Rebecca Rose transitioned from the world of women’s healthcare to focus on improving the health of woman’s best friend! She is a biochemist, product developer and founder of InClover. Under her leadership, InClover set the gold standard for animal studies, utilizing state-of-the-art technology, sound scientific methods and humane practices. As InClover’s product developer, she carefully formulates innovative supplements using evidence-based research and has been named as a Pet Age Woman of Influence and Women in the Pet Industry Woman of the Year. Rebecca grew up in rural Ohio and now lives in Boulder, Colorado where she shares her home with 2 cats, 2 dogs, 3 chickens and 2 horses.
InClover has won the Pet Sustainability Coalition’s Top Impact Award for Supplements the past two years. The company is committed to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. They have employed over 40 specially-abled individuals working over 10,000 hours through a private/public partnership between InClover and Imagine! They further support Imagine!’s mission by serving on their Governing Board of Directors and the Business Advisory Board. They are in the process of applying for B-Corp status.
Learn more about inClover:
inClover website: inclover.com
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Hi, I’m Rebecca Rose and welcome to the Animal Innovation Show. You’ve turned into the animal innovation show, where we feature people, products, services and ideas that are helping animals and the people who care for them live better lives. If it’s innovative, and if it helps animals, you can find it here first. So get ready. Here comes this week’s newest innovation for animals. Awesome. I love that introduction. That’s perfect. So, Rebecca, give us a little bit about you and tell us how you’re innovating. Toe help animals. My background is as a biochemist, and I came to helping animals through the human health care side. And I was working with the National Institutes of Health and the Center for Disease Control, figuring out how to make a better human, and decided to take that technology and repurpose it to the animal side of things. And it was something that I saw as hadn’t been done before and was really needed. And so I started looking at the physiology of the animal and how we could give back to what they would normally produce in a healthy, perfect environment, how we could give that back to them and supplement their normal system, using all of this advanced technology that I had learned through my work in human health care. That’s really fascinating. So you were you were doing all this for humans and you went, Yeah. They’re gonna go do this for animals now. Yeah, because lots of people were doing it for humans. But when I looking at the animal side of things, there were lots of animal products out there, but they weren’t actually going thio the cause of the problem and providing what that animal would make if it were healthy and and looking at it in that holistic way just made so much more sense to me than just masking a problem where maybe the animal would get better. But it could be that they would just not know that they were still in pain, you know, it was just masking that pain, and as such, they might go out and run and play and hurt themselves even worse, where we could look at what made that animal better and provide those, like, in the case of joint disorder, provide building blocks. So those things that they would make tea make a healthier joint instead of just masking the symptoms of joint pain. That’s how we look at everything as an opportunity to make the animal more healthy, not mask a problem. That’s really cool. I really love that approach to it because, like you said, you could just be masking. It’s like with aspirin or something, right? You make the pain go away. But the the actual underlying cause is still there, so right, What products did you? Because, I mean, you guys develop your own products, don’t you? Yeah. So I’m the the founder of our company. The company is called in Clover, and we’re based in Boulder, Colorado. And so I’m the founder of the company. But probably more importantly, we all wear a lot of different hats. But my most important hat, I feel like is as product developer. So I developed all of the products from the idea of looking at dental health or looking at joint health or digestive health and then breaking it down and saying, like, in the case of dental health, you could just provide something that’s crunchy. But in our world, that would be like you saying I’m just gonna eat potato chips before I go to bed instead of brushing my teeth? It would be silly. You wouldn’t sounds good to me, but you know Well, okay, Bad example way. Look at what’s the cause of poor dental health in animals? Well, it’s the bacterial goo that causes the plaque that turns into tartar in the mouth. So what can we do to get rid of the bacteria in the mouth and then stop that problem from occurring versus just giving them something crunchy to eat? So we look at every problem as an opportunity of how we can go to the root of it and really provide a better solution. That is really cool. So tell May I want I want to continue on that path that you were just talking about, right for the plaque. I mean, I’ve got a dog, right? And like a lot of dogs, I mean, we’re not committed to brushing his teeth. Muchas the vet tells us we should. So no, that’s a problem. I’m not ah, biochemist like, where do you begin? How do you then go about this? Less than 1% of people brush their dog and cats teeth, so of course, that’s what we all want to dio, but no, that that’s not something that often fits into our daily routine. So what we’ve done as a company is made it easy for you and for the 99% 100% of people what good dental health for their pets. But maybe they can’t brush their pets teeth every day. So we have put together We have two different formats for dental health, for dogs and for cats. So the first is a soft to format, and it’s a nice way to just give them a soft, too. It’s tacky. It sticks to their teeth. It has fresh and breath fresheners, and it also has those anti bacterials in it. So that’s a nice way. Every day I give my dog and cat a different soft shoe for dental health. Second thing I do every day is we have a powder product that’s called so the soft to is called grin for dogs and smile for cats. And then we have a powder product that we Sprinkle over their food, and what that does is it’s really easy to deliver, but it provides the antibacterials so it provides very natural ingredients that stopped the bacteria in the mouth. Then we know that that gooey plaque that forms on the gum line that get rid of that you don’t want it to carton into tartar. So we have a help that we found that’s harvested in the Atlantic Ocean. That makes that plaque more porous, so it’s easier to wash away. And then we provide enzymes that make like a mouthwash, enzymatic mouthwash, and they just break down those little food particles that are in the mouth. And so there’s no food for the bacteria to feed on. And then the last thing we dio is we We know that our dog and cats, the enamel in the mouth, is thinner than for humans. So we want to remember allies and we want to build that enamel. So I started going to goat farms to figure out how to decide, and I found a goat dairy in Washington state that it’s actually a large goat dairy, and they have been This family has been farming it for 85 years. They’ve never had a decide on their pastures. They don’t use anything that’s not natural. They have a greenhouse on their property where they’re sprouting barley and the milk that comes out of those goats has the best minerals and to re minimalize the teeth. And so we take that milk and we put it through a very gentle process, and we gently dry it. And then we take the way from that. And that goes into our bio brilliant dental powder as well. And so all of that combination. Very thoughtful, very purposeful. We’ve done all of that research. So all you have to dio is just Sprinkle a couple shakes onto their food is not stressful. You don’t have to brush their teeth through that. It’s very enjoyable for you and for the animal. Have you seen amazing animal foster videos on Facebook and Instagram and wondered how you could create videos for your foster cats to highlight their true personalities and get them adopted? Do you want to be an adoption ambassador for your foster animals but lack the tools to easily capture and post compelling video of their true personality? Is your shelter rescue groups Signed up is an organization on Dilbert through their revolutionary foster space module. Joubert is the only platform that has adoption. Ambassador pages so that you, as the Foster, can upload videos and photos of your foster animal to their own unique Instagram style page. Be an adoption ambassador for your foster animal and help them to get adopted faster. Sign up for free at www dot do bert dot com and fill out your foster profile and let your shelter rescue know today about Joubert foster space so that you can get started. That is really cool. So I gotta ask, How many years does it take to develop something because I’m thinking, I mean, there’s a science behind this, but then the sourcing and sustainability of these different ingredients, you know, and with kelp and goat’s milk, and it’s like you didn’t just say Okay, we’ll take whatever I mean, You you really put a lot of thought into this. Is this multiple years to develop one product? This is the cool thing about having done this from home time. Is that in the beginning, Yes, in the beginning, So our first product was connected, our joint supplement, and that took us Thio, researching all the veterinary schools and the research centers in the world and figuring out where we could actually test the product to make sure that it worked because the science was sound. But we just weren’t sure nothing like this had ever been developed before. And so that took us to New Zealand to the leader of veterinary research to do our research. They’re using cutting edge force plate technology, so that took us years to Dio. But fast forward 20 years. So I’ve been doing this for a time, and it’s what I love to dio. And so when I look at a problem like dental health, I can just see all of the pieces in front of me. And I can see that how the physiology works, how many days it takes to go from plaque, which is soft and gooey on the teeth, toe hardened to tartar. So I know all the pieces that we need to do so that we slow the process in a very holistic way. So we want to stop the bacteria. But we also wanna make the plaque more porous, and we want to make an enzymatic mouthwash. You know, I can see all the piece puzzle pieces coming together, And so the thing that takes time is then I know that I need to use this specific help that has been clinically tested to break down plaque. But where can I find that Onley in cold North Atlantic waters? What just so happens that over the years I have a good friend. That’s what she does. Her hard work has been harvesting this kelp This ask a file on the does, um, out of Maine, off the coast of Maine. And I’m thinking I would like more than anything to work with Susan on this project so that I can just easily tap into my network and know the people who are doing these things themselves and have a passion for animal health and can just put this network together. And that’s what I really enjoy doing. And and so the new thing, what was the goat Dairy? And now I’m just like, Wow, I need to figure out another way toe work with this goat farmer in Washington because he is amazing and so, you know, just keep building off of that network. So now what product did you start with? We started with a two main products we started with when we started our company in clover. So the first product was joint health, and I did it in a pragmatic way. I looked at Where’s the major pain point for our dogs and our cats and the major pain point, about one in four dogs and cats currently is suffering with some kind of joint issue, and that the arthritis to hip dysplasia to Patel relaxation all of those joint issues can be helped in a similar way. So I looked at that problem and then spent years researching how we could solve that problem at the same time. In my previous life, I had done ah lot of research on pre biotics. So probiotics are the food for the good bacteria, and I was doing research not only in animals. We were looking at puppies and kittens and senior animals. We were looking at food chain animals as a alternative to antibiotics, and we were looking at human babies and infant formula. And so all of those things. The common link is prebiotic and probiotic is a food for the native good bacteria. And I knew from the beginning that that was something that people know about probiotics. Probiotics are the living bacteria but they don’t understand how prebiotic the food for the good bacteria that are native in the system are more elegant. Solution. So we did years of research with infant formula companies. If you’re a label reader, you’ll see that every infant formula has prebiotic in it because it’s a really good way to build the immune system. And so I knew I wanted to develop a product for animals that was at that level, that scientific, the best of level. And so that was the second product we came out with was a digestive supplement for Doc, and cats are often just product. It was going to ask your most of your products for dogs and cats. Review straight into other types of animals, too. Way were contacted several years ago by a zoo, and they asked us to work with them on some other types of animals. And since then we are now in zoos all across the United States, and we provide, and it’s mostly our connecting and our op digest, so joint and digestive health that the zoo’s air focused on, and so we provide our our digestive. It’s our joint health Thio elephants and lemmerz and some animals, they they’ll come to a drafts. We have drafts or a big customer for us, but they’ll come to us with a an animal that I’ve never heard of before. And so in the office were Googling you know, this tiny little guys. They’re taking our digestive product, so it’s really cool that we’re able to work across different species. And as you can imagine, with Jews, they like working with companies that have a scientific focus. Because there animals need to be long lived. They need to make sure that the science is there and that it’s not going to in any way be a problem for their animals. Yeah, how many products do you have in development at any given time? So we have on we’ve been around for a long time, and we have 40 s K U stock keeping units, so 40 different products and and some of those air different sizes. Or we have soft shoes or powders, you know, so easier formats to deliver. So for 40 different SK use and in any given year, I will develop and introduce between one and three products, so we’re not the sort of company that’s gonna have 400 products where, you know, some ingredient is shiny and they throw that and it’s a new product. You nothing with CBD. Yeah, So those are the sorts of things that it would take us a lot of research before we would feel comfortable with something like that. And so we’re a company that is very thoughtful in how we introduce new products. What would you do if your cat stop breathing? Would you be able to check their pulse or perform rescue, breathing and CPR and time to save their life? Getting certified in cat first aid and CPR is essential to being prepared in case of an emergency. That’s why the Animal Rescue Professionals Association teamed up with Denise Fleck, the pet safety crusader, to bring you the courses and certifications you need to be prepared. Their cat First Aid and CPR course will teach you what you need to know about how to find your cats, pulse and respiration rates and how to conduct rescue breathing and see PCR if required. You also learn how to deal with other emergencies like snakebites, bee stings and tick removal, so you could render the age your pet requires. Learn more at www dot animal rescue professionals dot org’s and get certified Today. When you were growing up, were you always fascinated by science? And were you the mad scientist? You know, putting things together and seeing what you could make? I was always good at science. It kind of took me into science. But as a kid, I grew up in a very rural area of Ohio where at our local grocery store you saw just as much buggy parking as you saw car parking and still dio. It’s right in the middle of Amish country. And so I grew up in a really unusual area. You know, I lived on a farm. So now in Boulder, Colorado, I have two horses. I have three chickens, two cats to dogs, and, um, when I grow up, I want to be a farmer. That’s my dream. That’s really cool. So now I don’t even think I asked where did the name in Clover come from? E had been involved in biotechnology, so I got my I’m a biochemist, and that seemed to be the, you know, the sexy career to go into. So I went into biochemistry, biotechnology. And as we’re working on these super secret projects, we would code name them with something that had a meaning, but maybe a meaning that not very many people would know about. So when I started in clover, I was working on it like a project, and I code named it Project in Clover. In Clover is an old English idiom that means to be at the top of your health. You’re in clover. And so I thought that was kind of clever and on a little bit of a code. And so when I decided to start the company I put together on an 8.5 by 11 sheet of paper, I put together a single space, all the different names that I thought would be good for a company. And I sent it over to our attorney and he came back to me and said, I can’t protect any of these names that are below the header. But the header said in Clover. On it, he said, That’s a perfect name for a company. So came the name of our company, which I think that was a gift. I love the name in clover because it really does speak to the foundation of our company. Yeah, I really love how it’s your point. I didn’t know what the meaning Waas so I wasn’t familiar with the history of that. So it really does sound like it embodies what you believe in. Yeah, yeah, you know, it’s just It’s an easier name, I think, than putting pet and natural together. Take a company name eso. In hindsight, I think it worked out really well. So what’s your vision, Rebecca? What’s your vision for? In clover? Where do you see it going? We are in the process right now of continuing to build on our foundation. We have been a scientifically based development company for 20 years, and we’re really starting now to get the word out, which I really appreciate talking to you and to share our vision of animal health and how we can innovate what animal health looks like. And we can have that kind of solution for our animals. We don’t have to take less than that. So we’re really starting to get the word out right now. We have a passion for building off of our foundation and doing business for good. And so one of the things that we’re doing right now is we’re in the process of the B Corp certification. So be Corp is corporations who do business for good. We have for two years now we’ve won the top impact award for supplements, which is part of the Pet Sustainability Coalition. They give that award every year. So you take a test. It’s all very quantifiable, which speaks to my soul. And so you take a test and you show how you’re giving back to the community and you’re setting up your business to be sustainable and toe live past when I could do this business. And so we’re getting all of that foundation in place right now, and that has been a really fun project for us. That’s really cool. And I’m really excited to hear you doing that. It sounds like this is obviously you’re fulfilling your dream. So if people want to learn more about your products about you, how did they? How did they go about doing that? How did they get in contact? Well, I I hope they go to our website, which is in clover dot com, and check us out on social media, which is in clover Pet. That’s how they can find us on Instagram or on Facebook. We’re on LinkedIn. We’re on Twitter. So you know you can find us in a variety of different places. And I hope that people do look at and learn a little bit more about our company and our products and where to buy our products were in ah lot of independent pet stores. So if you have a favorite independent pet store, they’ll probably have our product. You can also purchase on amazon dot com or at our website and just getting the word out. You know, we we’ve done a lot of our growth through grassroots, threw people using our products and seeing results and then going Wow, I waited until my pet actually had these, you know, couldn’t walk the steps before I started using your connecting product. And now with my new pat, I’m starting them when they’re young so that we can have, you know, healthier, longer, happier lives. That is really cool. And this is this stuff is really fascinating. I really enjoyed talking to you today, Rebecca. Is or is there anything else you wanted to mention before we wrap things up, I’ve really enjoyed talking with you and thanks for giving me the opportunity and thank you for doing all the good work that you dio that it’s it’s really inspiring. Well, I really appreciate you saying that and for everybody else out there as a reminder. If there’s somebody you think I should talk to, make sure to go toe innovations dot show and let us know. So if it’s a product of person and idea, any type of innovation love to have him on the show. So let us know about it and thank you again. Rebecca. I really enjoyed it. And so glad that you came on today. Thank you. It’s very nice to talk with you. Thanks for joining us for the animal Innovations show. If you want to volunteer to help animals, check out Joubert dot com where you can join tens of thousands of duper tears supporting rescues and shelters around the world to help animals. And if you know, if something or someone innovative that’s helping animals, let us know by going to www dot innovations dot show