Alumni Spotlight

Tina Vidal ’02, ’04: The Leader of the Pack

When Tina Vidal ’02, ’04 boarded a plane from Las Vegas to Miami on New Year’s Day in 2015, she knew her dream was about to take flight. Over the course of the five-hour plane ride, Tina incorporated her new business venture, Pooch Perks, a lifestyle pet subscription box of unique plush and durable dog toys, natural treats and goodies.

This was a dream eight years in the making. Tina was young and successful, working in a fast-paced business environment but knew something else was calling her. After countless conversations with mentors and reflecting on what she wanted to do with her life, Tina sought to combine her love for pets with her business background. After researching different careers in the pet industry, Tina was drawn to the subscription commerce market and developed a company that further strengthens that special bond between pets and their owners.

kGBomat6UXIPbSp4oyg7Vg4LU1hgpHHNcl7NgZQOXisThe monthly subscription service for dogs is now nationwide, with no long term required registrations and offers packages for every budget. Tina carefully researches and selects quality products that she would want to give her own pets and can even say that the all-natural treats are human tested before they make their way to her furry friends.

“There is a new generation of pet owners today. Pet owners view and treat their pets like their children. Being able to develop a business that allows pet owners to thank their loyal pets in a creative and healthy way has been a dream come true,” shares Tina.

But bringing her dream to life hasn’t been easy. “Starting my own business has been by far the hardest job I’ve ever had.  I am responsible for everything that goes right or wrong and there is stress that comes with those decisions.” From looking at revenue projections, marketing and customer relations, Tina is always thinking and creating ways to take Pooch Perks to the next level.

Those sleepless nights have paid off and Pooch Perks has caught the attention of the Today Show, Fox Business, The Huffington Post, Daily News and even actress and pet lover Eva Longoria.

Tina credits FIU for giving her the foundation of her business acumen but says other intangible benefits of an FIU degree have taken her business to another level. Through networking, the majority of her referrals and business contacts are FIU related. She has recruited current FIU students to serve as interns who work on several aspects of the company. “So much is connected some way back to FIU. The relationships that I develop, cultivate and maintain are core to my business,” shares Tina.

Tina’s advice for budding entrepreneurs is to follow what you love and not what you think will make you money. “Have the courage to do what you love and be prepared. Starting a business is not for the weak at heart. You will have to work harder than you’ve ever worked in your life. If you do that, there will be no limits to your success.”

This always-on-the-go entrepreneur also finds time to focus on the philanthropic side of her business. Her personal and business goal is to eliminate dog abuse through the creation of Ralph’s Place, a non-profit organization, named after Tina’s beloved Jack Russell Terrier who she adopted from a shelter. The organization serves as a sanctuary for abused and neglected dogs. A portion of every Pooch Perks subscription benefits Ralph’s Place.

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