Local entrepreneur with Down syndrome inspires many with successful dog treat business

NOW: Local entrepreneur with Down syndrome inspires many with successful dog treat business

WATERTOWN, Wis. (CBS 58) -- March 21 is World Down Syndrome Day, a global day dedicated to creating awareness about Down syndrome and sharing the contributions of those with Down syndrome. CBS 58 is highlighting the story of a young Wisconsin entrepreneur with Down syndrome who runs her own successful business.

"It's not about disability, it's about ability and that's what World Down Syndrome Day is all about," said John Jagler of Watertown.

John is father to Grace Jagler. At just 25 years old, she is a successful business woman. She runs Gracie's Doggie Delights. They are natural freeze-dried treats for dogs she sells online across the country and at local pet stores, grocery stores, and veterinary offices.

"It's so cool to see somebody work for something so pure, she works very hard. She loves her job and she works hard every day," said Jagler.

The inspirations behind Grace's business are her beloved dogs Zoe, Liam, and Frodo.

After finishing school, Jagler said he and his wife had a hard time finding a job their daughter would truly enjoy. They started brainstorming and that’s when Gracie’s Doggie Delights came to mind. They partnered with their local butcher who makes the treats.

"It has turned into something that has been amazing and life-changing for the whole family," said Jagler.

Grace does it all, from the packaging to the labeling, and restocking of her treats. She also sells other dog-friendly products. It is a labor of love that she thrives on.

"What motivates her is looking on Facebook or looking in the email inbox when people send in photos of her dog customers," said Jagler.

The company just celebrated its sixth anniversary and has been a major hit all over the country and even internationally.

Grace is an inspiration to those around her and those who know her story.

On World Down Syndrome Day, which also happens to be her birthday, the Jaglers want to share this message to others:

"Having Down syndrome doesn't hold us back. It shouldn't hold you back too. There is hope. This is a great time for these young people and these people with disabilities to be alive right now. There's more services, more focus on education, more focus on health. Embrace it, thrive. Hire people with disabilities. Gracie has shown everybody that she's worth, and people like her are worth the chance to come and work and strive to thrive and be an important part of business."

For those interested in purchasing or learning more about Gracie's Doggie Delights, head to the website or Facebook page

Share this article: