Search & Replace S03E12: Adrian Archie

Adrian Archie’s strong work ethic and competitive nature were instilled in him through his upbringing in a matriarchal family and his experience playing professional football. Archie followed his childhood dream of working with pets and started his own business–petNmind. He recognized the need for more information available to pet owners and aimed to create a people-centered brand that offers quality products, guidance, and support. Adrian became the first African American to franchise a pet concept successfully. Explore how the importance of perseverance and taking small, planned steps can help you achieve your goals on Search and Replace. 

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[00:00:00] Announcer: Support for the following podcast is provided by the user experience specialist at Johns and Taylor. More information follows this episode. 

[00:00:10] Joe Taylor Jr.: What if one of your favorite childhood daydreams offers you a backup plan when your career takes in unexpected detour? I’m Joe Taylor, Jr. This is Search and Replace.

Adrian Archie says he knows where his strong work ethic came from. 

[00:00:31] Adrian Archie: I grew up in North Carolina with a single mother and an older brother, but I saw my mom work hard and my grandmother work hard. Very matriarchal family that I grew up in, right? So I’ve watched them, especially my mother, really pushed the envelope and make sure we always had what we needed. By no means were we wealthy or rich but, even as a single mother, she did everything. 

So that really instilled in me, number one, I saw how she treated people. And number two, I saw how hard she worked. And even today, she still can’t sit down. So what that showed me in life is number one, I owe her and I owe my grandmother. I owe them something, giving me a platform. But also that I could grow to be who I am now. 

[00:01:10] Joe Taylor Jr.: And just who is Adrian? Well, for one, he’s someone who loves competition. 

[00:01:16] Adrian Archie: I played football all of my life and that is definitely a big part of who I am. I would say probably 80% of who I am is on the football field, gridiron. And I played from six to up until senior year in college.

So that really instilled in me competition, teamwork, getting up. That’s the biggest thing. I was a linebacker. In football it’s get up and that’s taught me in life to always get up. 

I wanted to play pro. I did it for two seasons in Canada and then Atlanta Falcons signed me in 2005. I got cut a couple times in between that process and I was over it that last time. I got cut, I stopped pursuing it. They cut me, but I also stopped pursuing it. After that, I was done. 

I left on my own terms. I was about 24, 25 years old and went into Corporate America sales and medical device sales. Specifically selling drills and saws for brain and spine surgery. So it fit very well because it’s, kind of, the NFL of sales.

[00:02:03] Joe Taylor Jr.: Now there’s another thread in Adrian’s story, a kind of counterpoint to those tales of gridiron glory and sales success. And it comes down to his long-term relationship with pets. 

[00:02:15] Adrian Archie: So if you would’ve met me when I was four years old – I mean, it was actually a home video, believe it with the VHS tape that I’m saying it – I wanted to be a veterinarian and own a pet store right beside it.

So when Corporate America, I loved what I did, the company I was with that been with about a decade. I had moved through that company. I had done a lot of cool things. So I decided, my wife gave me permission to go after opening a pet supply brand. And where that came from was that I had a cat named Rocco. He actually recently died last year, 18 years old. But when I got him back in the early two thousands, he had a lot of issues. And me being a nerd, I’m a jock for sure, but I’m a nerd. I did a lot of research to market for quality pet food really wasn’t there back then, but I figured out some things. We changed his diet and it made sense.

So fast forward, I knew that when I was going to be an entrepreneur it had to be in pets. So because of that, I just leaned on what I knew the market need was. 

I had the competitive perspective for football, and then the Corporate America piece, I was writing business plans and marketing plans and I launched several products and I ran teams. So then it set me up to go and start a business. 

Now, it was still a ton I needed to learn, for sure. But that set me up to at least have the wherewithal to be brave enough to jump and then have the resiliency and being flexible enough to really continue to make it happen. 

[00:03:30] Joe Taylor Jr.: As he started to tackle his own business, Adrian realized he could fuse his competitive foot football persona with his desire to help people learn so much more about their furry companions. 

[00:03:43] Adrian Archie: The average pet dog or cat, some small animals as well goes to the vet once a year. So if they are, and, and so that’s the average vet, which means a lot of them don’t go at all. So if they’re not going to the vet yet, that’s where they get the information. People are really flying blind because pets don’t speak human. 

So that’s when we started the brand as what I was really focused on is, focusing on the pet parent just as much as the quality of the product and the pets. Our slogan is a people place for patents. That’s a huge part of what we do at petNmind. We carry the best quality product, cause that’s what I was looking for and that’s what pet parents are looking for these days. But we don’t just have the product there. And that’s what really differentiate us from boxes that we are there to help. We’re there to get to know you. 

They can come in and get the answers and the products they need. But on the opposite end of that, not just pet parent, pet entrepreneur. Somebody that wants to career change or become aboard in a simple concept in a very healthy market that’s affordable. So that’s the goal, is to really help people. That’s my personality. That’s what I enjoy doing. 

[00:04:43] Joe Taylor Jr.: And while Adrian says he loves his work on its own merits, he’s also aware of the impact it can have on people beyond just the scope of his business. 

[00:04:53] Adrian Archie: I’m the a first African American to successfully franchise a pet concept. And I don’t say that in a way to brag and say, great, celebrate me. No. I’m doing this because I have a purpose. 

If I were to talk to you about my past in football and how emotional intelligence fits into entrepreneurship and pets and everything fits into that, it’s the fact that people often dream and then want to take big bites. Take small bites, plan it out. You never know what the lesson’s gonna be and how that can translate into what you’re gonna do next.

They’ll show up every day, even if it doesn’t feel good, and that’s the biggest message is it’s okay. This isn’t gonna be easy. This isn’t gonna be something that happens fast. You may have moments of uncertainty. It may be some failure in there. 

But the number one thing you should remember is it’s okay. And as long as you keep that attitude and you stay in the middle, stay neutral. Highs are great, but you can’t do highs every day. So a high that you can’t get every day will throw you into a low. Stay in the middle. Take small bikes and understand it’s gotta be hard, and that’s okay. The reason that you’re able to do step 10 is because you did steps 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9.

[00:05:59] Joe Taylor Jr.: That’s Adrian archie, founder of organic pet food and grooming franchise petNmind. We’ve got links to Adrian’s work in our show notes and on our website at Search and Replace show. 

Also in our show notes, Adrian mentioned emotional intelligence, and if you’re not familiar with that business buzz phrase, Nate Nead has a rundown at Entrepreneur Magazine. He’s also got a list of four specific ways that a high emotional intelligence can make you a better business leader. 

We’ve also got more information about another of Adrian’s passions, holistic healthcare for your pets. According to the American Kennel Club, nutrition, massage, and even sound can play a huge role in the long-term health of your pet.

All those notes and more are over on our website at

Search and Replace was produced by Nicole Hubbard. With support from Connie Evans, Amelia Lohmann, April Smith and Podcast Taxi executive producer Lori Taylor. Our theme music was composed by Alex Rufire. I’m Joe Taylor, Jr. 

[00:07:05] Announcer: This has been a Podcast Taxi radio production. 

Support for Search and Replace is provided by Johns and Taylor, user experience specialists serving media and technology companies that want their websites to work. 

Learn more about how top performing businesses eliminate barriers between customers and their goals at

Joe Taylor Jr. has produced stories about media, technology, entertainment, and personal finance for over 25 years. His work has been featured on NPR, CNBC, Financial Times Television, and ABC News. After launching one of public radio's first successful digital platforms, Joe helped dozens of client companies launch or migrate their online content libraries. Today, Joe serves as a user experience consultant for a variety of Fortune 500 and Inc. 5000 businesses. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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