We had the good fortune of connecting with Alice Shupe and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Alice, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I have been passionate about music and the arts for as long as I can remember! I dabble as a hobby artist myself and creative freedom in the workspace is super important to me. I’ve found that practicing art and free flow thinking has a positive ripple effect that inspires innovation in my critical thinking processes and business practices as well. So I am always in pursuit of creative projects or aiming to incorporate elements of creativity into any of my professional endeavors. Not only to fulfill my artistic needs but to also stimulate growth.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I started Boozy Bones shortly after I was rescued by my big German Shepherd good boy, (and now main treat tester) Maverick. I was working in a micro brewery at the time and started making treats for him at home. Boozy Bones is a true labor of love and culmination of three of my main passions; the environment, dogs, and craft beer. Repurposing spent grain isn’t a revolutionary idea, but making it my own and incorporating my other interests is what I’m most proud of. Focusing on reducing waste in the craft beer industry isn’t necessarily a revolutionary concept either (or shouldn’t be) but I truly get excited about taking it a step or ten further and incorporating sustainability throughout all aspects of the business and hopefully in turn influence and learn from other local small businesses in the community. I spent a lot of time formulating treats that are actually nutrient dense, hit several main health objectives for dogs and then figuring out how to source those ingredients sustainably. So, I’m the MOST elated when I see a doggo absolutely love and scarf down a Boozy Bone instead of a preservative filled milk bone bacon strip shenanigan. By no means was it easy to get to where I am today business-wise. There were a lot of challenges logistically and legally creating a consumable product for animals. When I consider the tedious consistency, unending patience and work that it took to overcome those challenges, to actually get to the point of seeing a pup’s drool filled smile, sprinkled with treat crumbs; the feeling is indescribable and so fulfilling. I think that’s the unique point of difference and biggest lesson that I learned along the way. There’s a lot of people making stuff just to make stuff. There’s a lot of companies out there that put profit first. I started out with big (albeit ambitious) aspirations for Boozy Bones, where and how I wanted it to grow, all gas no brakes style; but then I slowed down. I realized that you can make a significant, positive impact in the world around you at any stage of development. Not every company has to make a million dollars to make a splash. Small, concentrated efforts can make big differences. Sometimes it can be as simple as wanting to hang out with dogs and connect with other beer-drinking-eco-conscious dog-lovers. And if there’s one less grain in the landfill and a happy, healthier pup for it, then that’s a job well done.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
One of the things that I love most about the coast of California is that it’s littered with these little pockets of paradise that each have their own distinguished character. The neighboring communities are a block, yet a world apart and the locals are LOYAL to the zip. Even each city’s farmers market has its own unique vibe. So if I have a friend visiting from out of town, I try to make sure to hit all of the contrasting parts. OB farmers market for eccentric people watching and knick knack collecting. Hiking through Torrey Pines, Iron Mountain, surfing Cardiff Reef or any activity in the striking nature that California has to offer. Balboa Park for architecture, arts and cultural history. Little Italy or literally anywhere downtown for exquisite cuisine. This sounds like a broad and kind of lame response but that’s a tough question! There is truly so much to see and do, but I also rarely leave my bubble of Encinitas so there’s that lol. (accidentally just circled back and exhibited ‘A’ the loyal-locals-pockets-of-paradise thing, didn’t I?)

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would undoubtedly have to credit two of my best girlfriends Charlie and Claire. Over the past nearly twenty years of friendship, they have shown unwavering support and encouragement, love, humbling criticism, and truly played a pivotal (if not lead) role in my journey that has led to who and where I am today. Since we were little people growing through all of the middle school ugly, they have consistently pushed me to evolve and become a better overall human. So this shout out is for my ladies, y’all deserve all of the recognition for being my number one fans and most accredited critics through every transformative stage of life thus far. :’)

Website: www.boozybones.com

Instagram: @boozy.bones

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/boozy.bones.SD

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