Tail Blazers - Founder and CEO, Brent Hauberg

Date: APR 9th, 2014

Topic: Interview with a CEO

Brent has over 26 years experience in the natural health and nutrition industry for both people and pets. Brent has vast retail and business experience having started many retail stores himself, including several Tail Blazers locations from design stage to profitability. His past experience with the fast paced growth of the vitamin industry has proven invaluable with the rapid growth the natural pet industry sector has seen. Through Tail Blazers, Brent has helped pave the way to improving pet industry products and standards, and thus has improved the health of pets in Canada. Brent is responsible for training and overseeing all aspects of the Tail Blazers’ business.

BeTheBoss: Tell us about the Tail Blazers concept.

Brent Hauberg: Tail Blazers was formed to address the many health issues faced by pets that we believed were diet related. We felt the need for a store that focused on species appropriate food because we knew if the animals were eating properly, they would be healthy. So we designed a store that only sells foods and treats that will promote health in our companion animals. At first there were not a lot of products available for us to carry, but we engaged in conversations with many companies about what we wanted them to produce. Now the movement towards healthier foods is the fastest growing segment of the pet industry.

BTB: How and when did you become involved with Tail Blazers?

BH: Tamara Low and I formed Tail Blazers in 2000. We were both in the human health industry for many years prior to creating Tail Blazers.

Understanding health and the body has always come easy for me. I think that is one of the biggest advantages that a Tail Blazers franchisee gets that you cannot find anywhere else - is our knowledge and access to all the information we have in our manuals.

BTB: What was your background prior to joining Tail Blazers?

BH: I have been in the natural health industry for 26 years, with the first 13 being dedicated to the human industry as a business owner. During that time I had the pleasure of designing nutritional supplement programs for professional and Olympic athletes. There is nothing as rewarding as being able to serve and help other people. Having Olympic athletes you worked with win medals is a special feeling and having customers come back thanking you for helping them feel better is very fulfilling. The same goes for pets. Being able to help pets get back to a healthy state of being is a truly rewarding experience that many people do not get in their lifetime. People who have animals are very appreciative.

BTB: What are some of the advantages in being a Tail Blazers franchisee and tell us a little about the pet food industry?

BH: The pet industry is a billion dollar industry and the move towards healthier diets is the biggest area of growth. The difference we offer is that we are leaders in knowing what dogs and cats need. The industry has had many pioneers that found ways to improve pet diets, and we are proud to be a part of the movement. There is a big difference between true health foods and the pretenders. You can count on Tail Blazers to have only the real health foods and no pretenders!

BTB: Who is your ideal franchisee?

BH: Our ideal franchisee is someone who loves pets and wants them to be healthy. After all, they give us so much. That is why we say "Pets add years to our lives, now it’s time we add some to theirs." We can teach you everything else if you have the desire to learn.

BTB: What are some of the greatest lessons you’ve learned in growing this franchise?

BH: One of the greatest lessons I feel we have learned is that being copied is a form of flattery. In 2000 we were speaking a different language than most pet owners and people in the pet industry. Having people not believing in us or what we were presenting was a test of faith and will. But so many changes in the industry moving in the direction of your vision is highly rewarding. Seeing the same trends in the pet industry now, as I did in the human industry many years ago gives me insight and courage to perceive. That has served us well and will continue to serve us in the years to come.

BTB: What advice do you have for someone looking to acquire a Franchise?

BH: My advice to anyone looking at a franchise is to find something you are interested in and can visualize yourself enjoying each day. You will always have ups and downs, but if you are interested in what you do it will get you through the down times.

BTB: In your opinion, why do you think that Tail Blazers would be a great opportunity for someone?

BH: If you love animals and want them to be healthy then Tail Blazers is a great choice for you. Learning is always easier when you have a love for something, and with all of our information you can become more of an expert than you ever dreamt possible.