I’m lucky enough to meet a lot of people from all over the world who are doing cool stuff!
And sometimes you just get a bit blown away by someone, and that’s how I feel about eleven year old Thea Campbell. When I was eleven I was definitely not doing anything this cool.
As a rescue advocate and mum to a rescue dog, I wholeheartedly support her vision. As a human I can’t help but feel completely inspired by Thea, and I hope you are too.
So enough from me, let’s hear about his exceptional young woman and her mission!
Alythea’s Pooch Palace
My name is Thea Campbell and I am 11 and I got my puppy, Rozie, when I was 8 for my birthday present. I had been asking for a puppy for over two years! She is just a little bundle of joy; also very silly, if a thought occurs to her she gets very worried, but we can calm her down with some cheese!
I am home educated by my parents, which means that not only am I ahead in my academics, I can focus on my own projects like my charity project – raising money for the Shenton Park Dog Refuge.
About six months ago, I was going home from my brother’s final hockey game and I said to Dad: ‘I have a good idea! What about a Doggie Dinner Movie Night themed with Lady and the Tramp: there could be doggie mocktails and dog spaghetti and Italian food for the owners. I could do it as a fundraiser for the Shenton Park Dog Refuge!’ I said to Dad that I could do that in a few years but he said ‘why not now?’
So I have spent the last six months working with local people to get my event up and running. It has been challenging but also rewarding.
I have been able to learn to use facebook as well as type better formal emails.
When I was 10 I had this big plan for a self-funding dog shelter. It would have other dog related businesses, that profit share to help fund the shelter.
I would have businesses like barkeries, butchers, dog friendly café, dog and owner day spa, veterinarian, gift shop grooming, photograph studio, outreach services and much more!
Then about a month later I came up with my name – Alythea’s Pooch Palace for Homeless Dogs – and 10 year plan ahead of me.
What type of music or song have you got on high rotation?
The Guardians of the Galaxy Soundtrack.
How do you stay motivated?
Knowing that I am helping dogs.
What inspires you?
The homeless dogs are who inspires me. Knowing that I am helping one dog somewhere really helps me stay inspired and focussed when I am finding I’m stressed.
How do you you deal with imposter syndrome?
I don’t think I have this just yet, as I am just starting out in life. However, I do struggle with getting stuck in my head and worried about little, tiny details.
I find talking to my mum, going over the niggly things with her and seeing that the things I am worried about are quite fixable or easily solved helps.
What’s your favourite way to relax?
Chilling out in front of the TV with Rozie, watching dog films, or heading to the park and watching my puppies run!
Being sighthounds, they are VERY fast!
If you hadn’t started Alythea’s Pooch Palace, what do you think you’d be doing right now?
I think that if I hadn’t left mainstream school I would still be surrounded by school and homework and boring lunches (I don’t cope well with only eating one type of food) and would not have found my amazing idea.
Having the space to follow my dreams, even though I am really young, means I can follow them my whole life!
I am learning so many amazing skills too, that I wouldn’t learn in school. I have had meetings with our State and Federal parliamentarians, cooked with our WA Food Ambassador, Chef Don Hancey, and travelled all around the state with my parents and our bees!
How do you you Social Media in promoting your business?
OMG, social media!
Tactic: lots of posts, everyday and specifically asking businesses and people to share your post. And cross your fingers. Though I am lucky – people LOVE dogs!
Did you hit any huge problems that made you re-think the whole thing? How did you get around it?
Being taken seriously – since I am ‘a kid’ – but my mum and dad have helped me work out how to set meetings and write mature emails.
I have great experience with customers and people anyway from my parents Honey business (from their shop and market events).
I have also had some help from my Grandma too about planning and things like that.
What is the hardest thing about your work?
Doing all of my work while managing my schoolwork, as I am planned to finish by 15/16 I am already in year 7. It is heaps easier planning my event now it is the school holidays.
Being able to say no, and being clear with people about my vision.
How do you manage it all with your busy schedule?
I do some of my school work in the car and I always make sure that I do at least 3 things for my event each day.
So many emails!
What’s next for you?
I think I am going to be planning next years event. It will be K-9 themed – there’s an 80’s movie called K9!
I’ll try and get the police dogs down there as well as have something related to K-9 (another Guinness world record)
How do we follow more of your story?
How do we get tickets for you upcoming event?
What do you think – pretty cool huh? Is your mind totally blown?
Make sure you head along to Doggie Dinner Movie Night and take your pup to see Lady and The Tramp, participate in some raffles, and help her try to break the Guiness Book of World Records for the most dogs at a grooming session!
You might even see Lisa Baker MLA and Member for Cowan, Anne Aly.