Grant Winner Kellie Stevens, Founder of Gonzo Dog, Puts Grant Funding to Good Use

By Chris Olsen

When New Yorkers were ordered to shelter in place due to COVID-19, Gonzo Dog founder Kellie Stevens wondered how she’d adapt her Brooklyn-based dog training business. Prior to the pandemic, she primarily provided services to clients in their homes. But during the shelter-in-place orders, not only did Kellie take the opportunity to launch new remote training services via Skype and FaceTime, she was able to deliver them beyond her previous service area and serve clients nationwide.

Kellie received a Fueled by Purpose micro grant in May and planned to use the funding to purchase better equipment for teletraining, including a body camera to film live training sessions for playback and education. This month, she realized that vision.

“The My Founder Story micro grant has allowed me to purchase a number of things to enhance my dog training experience,” Kellie said. “I’ve been wanting a GoPro for years and I finally have one now! I got a GoPro HERO7 Black, SD card and attachment clip so I can film dog training sessions hands-free and play them back to see things I might have missed in the moment.”

Kellie is looking forward to learning the editing tools as well to provide higher-quality footage to share with prospective clients and via her website and social media, where she posts training tips for followers.

She also purchased reusable food pouches, which she uses for “squeezy treats” like peanut butter and cream cheese for rewarding her four-legged clients on the go. Plus, she bought small and large Westpaw Zogoflex Toppl puzzle toys, which she demonstrates to her human clients so they can use them with their dogs at home.

“I am so grateful for the grant and opportunity to provide better service to my clients and their dogs! Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!”

To learn more about Kellie’s business, visit

To learn more about and apply for a Fueled by Purpose micro grant, visit our grants page.

Photo: Gonzo Dog

About the author: Chris Olsen is a radio veteran turned communications consultant, educator and author of “Whyography: Building a Brand Fueled by Purpose”. Through her work as a consultant partnering with startups, Chris realized her WHY—to support womxn-owned businesses in confidently communicating their purpose and impact, setting them up for entrepreneurial success. She created My Founder Story as a platform for doing so.

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