BOULDER, COLO. — As a self-proclaimed animal wellness advocate and organic food aficionado, it was a no-brainer for Sarah Goldberger to fuse her two passions into a new brand of dog treats. Lord Jameson came onto the scene in 2017 to offer a premium, organic and health-focused treating option, and Goldberger continues to expand the brand’s offerings in an effort to lead the industry toward cleaner, healthier ingredients.
“We strongly advocate for a shift away from conventional ingredients and are thrilled to witness other brands embracing this ethos,” she said.
In the following Q&A, Goldberger shares the inspiration behind her brand, her biggest challenges and greatest achievements, and inspiring advice for other pet industry leaders.
PFP: Tell us about your business or career in the pet industry.
Goldberger: I found my way into the pet industry through the love and companionship of my beloved Cocker Spaniel named Jameson. We became a certified dog therapy team in 2012. Watching him impact strangers in need was so profound, I just knew I had to create something magical for dogs to reward them.
I am an entrepreneur at heart and decided to marry my love for philanthropy, dogs, luxury and organic living into a beautiful product that does good for dogs’ health and the world. Alas, Lord Jameson was born.
PFP: How did you get your start in the pet industry, and how did that experience lead you to where you are now?
Goldberger: I started my career in the pet industry via Lord Jameson. I have a dynamic background in luxury goods, organic food and baby products. My past experiences led me to create Lord Jameson.
PFP: What has been your biggest challenge — personal or professional — related to your work in the pet industry?
Goldberger: The biggest challenge was learning how to run a food manufacturing company. Instead of outsourcing, we make all our products in-house at my own USDA organic-certified facility in Boulder, Colo. This decision required an in-depth understanding of equipment, automation, technology and software, but it ensured quality, freshness and authenticity. We now have very integrated and dynamic technology platforms that allow us to forecast ingredients, production, process, flow, systems, inventory, etc. It allows our production team to do what they do best. I take immense pride in our products and my stellar team behind them.
PFP: Tell me about a professional accomplishment in the pet industry that you are proud of.
Goldberger: I am most proud of becoming a World Pet Association (WPA) Board of Directors member. I am serving my second term and am humbled to serve alongside many extraordinary individuals who have devoted their careers to the pet industry. The WPA is a fantastic organization working tirelessly to advance and support the entire pet industry through education, advocacy and its Good Works pillar. I look forward to volunteering my time to help support many important initiatives to help enhance the power of pets for future generations.
PFP: What is top of mind for you and/or your business in the industry right now?
Goldberger: We are laser-focused on USDA organic product development and working to solve voids in the market. We are about to launch our brand-new Love Puffs collection, which serves a need for a clean, crunchy, low-calorie puff made with USDA organic ingredients. We have several products in development that will help pet parents provide healthier wellness products for their pets.
PFP: If you could pick three trends influencing the industry today, which are the most important and why?
Goldberger: The three top trends in the pet industry are wellness, celebration products, and clean, organic eating. At the top of our list is clean, organic eating. Just like humans, we are what we eat, and we must feed our dogs the very best. Regrettably, many conventional pet treats are laden with GMOs, pesticides, growth hormones and other harmful substances. In contrast, USDA-certified organic products, such as Lord Jameson, exclude these harmful elements. We strongly advocate for a shift away from conventional ingredients and are thrilled to witness other brands embracing this ethos.
PFP: What is something about the pet industry that people outside of the industry may not realize?
Goldberger: I spent nearly 20 years in the entertainment and luxury goods sector. While both industries are great, they are very cutthroat and highly competitive. The pet industry is genuinely kind, caring and respectful of competition. I often collaborate with like-minded natural pet product brands that could be perceived as competitors. People outside the pet industry do not realize how awesome this industry is and how kindhearted pet people are. I encourage anyone with a love and passion for animals to get involved.
PFP: What advice would you give to young people starting their careers in this industry?
Goldberger: I encourage young professionals to focus on what fills their cup and follow their passion. It’s essential to trust the process.; you will have so many highs and lows. The peaks and valleys are what help define your career path. The most important thing for any young professional is understanding their career is not a race. It’s a marathon. You must train, stay focused, and work hard to do something great. Anything is possible if you keep working toward your goal.
PFP: Just for fun, do you consider yourself a dog person or a cat person? Or, if you have pets of your own, tell us a little bit about them.
Goldberger: I am 100% a dog person. I love all animals but have an extreme affinity for dogs. Jameson, my first love, is the inspiration behind my work. He and I became a certified therapy dog team over a decade ago. He inspired me to create Lord Jameson to reward dogs for the magic they bring to humans. Sadly, my sweet Jameson passed away this past November. My husband blessed me with another Cocker Spaniel, an adorable puppy named Jasper and he is now the new face of the brand. He’s 8 months old and such a darling little boy.
PFP: Any final advice for other women in the pet industry?
Goldberger: Never give up. If you have a business idea, try it. If you fail, get back up and try again. The more you fall, the greater you’ll rise. Stay focused, committed and true to your brand values, and believe in yourself.
Sarah Goldberger has an extensive background in public relations, marketing and communications within the entertainment and CPG industries. She founded Lord Jameson in 2017 with a focus on organic, premium dog treats that give back to animal welfare organizations across the United States. Goldberger sits on the board of directors at the World Pet Association and has volunteered regularly with The Good Dog Foundation since 2013. She earned her bachelor’s degree in communications and marketing from UC San Diego.
Continue reading about other female leaders featured in our Women in the Pet Industry series.