Los Angeles, CA (The Hollywood Times) 12/19/19 – Natalie Hutchinson, CEO of Seven Collars, a company that provides one-of-a-kind luxury collars has joined Gift Global Initiative, a non-profit charity organization which advocates and serves the needs of the most disadvantaged families of the planet. “The goal with GIFT is to bring awareness to animal rescue, child advocacy, and humanitarian relief. Charity brings us all together. When you give back to help others your purpose in life becomes fulfilled. We are all responsible for each other in some way. I am kind by nature and have always wanted to give back to others. That is the reason I became a lawyer. I eventually want to be one of GIFT’s go-to lawyers and for Seven Collars to be a fundamental supporter of GIFT, as we continue to grow.” – Natalie Hutchinson
Your career began as an attorney. Share your background.
Natalie Hutchinson: I am a third-generation attorney, who proudly continues her family’s legacy. law firm. I gratefully serve my community and take pride in working for those who have been wronged by “the big guy”. My interest in the law has always been there ever since I was a child. I remember going to my father’s office and imagining myself behind that massive rich mahogany desk helping people. When it was finally my turn, I embraced the opportunity.
When did you discover your love for entrepreneurship?
Natalie Hutchinson: My affinity for entrepreneurship developed from practicing law. Before I started my practice, I worked for an insurance defense law firm and never got to know the “client.” I am a people person, thus working behind just a name did not fit me as a person nor as a lawyer. I am a creator [and artist] by nature. My personality is a natural “go-getter”- if I can’t find it or do not like the way something is, then I create it myself. That is what happened with my law practice and Seven Collars.
What does it take to be a successful entrepreneur? What challenges have you faced?
Natalie Hutchinson: What I have learned to be successful in this business: 1) there must be a demand for your product/service; 2) you have to be strategic financially and with branding; 3) have a strong TEAM around you; 4) take bite-size pieces- “Rome was not built in a day”; 5) ENJOY WHAT YOU DO (be passionate about it); and 6) Be humble and grateful for every day. I rely heavily on my team (Craig Nyarumbu, Zeanique Barber, Nicole Hutchinson, Amber Forrester ) daily. We work in tandem and feed off each other’s ideas. No one is a “YES” person on this team.
Challenges that I have faced –
- BRAND AWARENESS AND FUNDING. Funding is very difficult for businesses owned by women. If you have the opportunity to speak to your local CRA or finding grants to support your business, I strongly recommend looking into those potential financial avenues.
- FINDING RELIABLE HELP! No one can run a successful business alone. You have to build a strong team, where everyone has his and her strengths that are not overlapping. Do not keep “yes” people around you. That is one of the quickest ways to add negative energy to a budding business.
- TAKE TIME YOURSELF! There is always stress in life, but when you are starting a business and working for yourself, there is a different type of stress that can seep into the excitement of building something great and new. Finding time for yourself is vital so that you do not burn out! Fatigue is real and can take a dire toll on your creative vibes and inspiration.
Tell us about Seven Collars. When was it launched?
Natalie Hutchinson: In 2018, when I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder I, as a recommendation from my doctor, I got a service dog. In 2019, at 8 weeks old, I brought home a sealed brindle boxer and named him Seven. Truth is I am a fashionable woman, who wanted a luxury accessory that distracted from the “service dog” tag, and a collar that would merge the elements of fashion, luxury, and function into one. I recognized there was a gap in the market for bespoke, high end, modern collars. So, I decided to create one-hence, the inception of Seven Collars. Each piece is handcrafted and tailored for that personalized touch. All dogs deserve to look their best regardless of their purpose in our lives. Our pets are an annex of ourselves and should be treated as such. Our motto is “Seven Collars is where luxury meets function”
How did you meet Gift Global Initiative? What is important to your relationship with them?
Natalie Hutchinson: Actually, Keith liked one of our posts on Instagram. I was inspired by his work and GIFT, so I reached out when I saw the story about Gilligan, and asked if there was a way we would help- without any hesitation. Kim responded and we sponsored our first GIFT event in early November of this year (the LA Expo and Family Resources Event with Boxer Rescue LA ). The event was wonderful, inspirational, and helped those in need. Importantly, Gilligan’s story was shared and awareness was brought to the benefit of adopting rescue animals (especially boxers). I am such a softy when it comes to boxers. What’s most import about our relationship with them is our ability to support them, bring knowledge and understanding to their platforms, and to help ensure that they continue to get that support that they need. I have not encountered an organization that does so much for the local community and world on so many different levels. Absolutely astounding! I can’t begin to tell you how impressed I am with Manna and Keith and the work their team does.
What are your goals to help GIFT? Why is charity so important to you?
Natalie Hutchinson: Our goal with GIFT is to bring awareness to animal rescue, child advocacy, and humanitarian relief. Charity brings us all together. When you give back to help others your purpose in life becomes fulfilled. We are all responsible for each other in some way. I am kind by nature and have always wanted to give back to others. That is the reason I became a lawyer. I eventually want to be one of GIFT’s go-to lawyers and for Seven Collars to be a fundamental supporter of GIFT, as we continue to grow.
Do you have any other thoughts?
Natalie Hutchinson: We are currently looking for a mental health awareness non-profit organization to collaborate with. My diagnosis is very personal to this company and a platform. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of our merchandise will go towards the [mental health awareness non-profit] organization. We have a robust affinity for service and emotional support animals and want to bring awareness to the benefits dogs bring to people with cancer, mental illnesses, disabilities, diabetes, high blood pressure, stress, and anxiety. Pets are like family and people- they have legal rights, feelings, personalities, purpose, and need to be loved just we do. Do not forget they are fashionable too! For anyone who is sensitive about having an emotional support or service animal, the collars are a phenomenal way to spark a conversation about the neckpiece instead of the reason the person has his or her dog/pet. The accessories also bring confidence to the owner- proud to have a dog that is fashionable. We carry collars, matching leashes, clothing, and human apparel (sweatshirts currently, and hats coming in the summer)
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NATALIE HUTCHINSON, CEO of SEVEN COLLARS