Meet Kentee Pasek and Dexter the dog, a duo who took the internet by storm in 2020.
Kentee was an event planner in Ouray, Colorado who focused on non-profit, government, and volunteer organizations. Dexter is her six-year-old Brittany dog known for walking upright on his hind legs! Like many others during the pandemic, Kentee was furloughed and eventually laid off from her job. Soon after, a tourist posted a video of Kentee on a walk with Dexter in Ouray. It went viral!
After Dexter’s sudden popularity for walking on two legs, Kentee took the opportunity to share Dexter’s story online, dedicating her time, energy, and skills to building Dexter Dog Ouray. Dexter’s social media popularity quickly grew past Kentee’s skillset, prompting her to seek assistance. By chance, Kentee received a Telluride Foundation email with details on an upcoming entrepreneurship workshop. She immediately enrolled in the Demystifying Entrepreneurship Workshop Series, where she received guidance from distinguished CU faculty to identify and develop the next steps for Dexter Dog Ouray.
About Dexter Dog
In 2016, Dexter escaped from Kentee’s yard and got into a near-fatal vehicle accident. After surviving the hour-long drive to the vet, the veterinary crew leaped into action to save Dexter’s life, but his healing journey was far from over. In order to save his life, Dexter’s right front leg was amputated. To make life easier, Kentee got Dexter a specialized wheelchair so he could walk with his remaining three legs, but Dexter had his own ideas. Almost immediately after surgery, Dexter began walking upright to climb the porch stairs! Soon, Kentee and Dexter were walking the street of Ouray again and developed a local reputation for their unusal walks.
By June 2020, an Ouray tourist took notice and posted a video on social media of Kentee walking down the street with Dexter. The video immediately went viral.
“Dexter became an icon of how we can adapt and change in a world that is changing around us. Dexter shows us all that we can be different, think differently, and thrive regardless of our circumstances.”
Dexter’s pet influencer account now has millions of viewers from around the world. The duo has also partnered with brands including Bark Box, and has been featured on TV and News outlets!
Kentee had difficulties creating a business from social media platforms. She elaborates,
"This job did not exist five years ago. There are very few who are successful, yet it appears that many young students say they want to be Social Media Influencers. That being said, the younger generations understand what I am doing more than anyone in my age group. My own vision of what my job is, and what it can become, changes monthly with new opportunities popping up making this lifestyle a consistent flow of change."
Kentee found it hard to grasp metrics for her success in an industry with little-to-no playbooks, policy guidelines, or standards.
Despite these challenges, Kentee and Dexter have continued to move forward. The need to quickly adapt, pivot, and navigate an ever-changing industry excites them.
Demystifying Entrepreneurship Series
In 2020, Kentee received an email from the Telluride Foundation about an upcoming Demystifying Entrepreneurship Workshop Series hosted by CU’s Deming Center for Entrepreneurship. She thought workshop would be an excellent opportunity to help take Dexter’s project to the next level. Kentee details her experience,
"[The workshop] helped me focus on what was important and relevant to where I was headed and helped me understand where I needed to spend my time, energy, and resources and what parts of my ideas could just be let go. It was a life-changing event for me. I could finally verbalize where I was headed and what I was actually doing. My experience with Social Media and managing accounts, posting, and creating a business around the success of my posts were so vastly different than anyone else in the program but everyone from the professors to the students all embraced my ideas and helped me to navigate forward."
Kentee left the workshop with newfound excitement about Dexter’s social media presence.
Are you considering starting a company or currently running a small business? Check out the upcoming schedule and register!
StartUp to ScaleUp | July 22 & 23 | Sterling, CO
Shore Up Finale | September 30 & October 1 | Telluride, CO
StartUp to ScaleUp | October 14 & 15 | Hayden, CO
Time is ticking, be sure to save your seat for an upcoming Demystifying Entrepreneurship Workshop now!
Kentee provides the following advice for students and aspiring entrepreneurs,
"Be brave enough to navigate a new platform, a new system, a new business. Learn quickly what you can and be consistent. Ideas are great but need to be put to the test by consistent effort."
"Show up every day, take your filter off, be real and be yourself. Get yourself out of your comfort zone, show up and grow. Make sure what you say you are going to do is the product of what you actually do."
"You have to have tough skin [to be a Social Media Manager] because there are a lot of mean comments out there which can flip a great day to a miserable one at a drop of a hat. You have to be able to stand up and be strong in a cyber world, learn to meet the deadlines of companies, produce products, and understand how to manage your time."