We had the good fortune of connecting with Lisa Baronoff and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Lisa, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Hi, I’m Lisa Baronoff, the proud owner of a beloved Golden Doodle named Stir Fry. My other dog, a Cocker Spaniel named Toffee, was the inspiration for Walkee Paws and sadly crossed over the rainbow bridge last year.

As a dog owner in Manhattan, I grew increasingly concerned over the germs, dirt, chemicals, rain, and snow my dogs were coming into contact with while navigating the concrete jungle. At best, all this yuck and muck was tracking dirt into my home. At worst, my dogs were burning their little paws on hot pavement, trekking through uncomfortably cold snow, and potentially ingesting dangerous street chemicals and snowmelt by licking their dirty feet.

Convinced that I could discover a way to preserve my home’s cleanliness and protect my pups from harm, I embarked on a mission to find the perfect solution. For what felt like months, I tried—and was unimpressed with—every option on the market. Wipes and washes were too wet and messy, leaving a trail of paw prints along the floor. Booties made my dogs uncomfortable and drove me crazy trying to get them on (and keep them on, too). I knew there had to be a better option.

Fortunately, my experience developing and marketing toys and pantyhose for brands like Mattel and Sara Lee Hosiery made the little lightbulb in my head go off. I raced to my closet, grabbed two pairs of old pantyhose and cut them into leggings. Next, I slipped them onto Toffee’s legs, tied them over his back and…..hot dog…..they stayed in place. The pantyhose acted like a sling, making the whole experience easy for me, comfortable for Toffee and a godsend for the both of us! That’s when Walkee Paws officially got its start!

Inspired by the versatility of pantyhose, my incredible team developed a four-way stretch fabric, along with a clever over-the-back tightening tool that prevents Walkee Paws from falling off, while also remaining comfortable for the dog. Next came the waterproof paws. We knew we wanted the material to be lightweight and thin enough so that dogs could still feel the ground and walk more naturally, but it also had to be durable enough to withstand water, pavement, snow and the general wear-and-tear that comes with outdoor walking.

Although there was lots of trial and error—rest assured, Toffee earned many a peanut butter bone in exchange for his work as our test model!—we finally “paw-fected” our Walkee Paws and went to market in November 2018. Since then, thousands of dogs have been able to enjoy dry-paw walks outside, while their humans can sleep sounder knowing their pets are safe and their homes are clean. And to this day, we’re still the only brand of dog leggings on the market.

In his final year, Toffee had a ruff time navigating slippery wooden floors, and it was painful to see him struggle to “get a grip.” This—coupled with requests from customers to use Walkee Paws indoors—was the inspiration for launching our NEW Indoor Walkee Paws with Grippy Socks. Featuring comfy, cozy grippy socks instead of waterproof rubber booties, these leggings are designed with a cooling fabric with vents for airflow, come in a unisex bone-and-paw-print pattern, and look just like PJs for pups! Plus, they include a detachable piece that allows you to disconnect the back leggings and leave just the front leggings on overnight, so your dog can rise and shine without slipping and sliding.

My hope is that you and your furry friends will love Walkee Paws just as much as I do, and that your dog’s Walkee waddles and wags bring a smile to your face!

Happy walking,

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am a proven marketing executive with more than 20 years of experience across a broad range of marketing disciplines. World-renowned companies such as Revlon, Mattel and Sarah Lee Hosiery have relied on my creativity, concept originality and design expertise in product development, packaging, advertising, public relations and promotional support. With a track record of identifying mass and niche market opportunities—and launching successful consumer products in response—I’m also known for excellent communication, interpersonal and presentation skills.

I grew up in South Africa as the daughter of a famous fashion designer and have a love for fashion and design in my blood. In 1996, I moved to New York City, where I live with my husband, two children and my beloved dog “Stir Fry”. I love my dog like crazy and consider him as part of my family.

Starting Walkee Paws was a total fluke and happened when I was an at-home mom with a problem concerning my dog and his and my issue for dog boots that were available on the market . it was a perfect storm allowing me to utilize all my innate creativity, my love for dogs and years of experience working for big companies doing marketing and new product development. I feel like everything was leading up to this and i am loving being in control of my own destiny and doing what I love every day — I am so lucky

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I love walking my dog in Riverside Park and getting an Iced coffee at Irwing Farms on the way. loving the new Al Fresco outdoor dining options in NYC — my favorites are Elios, Antonucci / Bella Blu and The Mark for dinner. For Breakfast 3 guys UES and Sant Ambrose and Bluestone Lane UWS.

In spring / Summer we hang out at our house in East Hampton and love taking my dog for morning walks on Atlantic beach – coffee at Jacks and brunch in Amagansett at Hampton Chutney – and get a huge kick out of driving with him sticking his head out the window

Il Buco is amazing for dinner in Amagansett

Pre Covid I would take visitors to the theatre and art museums in NYC

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My friend Lori Moss gave me the idea to start my own business and supported me in the initial years when there were lots of setbacks and challenges.

My friend Ken Landis who invests in startups – for his valuable advice and guidance

Website: https://walkeepaws.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/walkeepaws/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/walkeepaws/?viewAsMember=true

Twitter: https://twitter.com/walkeepaws?lang=en

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WalkeePaws/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/walkeepaws

Other: https://www.tiktok.com/@walkeepaws?lang=en

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