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

Hi Ciera, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
At the start of the pandemic, I was furloughed from my full-time marketing job and decided to foster a puppy from my aunt’s dog rescue Good Dog-Dog Talk. Fostering quickly turned into adoption, and suddenly I had a foster fail pup always by my side. We spent a lot of time together enjoying picnics, outdoor eating, and in December I planned her first birthday pawty complete with a stylish set up in my backyard with a photo setup, pup-friendly charcuterie, cake, and dog wine. This inspired me to start the first dog-friendly picnic company, Puppy Picnic Co., to provide luxury pop-up pupnics for dog lovers. Since the start of my business in late 2020, my business has expanded to a brick-and-mortar retail storefront at Liberty Station and larger pop-up events in the San Diego area.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Currently my full-time job is in marketing as a copywriter, but I also have a background in dog rescue, blogging, content creation, and special events. I never would have imagined I would start a dog-friendly events company, but here we are! I am very proud of my professional growth and jumping into entrepreneurship to follow my dreams of creating the first dog-friendly picnic business. This is a fun, unique, and growing niche community of dog parents who want to treat their pets to the best and support local businesses.

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned along the way (especially throughout the pandemic) is to keep an open mind and be flexible with change. In less than a year, I’ve pivoted my business from just picnics to expand to retail, pop-up events, pupcuterie options, and more—and I can’t wait to see where my brand will go in the future!

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
One thing I absolutely love about San Diego is how dog-friendly it is! Most of my favorite spots in the city are places I can bring Kenzie along. I also love supporting small businesses and trying to eat and shop locally whenever possible. Here are a few of my top faves:

Beaches: Fiesta Island, Coronado Dog Beach, Ocean Beach, Sunset Cliffs
Restaurants: Plumeria, Ranchos Cocina, Charles + Dinorah, The Presley, The Yasai
Coffee: Better Buzz, Blackmarket Bakery, Moniker General, Bird Rock, Deja Brew, Communal
Desserts: Crumbl Cookies, Stella Jean’s, Extraordinary Desserts, MNGO, Holy Paleta
Activities: SUP Pups, Estate Sale Shopping, Farmer’s Markets, Hike Los Peñasquitos
Shop: Puppy Picnic Co., Original Paw Pleasers, Home & Hound, Pigment, Coast Highway Trading
Picnic Spots: Liberty Station, Shelter Island, Balboa Park, Kate Sessions

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My family and friends have been a huge support system for me in starting my small business. My parents, sister, boyfriend, and good friend Jasmine Raneses always help me with events and pupnics, while lending a listening ear for all my crazy dog ideas! I also have found an encouraging community online with other female and AAPI small business owners in the pet, picnic, and event industries.

Website: puppypicnic.co

Instagram: @puppypicnicco

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ciera-chang/

Twitter: @puppypicnicco

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/puppypicnicco

Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/puppy-picnic-san-diego

Other: https://www.tiktok.com/@puppypicnicco

Image Credits
Erin Wiese Photo

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