Pupil promotes unique pet care by way of enterprise

Letitia Denham

Pupil promotes unique pet care by way of enterprise
Cameryn Schafer, senior in animal ecology, is the co-owner of Spock’s Sanctuary, an animal rescue operation for unique species. She and her pet lizard, Tsuchi, a blue-tongued skink, posed with Iowa State College President Wendy Wintersteen on the CyStarters Demo Day Reception the place she promoted her enterprise mannequin final summer season.

By Amber Friedrichsen

When Cameryn Schafer adopted her pet chameleon, Spock, two years in the past, she left the pet retailer feeling misinformed. She began researching reptilian dwelling necessities and rapidly realized she was caring for her color-changing companion all unsuitable.

Schafer, senior in animal ecology, is captivated with unique pets, which is why she established Spock’s Sanctuary. She and Cole Reiman (‘21 agricultural and life sciences schooling) opened this animal rescue operation at their house in Fontanelle, Iowa, to rehabilitate and rehome reptiles and amphibians that beforehand acquired insufficient consideration. Additionally they attempt to show pet homeowners about animal well being and welfare.

“We actually prioritize schooling and ensure individuals know what they’re stepping into once they undertake an animal,” Schafer mentioned.

A technique she and Reiman talk their mission is thru public schooling. They provide displays about a few of their rescued topics at neighborhood occasions to advertise Spock’s Sanctuary and inform the viewers about correct pet administration, primarily for geckos, lizards and snakes.

Schafer additionally presents pet homeowners dietary recommendation to make sure animals are consuming appropriately. Actually, she has developed a line of pet meals known as Nutri-Cubes, that are pre-portioned servings of blended components. Schafer initially began making these cubes for her personal lizard earlier than increasing her attain to the remainder of the unique pet business.

“Nutri-Cubes just isn’t like something that presently exists available on the market,” Schafer mentioned. “The components present all of the nutritional vitamins and minerals animals want from pure sources, and I’m engaged on refining my recipes so they’re particular to totally different species.”

Earlier than declaring a significant in animal ecology, Schafer studied dietetics and kinesiology. She mentioned studying about human physiology and evaluating it animal physiology has been instrumental to her invention of Nutri-Cubes.

Along with rescuing reptiles and consulting prospects, Spock’s Sanctuary gives boarding companies. These short- and long-term care choices are particularly in style amongst faculty college students who take a semester off to work at an internship, full a co-op or examine overseas.

Schafer attributes a big a part of her startup’s success to her involvement in Begin One thing Faculty of Agriculture and Life Sciences. This initiative throughout the Faculty of Agriculture and Life Sciences helps college students with startups strengthen their enterprise fashions and scale their operations to worthwhile ranges.

As part of Begin One thing CALS, Schafer attends weekly conferences for the Pupil Incubator Program. There, she interacts with different scholar enterprise homeowners to ask questions on her personal endeavors and study from theirs. Schafer mentioned the group’s discussions typically result in breakthroughs and new concepts, and she or he appreciates the sense of neighborhood.

“To be in an area with different individuals who perceive what it’s like and are going by way of what you’re going by way of is very nice,” she mentioned. “We’re capable of provide you with options to one another’s issues due to our totally different views and experiences.”

Kevin Kimle, director of Begin One thing CALS, mentioned the Pupil Incubator Program was designed to mentor younger entrepreneurs with startup concepts or established small companies. He typically arranges visitor audio system to hitch the group and provides recommendation to profit their companies, however typically college students like Schafer are those with essentially the most priceless perception.

“Cameryn actually understands that a big a part of the entrepreneurial course of is supporting others,” Kimle mentioned. “She’s engaged on the frontline of this trending situation of rescuing reptiles, however she is at all times inquisitive about what others are engaged on, too.”

Schafer additionally attends pitch competitions, networking occasions, and numerous workshops by way of the Change-Maker Academy. This program inside Begin One thing CALS awards scholarships to college students to take part in least 10 of those on-campus alternatives throughout the faculty yr.

“Networking occasions are actually useful to study from individuals who have already made progress of their companies. Pitching has additionally helped me work out how you can articulate my very own firm and what I do,” Schafer mentioned. “The scholarship is only a cherry on high.”

She and Reiman had been additionally part of the 2022 CyStarters Cohort. This accelerator by way of Iowa State College’s Pappajohn Heart for Entrepreneurship is designed to assist college students advance their startups and enhance their model identities. Through the 11-week program, they targeted on bettering their advertising and marketing methods. Right now, Spock’s Sanctuary presently has a web site, Fb web page, TikTok account (@Spocks.Santuary) and YouTube channel the place customers can search details about caring for lizards, geckos, snakes and extra.

Trying forward, Schafer needs to proceed to develop Spock’s Sanctuary and enhance its capability to accommodate rescued animals. She can be wanting ahead to launching Nutri-Cubes, which might be available on the market as quickly as subsequent month.

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