We had the good fortune of connecting with Steve Ryan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Steve, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
We started Fetch the Sun as a lifestyle brand to encourage dog owners to get outdoors with their pups and enjoy the nature that surrounds us all; we strive to be the pack leader in adventure-based matching clothing for people and dogs. Outdoor adventures are a terrific way to bond with your dog and not only are regular outings good for our body and soul, they also break the cycle of cognitive boredom in dogs and gets them outdoors in the fresh air and on an adventure. The designs on our apparel depict easy-to-access adventures that can be had with our furry friends: hiking, surfing, camping, running, etc…
We also use our company as a platform to advocate for rescue pets. Each year, about 6 and half million pets enter shelters within the US. A portion of proceeds from every sale is donated to animal rescue organizations nationwide. Each month we work with a shelter and use our social media to advertise that shelter’s mission and current animals that are up for adoption.
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.
Fetch the Sun is dual owned by Steve & Jennifer Ryan (Husband and Wife). Steve spent most of his professional career in the Navy and has served in both Afghanistan and Iraq. In the military, he specialized in Logistics and Strategic Planning; he retired as a Lieutenant Commander after 23-years of service. Jennifer worked in marketing in the aerospace & power generation industries where she did inside sales and was an integral part of the customer service team for a leading global manufacturer and supplier of specialized aircraft parts. Prior to starting Fetch the Sun, Steve and Jennifer were used to leading and participating in large teams to accomplish goals; currently, entrepreneurship has shrunk those teams down to only the two of them running it all: fulfillment, advertising, customer service, warehousing, accounting, etc…
One of the biggest challenges we faced was pivoting our sales strategy with COVID. We began Fetch the Sun with two main sales outlets: ecommerce and local dog event sales; the latter being the most profitable and our best way to raise brand awareness. Little did we know that after only one-month of attending events, COVID would strike and take away our event schedule for the next year and a half. During this time, we had to rely solely on ecommerce sales and ended up operating in the red while we figured out the right mix of advertising on social media and sales platforms. We also had to make our dog shirt sizing charts more user friendly as we incurred many returns at first for incorrect sizing issues. We are proud to say that we have emerged stronger from this crisis and during the time we were losing money, we still stayed true to our mission of donating to animal rescue organizations per our goals from 10% of sales up to 50% of profits.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Well since my best friend is also a dog owner and travels with his two pups, our itinerary would be filled with dog friendly events!
First stop would be Del Mar Dog Beach; it’s a must see for anyone visiting San Diego who’s a dog enthusiast like us. It’s not only a beautiful beach to swim and surf at but also to let your dogs play right along side of you. Our dog Snoopy learned to surf here and it’s becoming a more common sight to see dogs hanging 10 with the growing popularity of dog surfing competitions worldwide. Del Mar Dog Beach has scenic cliffs, hiking trails and boutique shops nearby.
After a morning at the beach, we’d be hungry! Luckily there’s lots of dog friendly restaurants in San Diego. One of my all-time favs is the Broken Yolk Café in Carmel Mountain Ranch, a quick drive from Dog Beach. They offer a full menu of many breakfast favorites such as Benedicts, waffles and pancakes.
After a hearty breakfast and quick nap with the dogs, a nature hike would be in order. Hiking’s a great way to get out and experience nature and the beauty that San Diego has to offer with its visitors. A favorite is a hike through Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve in Rancho Penasquitos. It’s an easy and fun hiking experience where you can see streams, forests of sycamore trees, cactus, open fields, a historic adobe house and more. Sometimes you can even run into some wildlife there such as deer, frogs and rabbits. It’s a great outdoor experience while getting some exercise and spending time together.
We’d end this epic day with some local craft beer and fare. Savagewood Brewing Company is located in Scripps Ranch California and offers the best craft beer around with a dog friendly tasting room. From strong IPAs to smooth lagers, you’ll be finding your new favorite beer in no time. Savagewood is home to the exclusive and sometimes elusive Fetch the Sun American Wheat Beer. It’s also a great place to grab a bite. They have local craft kitchens that visit periodically. A few notable ones are: Angry Pete’s Pizza, SMACK’N Guamanian BBQ, and Rombombburger.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
We owe a huge debt of gratitude to our production partner Zee Field at Profade Apparel who is really helping us grow our brand and introduce new products.
Sara Brant @uniquelyoneofakind