bal harbour blog

Animal Instinct

Q&A
@thedogist makes an appearance in a Neiman Marcus campaign shoot.

by Alyssa Shelasky

Loni Edwards is slammed. Her schedule is jammed pack with clients, well, barking at her all day. As the founder of the first talent agency to focus on celebrity pets, The Dog Agency, she is the queen bee of the insta-famous animal kingdom. A graduate of Harvard Law School, Cornell University and Phillips Academy Andover, Edwards is a force and very much… the future. Just ask her own super-famous pup, Chloe The Mini Frenchie.

How do you explain what you do?
I help pet owners, whose animals already have a social presence, grow their brand, monetize their brand and make everything easier and better.

How does a pet “score” you as an agent?
They have to be in the game already. Usually the owners will contact us because things are happening and it can be overwhelming. Occasionally we’ll reach out if we see someone giving great content or going viral. For example, Louboutina is this “hugging dog” sensation; she’s a 5-year-old golden retriever. I knew I had to reach out to this dog, then someone from Louboutin actually connected us and we just signed.

Are these pet owners the equivalent of Stage Moms?
Ha! The majority of these social media pets fell into it. And then the pet owners don’t know how to handle the business end. They’re not lawyers or media experts. They’re like, “What do we do now?” I know law and contracts. I went to Harvard Law School. Plus, I went through it all with my dog, Chloe.

Who are some of your most-followed clients?
Some of our biggest clients are @TunaMeltsMyHeart, who has nearly two million followers and @TheDogist, who’s almost at three million followers. Also very high on the list are @gonetothesnowdogs @crusoe_dachshund and @harlowandsage

Who are some of your favorite clients?
I can’t pick favorites. They are all my little babies. But my boyfriend and I are obsessed with Pardon Thy French—she’s a cancer survivor who lost one of her legs. We just signed this super-cute hedgehog, Lionel, Lionel The Hog. The owner is an amazing content creator. Some of the owners do this as a full-time job or some keep working—which is why they have us.

Tell us about Chloe’s journey to fame.
I put her on social media the day I got her. She was 2 pounds, the tiniest, cutest thing I’ve ever seen. I was like, “She’s going to make people so happy.” It developed to something on its own. She totally blew up. People started recognizing her. I think her first big thing was something for PetSmart. At the time, it was only pet brands looking to work with pets, now it’s brands that used to want human-influencers. Pets are relatable to everyone. Brands are seeing a ton of value in working with them.

Let’s discuss how hard it was to find time for this interview…
My schedule is nuts. I travel nonstop for the agency and also for things for Chloe. Next week, I fly to LA for CatCon, and meet ‘n greets with our clients. Then I go to Colorado for a pet media trip with the Ritz-Carlton with some of our insta-famous dogs. I’m juggling brands that want to work with us, potential clients, campaigns, TV show concepts for clients, clients with book deals, etc. It’s never a dull day. My biggest dream for Chloe is a Delta campaign; we fly Delta all the time. Or any airline actually. That’s the top focus.

 

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