December 18, 2015

Adventist Academy Freshman Becomes CEO

Columbia Union Visitor

As a young girl, Takoma Academy freshman Miya Jeon-Marshall was surrounded by business owners and entrepreneurs because her parents and grandparents have their own businesses.

Being an animal lover, she noticed there was a void in the market for homemade organic treats and unique clothing for dogs. Combining her love for dogs, especially the Marshall family’s two Yorkshire Terriers, along with her passion for fashion and baking, Jeon-Marshall launched a company called Love & Barks this year.

After hours of research, Jeon-Marshall developed a business plan and sought out investors to purchase the materials she needed to establish her company.

Love & Barks offers branded organic dog treats in various, fun-named flavors to clients in the Washington metropolitan area. Each dog treat provides different health benefits, Jeon-Marshall said. Some of her signature flavors include peanut butter & pupkin, pupkin pie, pupperoni pizza and apple crunch pupcakes. Love & Barks also creates handmade couture clothing for dogs and offers dog-walking services.

Love & Barks offers organic dog treats in fun-named flavors. (Ross Avery Gordon / Visitor)

Jeon-Marshall’s parents believe that attending Takoma Academy, a Seventh-day Adventist school in the U.S. state of Maryland, helped their daughter tap into her unlimited potential.

“I have seen Miya blossom into an independent, focused and driven young lady,” said Tony Marshall, her father. “I credit Takoma Academy for not only creating an environment where students can discover and embrace their talents and abilities, but also encouraging them to develop and use their God-given talents to glorify Him and benefit others.”

Inspired by the Christian way of life and the importance of community service that Takoma Academy has instilled in her, Jeon-Marshall donates 5 percent of Love & Barks’ sales to various charities.

Takoma Academy “is filled with love, everlasting friendships, and joyful teachers and has helped me expand my knowledge, allowed me to find my voice, and has been instrumental in discovering my passion,” Jeon-Marshall said. “I would like to thank Takoma Academy’s administration and teachers for helping me become the best version of me.”

While balancing her academics and athletics, Jeon-Marshall works to grow Love & Barks into an international brand. She plans to open an online store in the first quarter of 2016 and later a Love & Barks boutique in Georgetown, Maryland.