Intake: August 2007
Current Roles: CEO and Founder of Yomp
Michael Holtz ( shopyomp.com ), has successfully helped several small business and nonprofits grow in both Europe and the US, and now has his own brand that he created and launched successfully from the ground up. Among the lessons learned along the way, Michael advises, “be prepared to deviate from the original plan, be pragmatic, be quick & nimble in your decision-making (as often you have to turn on a dime), and adapt to your environment and surroundings”.
Describe your business and your role within it.
I am CEO and Founder of Yomp – https://shopyomp.com/, a unique and Innovative Dog Toy Brand. Yomp delivers a safer and cleaner play experience. Unlike plastic pet toys with harmful chemicals that can be harsh on teeth and gums, Yomp products get their unique GnawRight™ texture from clean, pure food-grade silicone. They’re non-porous, heat-safe, and dishwasher-safe for long-lasting good, clean fun.
How did you get into this line of business?
I saw an opportunity in the market to deliver something with a unique value proposition that was disruptive (no one but us is producing food-grade silicone dog toys, everyone else is plastic based). I was working in the Sporting Goods vertical for 12+ years, helping small-to-medium-size companies grow in various global markets, worked with healthy, silicon-based material in my prior endeavours, and saw an opportunity to bring this technology to the pet category to provide a safer product for both pets and their households.
How did you go about setting it up and getting established?
My experience and education from the Mountbatten Program in London provided me with the tools necessary to research, create, and execute a business plan. I then leveraged my network of global business professionals to raise founding seed capital to establish the brand from the opportunity I had identified in the market.
What else is in the pipeline?
Expanding the product assortment with various lifestyle products and testing new toy ideas, many of which our clients asked about, while still providing clean, safe fun!
What has been the proudest moment in your working life thus far?
Apart from successfully helping several small businesses and nonprofits grow both in Europe and the US, I now have a brand I created and launched successfully from the ground UP!
What has been your biggest mistake/learning experience?
Timing – The amount of supply chain setbacks due to COVID continued to delay our launch. It’s essential to always be cognizant that issues will come up all the time in the lifecycle of any business. Therefore, be prepared to deviate from the original plan, be pragmatic, be quick & nimble in your decision-making (as often you have to turn on a dime), and adapt to your environment and surroundings.
Any words of advice/wisdom would you impart to others thinking of setting up their own business?
Stay focused and be persistent. Don’t stop or quit … take breaks, but don’t STOP. Take every meeting – relevant or not, small and large – because you never know who you’re going to meet next who might want to assist. Often the person you meet first won’t be the one to help but the next … or the next … person they recommend does! Don’t look at an unsuccessful attempt as a failure rather see it as practice and continue to practice until you succeed.