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Entrepreneur Profile: Steve Ball, Founder of "I and love and you."

Entrepreneur Profile: Steve Ball, Founder of "I and love and you."
A snapshot profile of Steve Ball, Founder of "I and love and you."

What inspires you daily?

The inspiration for “I and love and you” came from pet parents who love their pets like family, but who don’t always know what’s right for them, so we set out to make it easier and more fun for them to care for their pets naturally. My father-in-law is a veterinarian, so I saw first-hand the results of poor nutrition for dogs and cats, and wanted to improve pet health and happiness by creating the most nutritious products possible, from a brand consumers could love as much as they do their pets.

What have been the critical factors on your road to success? 

  • Creating a brand that connects emotionally with consumers
  • Launching the first ever all-natural Total Pet Care solution, starting off in the Whole Foods Market Rocky Mountain region and expanding nationally from there
  • Providing a convenient one-stop shop for retailers and consumers, making it easier for natural consumers to proactively care for their dogs and cats, and easier for retailers to provide a complete multi-category natural pet solution
  • Developing superior quality products by using only exceptional ingredients approved by our on-staff holistic veterinarian for optimal nutrition
  • Offering unique, innovative products such as 100% raw dehydrated and freeze dried food and treats, grain-free and high-protein dry and wet food, free range + grass fed chews, as well as daily supplements and targeted remedies. Everything a well-rounded pet needs.
  • Connecting with consumers through relationship marketing, and engaging one-on-one with consumers and retail associates in-store and at events to provide education, product samples, and a positive brand experience that builds a loyal following.

How has the natural products industry (i.e. peers, mentors, community) enabled your success?

The natural products community has been extremely supportive in mentoring and offering assistance and resources, as well as providing a great network from which to build the team. The community is very open and willing to share information and help each other out, and I can't thank the community enough for helping get "I and love and you" to where it is today.

What do you wish you'd known early on in your business?

Building the team, finding the right people, and developing a strong culture will take more time and energy than almost anything else, but are so critical to building a successful business. 

What's on your iPod right now?

The Lumineers, Mumford & Sons, Zac Brown Band.

How do you spend your free time?

With my family, playing with my three young kids; skiing, hiking, or anything else in the beautiful Colorado outdoors; watching soccer or a good movie. 

What's a guilty pleasure of yours?

Candy—I have quite the sweet tooth.

What's a personal pet peeve? 

Weak coffee—it ruins my day!

Give us an inside scoop on yourself

I aspire to be a yoga teacher. 

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