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Rising Stars: Meet Gina Giblin

Today we’d like to introduce you to Gina Giblin.

Hi Gina, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
My journey began when I couldn’t find a commercial-based shampoo that my dog, Ellie, wasn’t allergic too. Bath time was frustrating and upsetting to see her suffer from lesions and irritation that would develop on her skin.

As a recreational soap maker, I knew most liquid shampoos contained many harmful and synthetic ingredients that were the culprit for her problems, and I knew there had to be a natural alternative. I began researching and experimenting with recipes and oils to create a product that would be safe for Ellie’s skin but also deep clean and soften her coat. After many bars and lots of testing, Happy Dog was created! It was named for Ellie because bath time turned into a joyful experience and left us both feeling happy… and I was also happy there was no plastic bottle needed, which meant less waste!

I started sharing the shampoo with friends and family who had dogs with different skin conditions who were also amazed with the soothing and gentle nature of the shampoo and its cleaning power! They were surprised at how easy it was to bathe with a bar rather than juggling a wet, slippery bottle and they came back again and again. Soon my weekends were spent soap making.

With all the positive feedback and encouragement, I launched Cordoba Farms to create a line of natural, plastic-free, dog-safe shampoo. Each recipe was formulated based on Ellie’s “pack” and their specific skin and coat needs. With the success of the shampoo bars and listening to my customers about the need for more natural, plastic-free dog grooming products, I expanded the product line and now offer balms, sprays, and sunscreen. I continue to make everything in small batches with carefully selected ingredients to ensure the highest quality. It is a labourous process, but I belive that dogs shouldn’t have to compromise on quality skin care.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Our biggest bump-in-the-road to date has been Covid and the impact it had on our sales. We were a fairly new business and had just starting getting into wholesale and launching locally when everything was shut down. It was a bit worrisome wondering if it was the pandemic or our product for lack of sales.

As things open back up, we’ve seen a steady increase in sales which is encouraging, but it’s still a challenge finding the right retailers and customers who are looking for our specific product line. I’ve spent a lot of time researching and collaborating with similar eco-friendly businesses and we are slowly finding our niche in the market place.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I’ve spent my career as a creative and print graphic designer managing a variety of projects in various industries. I specialize in the publishing industry but have also worked with numerous start-up businesses creating packaging and branding. Cordoba Farms has been an exciting venture for me as it combines my passion for design, crafting, business, along with my love of dogs and animals.

With my graphic clients, I love the challenge of making their ideas come to life visually, and having the opportunity to do that for my own product has been so much fun. I take pride in all the work I produce as a designer, and I have applied that passion to Cordoba Farms. I can’t explain the joy I have when people respond positively to our brand!

As a sustainable small business owner, and a one-woman show, I am so proud of where my little business is today. My goal is to continue focusing on making quality products that are better for dog’s but also the environment. If I can reach those pet owners with the same mission, then I’ve accomplished what I set out to do.

What sort of changes are you expecting over the next 5-10 years?
For me, it’s about creating what my retailers and customers are asking for. I believe we already see a shift in small business, waste-free shops around the country, and I hope this trend continues to spread over the next 5-10+ years. I think the demand for more natural, sustainable products is on the rise and I hope to continue to ride that wave along with all the other eco-friendly dog businesses’. For us it not just about a dog; it’s about choosing better high-quality products for your family and our environment.

Contact Info:

  • Email: cordobafarms@cox.net
  • Website: www.cordobafarms.com/
  • Instagram: cordobafarms
  • Facebook: cordobafarms

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