SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF. — Wendy Wen, founder and chief executive officer of Antelope, started the omnichannel platform in 2021 to provide small but highly innovative pet brands with the resources they needed to flourish. Starting with Bocce’s Bakery, the platform has since acquired several such brands and is always seeking the next addition. Her secret? Having confidence in her vision.

“It’s so important to allow yourself to dream and believe in that dream,” she said. “Anchoring your confidence in that pie-in-the-sky vision, and exploring how it can be a massively successful, transformational business, will simultaneously embolden every aspect of your behavior.”

In the following Q&A, Wen shares why she founded Antelope and which industry trends are driving the omnichannel pet platform and its brands into the future.


PFP: Tell us about your business or your career in the pet industry.

Wen: I am the founder and chief executive officer of Antelope, an omnichannel platform focused on delivering high-quality, natural pet products via a buy-and-build strategy. Antelope’s family of brands includes Bocce’s Bakery, an all-natural pet treats brand; Super Snouts, a holistic supplements brand with a strong focus on gut, joint health, and CBD; Ark Naturals, a leading dental and wellness brand; Doggo, an honest and transparent pet insurance and training brand; and My Perfect Pet, a gently cooked dog and cat food brand.


PFP: How did you get your start in the pet industry, and how did that experience lead you to where you are now?

Wen: Back in 2016, I launched SENREVE, a digitally native, omnichannel luxury handbag brand, and adopted my first rescue dog, Poke. He instantly became my everything and helped me get through the ups and downs of entrepreneurship. I’m a fanatic pet parent who is always on the search for the highest quality pet products so Poke can live the best and healthiest life possible. Over time, I came to realize that the most groundbreaking, innovative formulations were being created by amazing, small brands that were pushing the boundaries of pet health and wellness, but many of them lacked the infrastructure and scale to get to the next level. I thought it would be great to band these brands together and help them leverage economies of scale to get to that next level, and that is how the idea for Antelope was born. Antelope’s mission is to elevate the standards of pet care by identifying and partnering with the best, highest-quality, natural pet CPG brands and leveraging the power of scale to reach more pet parents and their pets.


PFP: What has been your biggest challenge — personal or professional — related to your work in the pet industry?

Wen: My biggest challenge as a founder and CEO in this industry is balancing my work life and my family life. I recently returned to work from my second maternity leave, and I’m proud to have built a team that I can trust to run the business while I’m out. It has taken a lot of work to get to a place where I can balance all aspects of my life while maintaining my two most important roles — CEO and mom.


PFP: Tell me about a professional accomplishment in the pet industry that you are proud of.

Wen: I’m thrilled with all of Antelope’s recent acquisitions. In 2022, we acquired three companies — pet supplement brand Super Snouts, pet insurance company Doggo, and pet treat brand Ark Naturals. In 2023, we acquired My Perfect Pet, the original gently cooked dog and cat food brand. Bringing these brands into the Antelope family allows us to further our mission of elevating the standard of pet care.


PFP: What is top of mind for you and/or your business in the industry right now?

Wen: I am always looking to expand our business. Whether it is through new acquisitions, retail expansion, new product launches, or even partnerships, I’m constantly thinking of new ways to expand Antelope.


PFP: If you could pick three trends influencing the industry today, which are the most important and why?

Wen: Over the last few years, we’ve seen more and more pet owners look for holistic and proactive ways to increase the health span of their pets. Proactive measures, such as dental chews and dietary supplements, have become increasingly important to pet owners.

Because of pet parents’ desire to provide their pets with the healthiest and happiest lives possible, dental health and hygiene continues to be an important trend among the pet industry. Periodontal disease is the number one illness found in dogs and cats, and dental disease can lead to other major health issues for your pet. Health truly starts with dental care, and brands like Ark Naturals offer chews and supplements that support your pet’s dental health and hygiene.

Finally, the pet industry is experiencing growth in personalized, human-grade nutrition. Many pet parents are moving away from feeding their pets overly processed kibble with long ingredient lists and instead choosing to feed their pets fresh food that is made from whole, recognizable ingredients. Brands like My Perfect Pet are making quality, fresh pet food accessible to pet parents who want to provide their fur baby with nutritional meals that offer so many health benefits.


PFP: What is something about the pet industry that people outside of the industry may not realize?

Wen: What many people don’t realize is that the pet market is growing incredibly fast. Millennials and Gen-Zers are having children later in life and getting pets earlier and earlier. They are treating pets like family members. Whatever trend you see in food, beauty, or skincare on the human side, there will be an analog for our beloved pets.


PFP: What advice would you give to young people starting their careers in this industry?

Wen: It’s an incredible privilege to start and run your own business — relish that experience instead of only focusing on the final outcome. There will always be milestones to hit, and you’ll inevitably run into roadblocks. Sometimes, it can feel like a never-ending climb. It’s important to remember this is all part of the journey and not get rattled when tough times come. It’s important to maintain equanimity throughout the ups and downs of entrepreneurship — things are never as bad as they feel in the moment, and they are never as good as they feel. Always remember that and enjoy this journey.  


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. 

Wen: I am a huge animal lover, but have always considered myself a bigger dog person than a cat person.


PFP: Any final advice for other women in the pet industry?

Wen: The biggest advice I can give other women in the industry is to always work on your confidence. As women, we tend to focus on the tactical, the details that can go wrong, and not let ourselves imagine the big picture or what a best-case scenario could be. It’s so important to allow yourself to dream and believe in that dream. Over time, I shifted my mindset from focusing on what the business is today to projecting what it could be in the future if everything goes well and believing that to be possible.  Anchoring your confidence in that pie-in-the-sky vision, and exploring how it can be a massively successful, transformational business, will simultaneously embolden every aspect of your behavior.

Throughout her career, Wendy Wen has held several finance, investing, and operational roles. In 2015, she co-founded SENREVE, a luxury handbag brand, before dipping her toes into the pet industry. As founder and CEO of Antelope, she continues to flex her entrepreneurial muscles in an effort to support innovative brands that are transforming the pet care industry. Wen attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where she earned her bachelor’s degree in economics and management with a concentration in finance, and went on to earn a Master of Business Administration from Stanford University, where she served as an executive committee member of Stanford Women on Boards.

Continue reading about other female leaders featured in our Women in the Pet Industry series.