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Alberta dog treat entrepreneur scouted by Grammys hopes to promote inclusivity

Click to play video: 'Alberta dog treat entrepreneur scouted by Grammys hopes to promote inclusivity' Alberta dog treat entrepreneur scouted by Grammys hopes to promote inclusivity
No bones about it – a young woman’s business selling dog treats is destined for stardom. The young entrepreneur has been approached by the Grammys and as Morgan Black explains, she’s hoping the international stage will help spread a wider message – Mar 2, 2021

It’s a big break for a budding entrepreneur — her homemade dog treats are going to the Grammys. Emily Ainsworth runs Wags Cookies, a Stony Plain-based business that makes tasty treats for dogs.

The business started as a homage to Emily’s service dog, who passed away.

“I had the dog for 14 years,” she said. “Now I can [give treats] to puppies. I love them because they show love to me.”
A dog enjoying Wags Cookies in an undated photo. Courtesy: Alison Ainsworth

Ainsworth has autism and an extremely rare genetic disorder that impacts nearly every part of her life. She said a chance to highlight her small business will make an impact.

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“[When I was approached by the organization] I was so proud,” she said.

The 19-year-old hopes the international stage will help spread a wider message.

“I’m having a positive relationship [with the Grammys] and building new opportunities,” she explained “I’m welcoming new challenges and I’m facing them.”

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Ainsworth’s mom Alison said seeing her daughter’s fledgling business pick up steam is a special moment.

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“She’s had brain surgery, stomach surgery. She had a feeding tube for eight years,” Alison said.

“We always say we should’ve named her ‘Joy’ considering all of the challenges she’s had since birth. She chooses to make a difference every moment.”

Alison said it’s meaningful for Emily to have employment opportunities when they are not always readily available to her.

“Employment is already scarce during COVID-19 for able-bodied and neurotypical people,” Alison said.

“When you go into the realm of neurodiversity or disabilities it’s even more challenging.

“This opportunity to create a business and a legacy for inclusion is really powerful.”

Read more: Fredericton ‘mompreneur’ hopes to take her business national with win at upcoming pitch competition

Ainsworth and a small team will be making more than 100 bags of cookies for the Grammys, on top of orders for the greater Edmonton area.

“For someone like Emily, who has developmental and medical challenges, to reach for their personal stars is incredible,” Alison said.

“The Grammys celebrating adversity, diversity and inclusion this year is the perfect fit and messaging particularly in this time.”

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