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Call it kismet.
In the summer of 2016, private equity investor Carol Bramson joined a friend to visit Telluride, Colorado, for the first time. They flew in and were greeted by a picturesque hamlet tucked into soaring mountains. And he said to her, “We can’t forget to get the dog food. My daughter will kill me if we do.”
“I was like … OK,” Bramson said. She probed him: “What’s with this dog food?” He told her this wasn’t just any dog food. It was handmade and personalized with the best ingredients by a woman who knows her stuff about pet health. He had personally watched this product transform his dogs.
Bramson, who has spent her career building businesses in the healthy living sector, sensed something special. She asked her friend to set up a meeting, and soon she was sitting down with Marney Prince, who had her pitch deck and what to Bramson were the makings of a total winner.
Bramson knew from industry insight that the demand for quality ingredients is on an upward trajectory – and moving beyond the realm of people food. People want to create long and healthy lives for their pets, too. The timing for quality dog food was right; the potential huge; Marney’s product spot-on. And beyond that, Bramson – whose own life admittedly revolves around her labradoodle, Wrigley — saw something she wholeheartedly believed in.
“I felt like, this is the right story at the right time,” Bramson said.
She then threw her support behind the company, got to work on product, packaging and brand improvements, and became partner and CEO six months later.
Bramson brings high-level business acumen and deep experience to Side by Side.
After putting herself through undergrad and grad school, the Chicago native launched into the business world, becoming a partner in a private equity group and eventually starting her own firm. As a longtime investment management expert, she has years of experience advising businesses large and small.
And Bramson believes in investing with purpose.
She has always been guided by a desire to support the companies that impact people’s lives positively. That, coupled with a strong personal interest in health – she works out every day and eats a clean diet – drew her early on to the healthy living sector.
And as a pet parent, she gets it. The year before she met Prince, she had gotten Wrigley, who opened her eyes to just how much a pet can enrich a person’s life and why people go to such great lengths to ensure their dog is healthy.
“The love and companionship he gives me goes beyond words,” she said. “My mom story and my business story came together at just the right time,”
As more pet owners realize that health and food are inextricably linked, she said, she’s excited to play a role in helping them change the diet of their charges.
“It feels amazing to be able to bring that message to the masses and to have the chance to make a huge positive impact on these lives, both that of the pet and their owner,” she said.
Carol Bramson is the C.E.O & co-founder of Side by Side. Carol is deeply passionate about helping people and their families live better lives, demonstrated in her philanthropic activities and active support for business strategies that improve nutrition, wellness and lifestyle factors. She has over 25 years of experience building companies, is a board member of the American Heart Association and the Women In Entrepreneurship Institute & has her BS from DePaul & MBA from UChicago. Whenever possible, Carol loves to spend time outdoors with her labradoodle Wrigley & 2 sons