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Donie Yamamoto

Founder of Vital Pet Life


What inspired you to start your business?

I started Vital Pet Life because I couldn’t find a soothing, all-natural solution for my dog Tuxedo’s dry coarse coat and skin. I tried other products from big-name companies but couldn’t pronounce half the ingredients, so I began researching my own clean, sustainably sourced, toxin-free solutions.

What challenges have you faced as a woman entrepreneur, how did you overcome them?

Having grown up in the Philippines in a patriarchal society, I didn’t have women mentors as I began my entrepreneurial journey. Now running my business and living in Los Angeles, I’m drawn to any opportunity to support, brainstorm, and collaborate with other dynamic, entrepreneurial women. Creating and building a community of like-minded women has changed my life.

What advice would you give to other women entrepreneurs?

To continue learning. I foster my love of learning every day in building my leadership potential, strategies for increased sustainability and researching new ingredients to formulate new products. It’s always fun to hear what other women entrepreneurs care about and are learning in their own universe.

What do you see as the coolest or most important trend in your industry?

Sustainability! We recently announced and celebrated that our hero product Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil is now certified sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), meaning that it is wild, traceable and 100% sustainable. With our salmon caught this way, it guarantees healthy oceans and safeguards seafood supplies for future generations.

What do you love about being a business owner?

Being able to tap into my creativity, even during this challenging time. Pre COVID-19, my creativity was expanding my mind with a daily hike or brainstorming and researching new ingredients for new products. My new normal is working everyday on overcoming supply chain obstacles while in constant communication with my customers. Currently there are no pumps to buy, which creates a problem if your best-selling product has a pump. Pivoting without losing customers is now my daily focus, in hopes of turning obstacles into opportunities. Having empathy right now is essential. Knowing that our suppliers are struggling as well as our customers and being able to actively listen and problem solve is my new creativity.

What’s the hardest part about being a business owner?

Being responsible for whatever happens to the business, which currently is supply chain issues.

What are you reading or listening to now?

I’m reading Finding Clarity by Jeru Kabbal and listening to Bob Iger’s Ride of a Lifetime.

How do you unwind after a long workday?

I really enjoy Pilates. It is about balance and breathing, both which help me relax and unwind after a long day.

Fill in the blank:

When I face a challenge, I... dive right in and look for ways to solve it.

If I could go back in time, I would tell myself to breathe, relax and be patient.

The one thing I couldn’t live without is… a cat nap, it rejuvenates me and clears my mind.

By this time next year, I will be… formulating more products for our pet wellness line.

To get my creative juices flowing, I… meditate and quiet my mind.

vital pet life

Vital Pet Life, based in California, offers a curated line of clean and sustainable pet wellness products. Vital Pet Life’s Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil, MSC certified sustainable, helps pet’s dry, rough skin and coat, leaving it shiny, velvety and itch-free. The botanically enriched Oatmeal & Aloe Vera Natural Pet Shampoo contains mindfully handpicked ingredients, to calm and soothe pet’s skin and coat. Vital Pet Life is committed to donating and working with local rescue shelters because all animals deserve a forever family in a loving and safe home.

Learn more.

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