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Carly Strife

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Carly Strife is an American entrepreneur and the co-founder of BarkBox, an innovative monthly subscription service catering to the modern-day dog parent. Together with partners Henrik Werdelin and Matt Meeker, Strife established BarkBox in late 2011. A similar concept to Birchbox - but with a monthly subscription of dog treats instead of makeup supplies - BarkBox has grown to more than 100,000 customers in its short lifetime. Building off of their common love of canines, the trio launched BarkBox in the hopes that dog parents throughout the U.S. and Canada would jump at the opportunity to spoil their canine pals.

While Strife’s role in the startup world may seem quick to some, the path that led her to where she is today is strong. After graduating with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2008, Strife spent three years as a valuations analyst at Deloitte, a management consulting firm. In 2011, she began working for Uber in NYC as the operations manager, a role that allowed her to further develop her skills. During these years Strife also worked - unpaid - for friends’ startups on the weekends. After connecting with Meeker and Werdelin, Strife began focusing her attention on launching BarkBox. Initially shopping for products to fill customer boxes on Amazon, she soon began ordering products from small artisanal sellers, which BarkBox still does today.

Companies and Investments

Bark & Co. (Co-Founder), Uber (NYC Operations Manager), Deloitte (Valuation Senior Associate)

Lessons Learned

My advice on starting a business? Find something you are passionate about and work towards turning it into something you can make money from.

In today’s society, there are tons of wonderful opportunities to provide people with a product they can actually benefit from.

Be thoughtful and patient with yourself and your partners.

Embrace the unexpected and learn from your mistakes. Don’t let a little hiccup discourage you or get you down.

The hardest thing about starting your own company is finding the balance between managing your own goals, the goals of the company, training new members, and finding the time to do what you love.

If you find you are not particularly well-versed or skilled in an area, turn to others who are for assistance. Relying on your network is one of the smartest moves you will ever make.

My advice to young entrepreneurs is to go out into the real world and get the experience you want/need in order to make the leap into the corporate world. This may mean working for free, and that’s OK.

Inspiring Quotes

Carly Strife's Quotes

I have a lot of energy and I’m kind of like a bulldozer when it comes to doing things. I don’t have a ton of experience but I like to think that I learn from my mistakes quickly and am risky enough to take them.

Carly Strife

Play to your strengths: If your day job is accounting or finance, offer to help a startup manage their books and create projections.

Carly Strife

We are moving into an era of consumption in which people want to be knowledgeable about what they are buying and feel more connected to products.

Carly Strife

Influential Books