrepreneurial spirit. This is what she had to say:

•Why was it important to have the foreverwoof.com site?

The name ‘foreverwoof’ is important to me because it explains the mission of this company, to let dogs “woof” forever.

•Describe why it was important to start such initiative to save dogs’ lives?

It is important to start an initiative to help save dogs because dogs are often looked over and not valued as they should be. In many shelters, they are not given second chances after being surrendered or thrown on the street. Animals don’t have voices so we have to be their voice. They are euthanized in so many shelters and if they just got a second chance they would be able to live out a happy life and increase the joy in a human’s life.

•What has the response been like for you?

The response has been great. For the most part, people support me and are impressed about my age in comparison with my entrepreneurship.

•The products on the website are amazing, who’s idea was that & where do the items come from?

All of the products were my idea. The initial design was made by me typing every single, separate word and making it into the shape of a dog. I came up with it after seeing a similar design of a logo made up of two or three words. I then made my design with over 50 words that “make up” literally your dog. Now, the products are made with seven-to-10 words of the customers’ choice made into the shape of their dog’s silhouette. These words generally include nicknames, names and words that describe their furry friend. The items all come from a manufacturer that I work with; I design them and send the artwork to be printed on one of the many products I have on my site from dog bandanas to t-shirts.

•Describe an average day for you?

An average day for me, on weekdays, is going to school; and any time I have an extra minute, I work on bettering my website or making the artwork, etc. After school, I do my school work, then work on my website, and orders and emails. On weekends, I do Farmers Market and rescue event booths to spread awareness for my company.

•How many pets/pet rescues have been helped?

I’d like to think I have helped many pets. I have raised several-hundred dollars for the rescue I have worked with the longest–Foothills Animal Rescue. I also donate to Arizona Brittany Rescue and one called Friends of The Animal community in California.

•How many pets do you own and what are their names?

I own a lot of pets that I take care of on my own: Two rabbits, “Moose” and “Deer”; two hamsters, “Chicken” and “Waffles”; a fish, “Herb”; a tortoise, “Meatball”; our nine-year-old family dog, “Remi”; and my rescue dog, “Stella.”

•Can you be called a role model for others your age and under?

I don’t know if I would be called a role model, but I think everyone should use their passion in a positive way in order to help have a positive impact on the community.

•What do you do on spring break?

On spring break, I stayed home — no vacation — and just hung out at home. I re-did my whole site and I added many new products. I also had a couple of farmers market booths over break!

•How does it feel to make such an impact?

To make an impact on the community feels great. I know my impact is a lot smaller than it could be, though. I am always looking to be able to help out more; and little-by-little, I will eventually be helping out a lot, I hope.

•What do your classmates think of your entrepreneurism?

My classmates are very supportive and surprised when they hear about my company, its mission and how I did it all.

Go to foreverwoof.com

Editor’s note: Miss Johnson is the granddaughter of Independent Newsmedia Board Chairman Joe Smyth

Independent Newsmedia News Services Specialist Delarita Ford can be reached by e-mail at dford@newszap.com.

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