Pet superfood an insta success for young entrepreneur

Dan with 15yr old student Jackson, who has launched a new pet superfood on the Sunshine Coast

He might not be old enough to drive, but for one 15-year-old aspiring entrepreneur, age is no barrier when it comes to being driven to succeed.  

In less than six months, Jackson Stibbard’s all natural, organic superfood for dogs and cats, Kelp Paws, has grown from a school project to a social media sensation reaching global audiences. 

After identifying a niche market – the 70% of people who own a dog, Jackson, a dog lover himself, has done all the hard yards in sourcing, testing, producing, refining, branding and marketing his product, a kelp-based supplement for dogs and cats with proven health benefits.

And it’s proving a lucrative market for those prepared to work hard, with the results of a 2022 survey revealing that Aussies spent over $33 billion on their pets in the past 12 months*.

Ninderry MP Dan Purdie said Jackson had a very bright future ahead of him, and was a great role model for young people.

“There’s no doubt most young kids are addicted to social media, but Jackson has recognised the immense marketing power of the platform, and is using it in a practical and useful way to take his product to the global market,” Mr Purdie said.

“Better still, he’s nailing it. There’s no doubt we’ve got the making of a young entrepreneur on our hands.” 

When the Nambour Christian College student isn’t at school or studying, he spends his time filling orders, working with his supplier, managing his social media platforms, spruiking his products at local markets and pet shops, and testing out new product lines (and his mother’s patience) in the family kitchen.

He said his mum recently had to set up an office space for him in the lounge room, after his business outgrew his bedroom.

“My sales are increasing every week, but I’ve still got a lot of work to do to continue to grow my business,” Jackson said.

“My goal is to one day strike a deal on Shark Tank, and get my products on the shelves of national retailers.”

In the meantime, Jackson is grateful for the support of his parents, especially his mum, who drops him off in the early hours of the morning to set up his market stall, and allows him to test his products on the family pooch, Coco.

“Thankfully, mum is still happy to ferry me around, but because the business is doing so well, she’s making me contribute to her fuel, and Coco has never been healthier,” Jackson said, with a huge grin on his face.

“Watch this space. I think we’ve got another Sunshine Coast small business success story on our hands.” Dan said.

*PetFood Industry Survey

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