How Roz Hansen turned her love for dogs into a successful small business
Primed for the world of small business, Rosaline Hansen (aka Roz) watched her father work in the restaurant industry for forty years. She knows what it takes to run a small business, and so for the past two years, Roz has done nothing but eat, sleep, and breathe Pet Wants Newton.
After spending 15+ years working in the wine industry, she left corporate life to take on a challenge a little closer to home. With a lifetime love for animals and a real concern for the health of her own pets, Pet Wants Newton was born. Based in the Boston area, Pet Wants Newton produces and delivers slow-cooked, healthy, and balanced pet food and treats made from all-natural ingredients.
This business is her “baby,” and she does it all — order packaging, deliveries, marketing, events, and free nutrition advice. “I’m the epitome of the seven-day-a-week dog mom and small businesswoman,” said Roz.
Passion, grit, and a whole lot of heart
Roz is a non-stop business owner and canine wrangler full of passion, grit and a whole lot of heart. But reaching expert level on the business side is no easy feat.
“You have to be prepared for a couple of things. This is your new baby. It is a baby just like your animals and your human babies, and you have to be prepared for that,” said Roz. “The other piece is to be prepared for the fact that you can be two years or three years in — north of five years — and still not paying yourself, not being what you consider profitable.”
And Roz is right — running a small business is a ton of work and, at times, exhausting. But small business owners aren’t only in it for the money. They’re in it because they love the work.
Using business to give back
As a self-proclaimed “crazy dog mom” of two rescue dogs and a longtime donor to ASPCA and the Humane Society, Roz makes giving back a priority.
Not only does Pet Wants Newton improve the health and wellness of its customers’ pets, but also for animals still waiting for their forever home. For every pound of food a customer donates, Roz matches that pound of food to local animal shelters across the Boston area.
All paws on deck: a power partnership with Constant Contact
One of the biggest challenges with building a small business is getting the word out and building a following. In Roz’s world of Pet Wants Newton, this means focusing on two key tactics: events and relationship building.
“How I’ve gotten the word out and continue to get the word out is doing events,” said Roz. “My biggest marketing spend is on events, like The Holiday Market at Snow port.”
With events and her own personal connection-building efforts, Roz has built a small legion of devoted supporters. “I am 1000% a relationship person. I know, personally, every single client that I deliver to.”
Roz started using Constant Contact in 2021 to maintain these relationships. As part of that nurturing, she builds and disseminates a monthly newsletter to her followers.
“Doing monthly newsletters has been great because it’s part of how I like to have a personal touch on my business and how I reach my clients and potential clients,” Roz says. “[The newsletter] includes important things like our new holiday home at Snowport and a product spotlight. Special offers and other events we’re doing. And I always include a personal piece or a small blog piece on something important happening seasonally in pet care.”
After switching over from Mailchimp, Roz says, “my actual open rate and my clicks are way, way better than they were.” In addition to designing newsletters with Constant Contact, she also builds landing pages for her website. “I find the program extremely easy to use. It takes me no time whatsoever.”
Better business, better pet care, bigger dreams
By running her own business, Roz Hansen gets to live out her dream every day. By using Constant Contact, her dream has become even easier to achieve. Now, she can focus on what’s most important: her clients and the health of their pets.
She’s an army of one and a champion for pets all across Boston. Bringing better health, care, and charisma to the area, Roz and Pet Wants Newton are a true small business treasure in Massachusetts.
“My joy every day is helping my clients, and I have people call me all the time. Their lives are better just by their pets being in better health.”
Rosaline “Roz” Hansen
If you’re in the Boston area this fall, make sure to check out Roz Hansen’s booth at Boston’s Snowport. And check out this helpful article to learn how to engage your audience with something as simple as a short newsletter.