Interview: David Matos, Do Good Dog
*So who are you and why dogs? How did you get started and why? And if you don’t mind, can we ask how old are you and how old your business is?
My name is David Matos, I’m 27 years old, and I was born and raised in NYC. I’m also a cancer survivor in pursuit to inspire others to never give up on their dreams and just to keep on smiling. Why dogs? Why not? When I’m around dogs I feel a sense of tranquility. Growing up in the city, we don’t get much time to rest, but when I surround myself with dogs, problems and stress disappear. I feel free! One day about four years ago while walking my two very good dog friends Poe & Maya I thought to myself…Hey I can actually raise money for Charity: Water and help bring safe clean drinking water to those in need all over the world by walking dogs. It’s always been a dream of mine to actually be able to give back the same I was given when I was younger which was a second chance at life. *Was it always going to have a “giving back" component? Yes, I mean what’s better than waking up everyday knowing you’re going to be saving lives by walking dogs and giving back a bit of what you earn to others in need. *Why Charity: Water? I was 17 years old when I was first introduced to Scott Harrison, the Founder of Charity: Water, through my big brother/mentor Warren Share. I then started to volunteer as much as I could, and I learned more and more about how crucial it was for others all over the world to have access to safe, clean drinking water. Scott’s story inspired and motivated me to pursue a positive change in my life by donating a percentage of DoGoodDog’s proceeds to Charity: Water. *What’s the biggest challenge starting your own business? My biggest challenge I would have to say was facing my fears. But when I started to speak about my idea to mostly every new person I would meet, they all loved the idea of what I was doing by giving back to those in need. *Tell us about your favorite dog, or a favorite story about a particular walk. My favorite dog’s name is Poe and he’s partially the reason why I started to pursue this business. I explained to him and his other dog friend Maya my idea of starting a dog walking business one day while walking them. Shortly after telling them my idea they both just gained a ton of energy and couldn’t stop kissing and jumping on me. I’m not sure if it was the treats I had in my bag at the time or if they just simply embraced the energy I gave out after explaining to them both my idea to change the world. *How does your system work? Do you have keys for all your clients? Do you have multiple walkers in the company? How much notice you need to schedule a walk? What's your pricing? I do have keys for most every client, or permission for the doorman to provide me with keys upon arrival. I have two other walkers available upon request as well. You can to contact us 12 hours before a walk. Depending on availability, we can accept last minute walks 2 hours before the desired time. Hours of Operation: Monday – Friday : 8am-6pm Price: 30mins- $15/ 45mins- $20/ 60mins- $25 Wee & After Hours M-F: Before 8am and after 6pm we’d add on $5 Saturday & Sunday: We encourage clients to schedule walks 24 hours in advance and would charge $10 more on top of the weekly base price. *In what ways has the community shaped or embraced your business? The community has been very accepting and supportive towards my business, especially towards the whole giving back component attached to it. I’ve been told that I’m the most energetic and happiest dog walker they’ve ever seen in the neighborhood. *How are you different than the bigger companies? What sets you apart from places like WAG? “Wag!” is like an UBER for dog walking which can be really convenient at times, however with DoGoodDog you actually get to build a personal relationship with either myself or two other walkers who work beside me. We try our best to stay as consistent as possible to make sure not to confuse your dog with a different smell (person) every time. I would consider DoGoodDog to be somewhat like a local mom and pop type of business: familiar, friendly, consistent, reliable, and trustworthy. *Favorite spots in NY? I would have to say Central Park, being that is was basically my backyard growing up. It’s my number one favorite; my second home since I was 10. I also love to travel upstate to go hiking and camping in the Catskill Mountains whenever I have free time. Livable NYC Special: First two walks free, however we encourage donating what you can and 100% will go directly to Charity: Water. *Favorite meal and where? Quinoa Taco Salad from byCHLOE. Vegan Restaurant located in the West Village. *Last thing you read? “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close” By Jonathan Safran Foer and I’m currently reading “Wild” By Cheryl Strayed *What actor would play you in the movie of your life? What is the movie called? Will Smith without a doubt would be my ideal actor in the movie and it would be called “Misunderstood & Underestimated” *Mac or PC? Mac all the way! *Marvel or DC? Marvel! I’ve always wanted to be Spiderman when I was younger. Secretly still kind of do though. *Cat or dog? (guess this one is obvious) Dog since I’m allergic to Cats and yes because I started a dog walking business however I would pay anything to see someone walking 6 cats on the streets on NYC. *Favorite band at the moment? Twenty One Pilots *If you could have a meal with anyone living or dead, who would it be? Martin Luther King Jr. *Christmas or Thanksgiving? Thanksgiving, it brings the entire family together along with friends and strangers who don’t have any family or friends. *Cake or Pie? Well it depends…is it vegan? *Hamilton or Burr? Hamilton all the way however I love the advice Aaron Burr provided Hamilton in the first act: “Talk less. Smile more. Don’t let them know what you’re against or what you’re for.” Advice every entrepreneur should take into consideration.