What makes a purchase “worth it”? The answer is different for everybody, so we’re asking some of the coolest, most shopping-savvy people we know—from small-business owners to designers, artists, and actors—to tell us the story behind one of their most prized possessions.
Katie Spies loves her dogs, George and Winnie. How much? Enough to spend three years sourcing and making raw dog food from scratch for her adopted Italian greyhound named George, who was diagnosed with food-triggered seizures soon after she rescued him. The MIT graduate searched long and hard before starting to make her own vet-approved food for George in hopes of curing his seizures. Thankfully she was successful.
“His seizures cleared up,” Katie says. “I watched his health improve, and then I was stuck making it every weekend. And after about three years of doing that, I was making it for a lot of other people too, and then I realized that this is not just a me problem. It’s a much bigger industry problem in which affordable, healthy, easy food for dogs just doesn’t exist, and so I decided to go make it.”
Now as founder and CEO of Maev, the first human-grade raw dog food company, Katie is celebrating a number of personal and professional firsts. Maev has grown from being an independently run business operating in the kitchen of a small space in New York City to a 12-person company with commercial kitchens and a team of veterinary partners that recently served over eight million meals across the country. Since then, Katie has relocated to Texas, where she has laid down personal and professional roots, with the purchase of her first home and establishing the new headquarters of her business in Austin. “I really love it here,” she says. “Austin is changing rapidly, but it has everything I could want. It’s so relaxed, and I get to be outside all the time.” And after living without any outdoor space for close to a decade between San Francisco and New York City, the entrepreneur was certain that “anywhere I was going to go was going to have outdoor space and I was just craving that cause I hadn’t had it in 10 years.”
One of the biggest perks of moving for Katie was the opportunity to spend more time outside in the sun—something her new house lends itself to. Given the home’s modern design, Katie notes that the entire house has a view of the deck and a heritage oak tree from every vantage point of the first floor, so she wanted a set of deck chairs that could double as decor. An act of manifestation, the day she saw the house she ordered a pair of Sam Son chairs by Konstantin Grcic for Magis that she had been eyeing for the first half of 2022.