FEVI YU – Dogma.me
1. Who is Fevi Yu and What is Dogma.me?
I’m Fevi, Founder and Chief Pet Sitter of Dogma. I was previously a Small Business Owner and we developed Search Engine Friendly Websites for the Caribbean Market. I’ve created a previous Startup that wasn’t successful and then another one which I was able to pivot and exit. I love technology, it’s given me direction and purpose — if that makes any sense without sounding dramatic.
Dogma is free neighborhood pet sitting. Essentially, “I’ll pet sit for you if you pet sit for me.”
The goal is to find someone within walking distance or a short drive from your house, someone who lives in your neighborhood that you can exchange pet sitting services with. You don’t pay each other, you pay it forward.
2. How did the idea for the startup come about?
My whole life I have had pets / volunteered for numerous pet rescues / shelters. I always brought home homeless cats and dogs. My Mom said ever since I started walking to school, I would always bring home a homeless cat. A friend from high-school recently told me that when I visited him, I brought him a cat that I had picked up going to his house! So my two passions in life are tech and pets. But I never thought of combining them because I was pretty happy with my professional life.
It wasn’t until I was in a long distance relationship. That relationship was expensive because I had to travel a lot but at the end of year when I looked through my books it wasn’t the cost of tickets or hotel rooms that was surprising, it was the cost of pet care! And in my mind I was thinking, if I was having pet sitting cost issues and I make a middle-class income, what are other people doing for pet care when they are earning less?
When my partner and I moved in together, we were looking for a pet sitter and we interviewed four prospective pet sitters. Four. We liked one of them but then she asked if she could bring her boyfriend while house sitting for us. It was like pulling teeth. Since we were new in the neighborhood, our neighbor came over and we asked him for pet sitting recommendations. Our neighbor lived less than a mile away and he had three dogs of his own. He said he would pet sit for our dogs if we pet sat for his dogs. It was win-win and you could genuinely tell this guy loved animals and would never hurt our furry-babies. It was a deal!
And because I was already making websites and saving so much money, I thought, hey… let’s build it!
3. What does it mean to be a female founder?
I kinda hit the jackpot with my family. My parents let me do anything, everything I wanted to do. Never said, “No, you are a girl, you can’t do that” — so I’ve been blessed with the ability to think that I can do anything.
Whether you are a girl or boy if you think you can do anything, you can.
4. How are you improving the lives of women?
Most of our super active members are women 🙂
I think women have the magical ability to create love and caring within communities and I believe Dogma is improving the lives of women by connecting like-minded individuals who want to pay-it-forward and build life-long friendships.
5. How do we get more women interested in tech?
I think representation is transformative. There is technology in almost every aspect of our daily lives now and if we see more women in more technology-related positions then it will come, organically. A lot of women are nurses and teachers and that’s because less than a decade ago, that’s where women were largely represented and now those industries are mostly women.
How do we fast track this? Support women founders by financially investing in their ideas, ie. Invest in Dogma! Ehem.
6. What’s next for Dogma.me?
I’ve been in tech for over 10 years now but this is the first year that I’m really delving into the pet industry and I have to say, even if the market is saturated with so many things (ie. food, pet care, health care, toys, pet insurance, etc) — the lack of quality in almost every aspect is startling. And if the quality is there, it’s unaffordable. We want to change that. Most pet owners want to give their pets quality food but don’t know how to read a dog food labels. Most pet owners want a good vet but they can’t really tell if their vet is good or not.
So Dogma is a community that provides quality pet services and pet health information. We are also going to do this in a way that enables our users to understand the importance of diets / exercise and such.
I’m also super excited about another product that we are launching that works perfectly with our business model but that’s top secret for now!
7. When can we expect to be able to use the service, and Where?
You can use it now, wherever you are in the US. It’s browser / web based and we are working on our native apps for launch early next year (2017).