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Open Dialogue With Sophie Bakalar, the Co-Founder of Fable

Sophie Bakalar, the Co-Founder of Fable, and her brother Jeremy Canade are rising entrepreneurs in the pet goods industry. Bakalar recently sat down with ONE37pm’s Phil Toronto on the latest Open Dialogue episode to discuss the Fable brand, why she decided to start the company, and what she was doing before creating her business.

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So, what exactly is Fable?

“Fable is a highly innovative direct to consumer brand, and we make pet gear. So, all sorts of products to solve problems for you and your pets.  The idea is that we don’t just want to make stuff. We want to make stuff that solves problems, and that is the angle that comes with all of our products and design process,” said Bakalar.

“As much as we love and adore our pets, they do come with a lot of pain points and a lot of problems around cleanliness, convenience, anxiety, boredom, and time. There is just a huge range of issues with humans in the pet space. Usually, in urban areas, those are the problems that we want to solve.”

She continued: “So, we make all types of products for pets such as beds, leash, bowls, and toys. Everything that you would need for a pet, but we try to be thoughtful during the design process, trying to solve problems.”

Bakalar has always been a huge pet lover, which ultimately led her to start Fable with her Canade. 

“So, I have always wanted to do something in the pet space but never really thought about it from this perspective. However, at Collaborative Fund, as I was investing in consumer goods, I saw a lot of opportunities in the pet space. As things were changing from a consumer standpoint and a marketing perspective in terms of people getting married later, having kids later, and getting pets earlier,” shared Bakalar.

“This is all pre-COVID, which has changed all of that has accelerated a lot of these trends. But, even beforehand, there were so many different dynamics of how we live our lives have shifted—making it easier to care for pets.

So, I was looking for the pet space from an investment perspective and was surprised to see a lot of interesting opportunities in pet foods, Insurance, and other different categories.”

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Bakalar went on to say that she did not see many products that sparked her interest in the product space, and there hadn’t been anything introduced in some time. She took it as an opportunity to build a brand in the pet space. 

She also shared that she worked operations before getting into investing and was interested in getting back into the field. Meanwhile, Jeremy was in business development and strategies at Jet.com and had the itch to get back into operations as well. 

The first products that both Jeremy and Sophie collaborated on were a leash and collar.

“The first one that we did was a leash and collar set. In the beginning, some of the design’s thought processes were that we want to put ourselves out there and see what consumers want. See what consumers think, make sure that there is space in the market, and test our thesis to see if people want it in the market. So, start small, and those products are not even the main focuses anymore. We have introduced a slew of products, which focus more on our focus,” Bakalar said.

In a year where many businesses are suffering, how has the pandemic affected Fable?

“All of our expectations for this year have been turned upside down. Every month, mainly when COVID started, it completely shifted our expectations of how this business would go. We launched around January; we did a little testing last year but launched in January of this year.

Then we launched “The Crate,” and that did great. Then we had our second launch, “The Magic Link,” which is a walking system, and we were supposed to launch that in March. Then COVID hit, and then we had the discussion and came to the conclusion that it was the right time to launch a product,” said Bakalar.

Make sure you check out the latest Open Dialogue episode above, and you can also follow Sophie on Instagram and Twitter.

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