2024 February Mag
In a departure from the ordinary, Marquita Richardson’s venture from Corporate America to the realm of pet treats is a story of purpose, and a non-traditional job path. Marquita, an extroverted perfectionist with an innate desire for deeper meaning, always sought comfort “off the beaten path.”
Leaving Corporate America and starting a pet treat business is probably not high on most people’s list, but an extrovert, perfectionist who always looks for the deeper meaning and purpose of every choice she makes, Marquita Richardson is unlike most people.
From the earliest memory she has, Marquita has always found comfort “off the beaten path.” So, with the encouragement of a professor, forgoing the traditional job route and jumping right into entrepreneurship after obtaining her Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations from Wayne State University (Detroit, MI) seemed more in-tuned to her purpose. Before her degree was in hand and armed with one client she obtained at the completion of an internship, Marquita launched Rich Creative Branding (RCB) a PR and social media firm whose tagline was, Don’t Leave Your Brand to Chance. After about a year, she decided to turn RCB into a part time gig and get corporate employment full time. Though a short-lived experience, Marquita gained some very valuable lessons on business and communications.
Marquita joined the PR team of a hospital system and quickly rose to become the communications assistant to the President. When the hospital was considering a buy-out and becoming a for profit entity, she was in the room providing perspective and crafting messaging.
“I was doing change management, before I even knew it was change management” a statement Marquita often says when discussing her career journey.
Very early on during her time in corporate spaces, Marquita realized the things that she was naturally good at were highly sought after skills. With this realization, she bet on herself and followed yet another non-traditional job path. With the goal to get as much experience as possible in the shortest amount of time as possible, Marquita became a contractor – something normally done at the latter part of someone’s career. And after a few years and a handful of projects, she set her site on consulting with the big leagues, the “Big 4” to be exact. With no referral, no assistance, Marquita cold-submitted an application to the best of the Big 4 and got in. The rest is history, as they say…
Working with large and larger companies across the country and managing projects of $10+ Million, growing teams and providing thought leadership in the growing landscape of Change Management principles and DEI, Marquita has more than made her mark after eight years and tenures at two of the four largest audit firms in the world.
Making a Bigger Impact
However, as time has gone on, and as the world continues to change Marquita found herself asking, more times than not, if there was more that she could be doing to make a bigger impact, while also living in her truth and purpose. So, when the stress of a project presented itself as hives, she knew it was time to pay closer attention to the voice in her head and tap into her creativity to figure out her next chapter. Instead of money, becoming a partner or status being key drivers, Marquita focused on the things that brought her happiness in the simplest forms – her dog and baking.
From this place, Sweet Paws Creamery was born. Sweet Paws Creamery is a pet treat brand on a mission to make products that are good for dogs and the communities they bark in. Committed to sourcing locally, empowering and supporting local initiatives, and serving pet owners and businesses that embrace our canine companions, Marquita is making doggy ice cream with a purpose.
It also doesn’t hurt that the pet treat business just so happens to be a 35-billion-dollar industry. Marquita is now proudly creating the company she has always wanted to work for, tapping into her creativity and doing things that she loves with who she loves.
Marquita is a living testament that remaining true to yourself, and anchoring back to your calling or purpose will always lead you to where you are supposed to be.
See what Marquita is up to: