With school out of session, Ashlynn Mojica has had plenty of time to focus on her new eco-friendly pet product company.
The 14-year-old Englewood resident, along with mom Noelle, and little sisters Cameron and Maylee, on March 24 launched a Kickstarter campaign seeking to raise $10,500 to manufacture a dog leash made from recycled plastic bottles.
As of mid-Thursday afternoon, the campaign had raised $3,774, with 40 days to go.
“At this unique time with COVID-19, there’s not a lot we can do, so I think it’s a good time to get outdoors,” Ashlynn said. “With this leash, it makes it a lot more fun and easy to walk your dog. It’s also eco-friendly, and we’re not treating the Earth really great right now, so by having these small changes, we can hopefully make a big difference.”
The girls and their mother are operating under the company name Walk, which they launched last year after the death of Snoozer, the family dog. The company’s mission statement? To raise funds for a new puppy.
That the Mojica girls turned to Kickstarter shouldn’t be a huge surprise. Their father Mike has done four campaigns through the site for his survival gear startup Outdoor Element, most recently raising $78,060 in November for a multitool carabiner inspired by search-and-rescue professionals.
“My dad’s always talking about living the American dream … so that definitely inspired us, and me personally,” Ashlynn said. “I really want to make a difference in this country, and he’s a great mentor and gives us that confidence to be successful in business.”
Walk’s primary product is the 6-foot Re-Walk leash, which comes in three colors and is made out of polyethylene terephthalate (P.E.T), a woven material using recycled plastic. Each one uses nine to 10 recycled water bottles. It features a waste bag holder, a padded handle, and even adjustments to attach it around your waist so you can walk your pet hands-free.
A small loop in the leash allows you to connect the company’s second product, the shorter Adda-Walk leash, which accommodates a second dog.
“This is the perfect leash for any dog walker, and especially people who like to take their dogs on runs with them, ” Ashlynn said.
The girls plan eventually to retail the Re-Walk leash through their website for $27, with the Adda-Walk addition for $10. Those who back the Kickstarter campaign now can get them for less. They also hope to sell through Amazon and in local pet stores.
The girls already have sewn three prototypes together by hand and are in talks with overseas manufacturers. They figure they can produce more than 500 leashes if the campaign reaches its $10,500 goal.
As is standard on Kickstarter, if the campaign goal isn’t reached by the May 5 deadline, all pledges are cancelled and the project will not be funded.
But the Mojica family is hopeful. So far, they are close to completing one mission. Once the campaign ends, the girls will adopt a dog they’ve been fostering named Wednesday, and future Walk profits will go towards his care.