2022 Honorees

Chaz Olajide


“Our mission is to help make the pet industry more inclusive by supporting women and BIPOC-led brands.”

Rising Star2022

Tell us about where you work and what you do there.

I am the Founder of Sir Dogwood, an online pet shop for swank pups and their sartorially-minded pet parents based in Chicago, IL. Sir Dogwood features a highly curated selection of quality dog wear, toys and accessories from the freshest and most innovative designers around the world.

Our mission is to help make the pet industry more inclusive by supporting women and BIPOC-led brands, amplifying their voices and increasing their visibility in our store, on our blog, and through our social media platforms. Each month, we donate a portion of our sales to pet welfare organizations we believe in.

How would you describe yourself?

I would describe myself as an eComm entrepreneur, dog mom, travel addict, art nerd, and Rupaul’s Drag Race geek who currently alternates between living in Amsterdam and Chicago.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

In 10 years, I’d like to see Sir Dogwood inhabit a brick-and-mortar store that goes beyond the typical retail concept, but acts as a hybrid showroom/studio/educational space that would serve as an IRL, inclusive community for pet parents and their pups.

What do you think has been your biggest professional success so far?

My biggest professional success so far has been growing Sir Dogwood from a spare closet in my house into a business with two PT employees, an external storage space, and six figures in sales.

Pattern art Pattern art

What do you think is the next big trend in eCommerce?

Mobile and social commerce are the two trends that will continue to grow in 2022 and beyond.

Name an eCommerce brand you admire and why.

I admire McMullen, a Black and female-owned, online and brick and mortar clothing store based in Oakland, CA. It’s evident that she has put an incredible amount of thought into her store’s aesthetic and branding. She also makes a point to give the Black-owned brands she partners with prominence on her homepage.

What do you geek out over?

I’m definitely an art geek. I studied art history and worked for a couple of art museums in Chicago before I launched Sir Dogwood. I have a very small (but growing!) collection of photography and paintings I’ve accumulated over the years.