An Interview with Lucy Postins, a self-confessed Dog Obsessed CEO
Lucy is the founder and CEO of The Honest Kitchen.
She’s guardian to (and mildly obsessed with) Willow and Taro, her two Rhodesian Ridgebacks and Parker, her Border Terrier puppy. She also shares her life with two daughters, a former racehorse, three slightly naughty ponies, six chickens and a husband.
Lucy spearheads all operations, corporate & product development, strategy and marketing for The Honest Kitchen. With extensive experience as a companion animal nutritionist, Lucy’s an innovative entrepreneur who’s passionate about advanced nutrition and holistic pet health including complementary modalities such as herbalism and homeopathy. Her interest in natural nutrition and the raw food diet led Lucy to investigate ways to make her own pet’s food more convenient to prepare, which eventually resulted in her founding The Honest Kitchen.
On top of all that, she recently penned her first book ‘Dog Obsessed’ (available for purchase here) and we sat down with her to get the lowdown on the book (and how she found the time to write it!).
Q: How did you come up with the title ‘Dog Obsessed’ and what does it mean exactly?
Lucy: We came up with the title Dog Obsessed to really try to capture the essence of who we all are as a company, and who our customers are at The Honest Kitchen. It struck me that many of the things we all think are totally normal – like making cakes to celebrate our dogs’ birthdays, leaving parties early (or not going to them at all) because we’d rather be home with our pups, and obsessing over their personality quirks – are actually slightly odd to outsiders and I thought it would be so fun to celebrate those things, whilst also creating a guide that would really help people provide the healthiest, happiest life possible for the pups they love. Dog Obsession is the all-out devotion that many of us feel for our dogs, and then ultimately putting their needs, wants and happiness above all else.
Q: Where did you draw ideas and inspiration from?
Lucy: Honestly, a huge amount of the inspiration came from the team here and also from our customers. We used social media to ask specific questions, and invited people to share their own stories of dog obsession. We then wove many of those into the book, either as anecdotes or general themes. I also really wanted to make this a functional resource for readers. A lot of the content is based on the advice we’ve been giving customers for many years about how to think holistically about their dogs’ wellbeing, as well as sharing my thoughts on topics like puppy mills versus responsible breeding.
Q: When did you find the time to write?
Lucy: I’ve been incredibly fortunate to be able to devote as much time as I did to writing. I couldn’t have done it without the support of the whole team here at The Honest Kitchen, giving me a pass to skip a few meetings, and picking up some of my daily responsibilities so I didn’t get completely burned out! I wrote a lot during the work day here at the office, and did a lot of editing in the evenings after the kids were in bed. I was also able to write during ‘down time’ at a couple of holistic vet conferences (one, where I got many hours with my laptop sitting by a log fire at an Indian reservation in New Mexico, was particularly productive!) And of course, working with Sarah Durand, my co-writer was absolutely fundamental to the success of the project and to meeting all our deadlines! Sarah did an incredible job in capturing the brand voice and my British tone for the book. She was a joy to work with and made everything much less daunting.
Q: How long did it take you to write Dog Obsessed?
Lucy: We created the proposal and went out to publishers in June of last year, with my agent, Foundry Literary Media, who did a great job pitching it to a number of publishing houses, and then we had meetings in New York with a handful of them. We signed a deal with Rodale (our publisher) later that summer and I then began writing in earnest last September. The final manuscript was submitted to Rodale in July of this year. So it was a very fast process!
Q: What is the most surprising thing you learned while writing Dog Obsessed?
Lucy: It was really fascinating to learn about the editing process. The team at Rodale were incredibly thorough and I think one thing that really surprised me what the scrutiny that went into every aspect of the book, including the recipe testing! They would notice things like the fact that an instruction was missing to place the paper liners into the muffin pan, or suggest that a recipe could use an extra couple of minutes in the oven to achieve the desired level of crispiness! It was also pretty amazing to see how quickly the book actually came to life after the manuscript was submitted. Rodale did a beautiful job with the design.
Q: What was the hardest thing about writing the book?
Lucy: I think the hardest thing was actually staying under the maximum word limit! There was so much more I’d like to have included but there just wasn’t the space. I guess that just opens up the opportunity for a sequel!
Q: What is your writing Kryptonite (coffee, music, etc.)?
Lucy: Malbec. And plenty of it.
Q: Did you ever get writer’s block?
Lucy: Not really! Sarah Durand (my co-writer) and I spent a lot of time bouncing ideas back and forth, and the collaborative process really kept it easy to let the words pour onto the paper and then polish them up for tone as we went along.
Q: The cover of the book is so fun! What was the process of coming up with the cover?
Lucy: Natalya Zahn, who’s also the illustrator for all our packaging imagery, did an amazing job creating all the artwork for the book, and particularly the front cover. I wanted something that felt warm and slightly humorous to reflect the voice of the book, and that would someone to pick it up and flick through. We all wanted it to feel slightly quirky and capture the fact that this wasn’t your average, dictatorial pet care book.
Q: Do you think you’ll ever write another book?
Lucy: I’d love to! It’s been a super fun and rewarding project to work on and I’d love to build up on this work down the road. Maybe one day, Cat Obsessed will be a reality!