Business goals

Second-year student Katy hits business goals one puppy treat at a time

Last summer, 7-year-old Isaiah Hodge decided he wanted an electric unicycle. When his father told him he should pay for himself, Isaiah started a successful dog treat business.

Katy’s second-grade Rylander Elementary has since sold about $ 1,000 of her Puppy Dough treats for $ 5 a dozen.

When Isaiah realized he needed $ 650 for the unicycle, he enrolled in Kidpreneurs, a program for kids who want to start a business. He spent a few weeks learning and brainstorming business ideas. Her father, Jason Hodge, suggested growing and selling watermelons, but Isaiah got the idea of ​​making treats for dogs.

Although Isaiah’s maternal grandfather trained dogs in the military, Isaiah and his family do not actually have a dog. Hodge thought it was a little funny when Isaiah decided to focus his new business on puppies.

“I really love dogs, so I think the idea of ​​dog treats would be good for me,” Isaiah said.

Puppy Dough comes in molded squares made from peanut butter, banana and coconut flour. Isaiah chose the recipe because the three ingredients together have a firm consistency, and the entire process can be done by Isaiah, who is not yet cooking. Since he is allergic to peanut butter, he wears gloves and a mask when working.

Isaiah typically sells a few dozen treats a week. Completing two dozen takes about an hour. He said flattening the dough in the pan is hard work. Homework always comes first on weekdays. Isaiah does most of the work on weekends when he has more time.

The Puppy Dough Company taught Isaiah life and business lessons. Every now and then Isaiah makes a bunch of treats and doesn’t also work to promote them, so some of the treats go bad before he can sell them. Her dad says it’s okay: Isaiah is 7 and sometimes just wants to be a kid.

Isaiah also learned about buying decisions. At first he wanted a Onewheel, which looks like a skateboard with a wheel, because his uncle has one. It costs about $ 1,000, however. Isaiah instead opted for the cheaper unicycle.

By September, Isaiah had saved the $ 650. He said the electric unicycle was his favorite part of the Puppy Dough sale. He and his father hike several miles and he is now learning to back up. They sometimes join a group in Houston.

“It feels good, and now I’m starting to understand, like, because we’ve been to Houston.” And now I’m able to ride in gravel and concrete and over bumps, ”said Isaiah.

Delivering the treats to people and meeting their dogs is also a highlight for Isaiah. One of her first clients liked Puppy Dough so much that she jumped on him. Now Isaiah is a bit weary of big dogs at times.

Over the summer, the Katy Region Chamber of Commerce welcomed Isaiah as its youngest member. Isaiah has yet to attend any meetings due to COVID-19 precautions, but he plans to have a booth at the B2B Business Expo in April.

“I think Isaiah is an incredible asset to our community, not just our bedroom. His entrepreneurial spirit should inspire anyone who dreams of benefiting their community, ”said Matthew Ferraro, President and CEO of the Katy Region Chamber of Commerce.

Hodge owns Medical Fitness Pros in Katy and wanted her son to learn how to earn his own money. So he encouraged Isaiah to set up a business to buy this unicycle himself.

“He’s a smart kid, and he gets bored very easily and needs to be challenged,” Hodge explained. “… So I felt like something like owning a business would teach him how a business works: the costs, the expenses, and just understanding what it takes to make something like that happen. “

Hodge said watching the company take off and the people who support it has been an interesting experience and something positive in the midst of the pandemic.

He keeps in mind that Isaiah is young and doesn’t want the business to get too big. Over Thanksgiving and Christmas, Isaiah ordered about 20 dozen treats. His parents helped him so that he was not overwhelmed.

“He did well. He came up with the name himself. I mean honestly, he’s done a lot himself. I helped him with little things along the way, but he took a lot of initiative, ”Hodge said.

Puppy Dough is available on Facebook and Instagram and to Waggin ‘Tails Pet Ranch at Fulshear. Isaiah donates 10 percent of her profits to Houston Country Boys and Girls.

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