A major life and career change is a risk most people never take, but former corporate planner Leanne Lauricella left behind a fast-paced city career, to follow her dream of running a goat sanctuary in New Jersey. Exhausted of life in the fast lane, Leanne grew easily tired of the high-stress environment and unshakeable feeling of meaningless work, and gave it all up to build a small rescue farm, despite having no real farming experience.
“I was feeling so unfulfilled with my career and knew I needed to make a change so I took a leap of faith and quit my job to explore other ideas," says Lauricella. “I started volunteering at a farm animal sanctuary and was instantly hooked. It wasn't long before I took in my first two rescue baby goats with special needs."
Motivated by a strong love for helping animals in need, the sanctuary soon evolved naturally and quickly, as Lauricella now has 40 goats, two pigs, chickens, a mini horse, and a mini donkey to care for. But what's equally impressive is the sanctuary's strong social media presence, as the Goats Of Anarchy Instagram account has become an overnight viral sensation. Lauricella states the account (which even has won a Webby award) acquired over 30K followers in just one day if its creation.
“I was feeling so unfulfilled with my career and knew I needed to make a change so I took a leap of faith and quit my job to explore other ideas" - Lauricella
“On my very first day of unemployment, as I began my search for the next phase of my life, Instagram featured one of my photos on their homepage, and I acquired over 30K followers in one day," says Lauricella. “Since then, the goats have captured the hearts of hundreds of thousands of people across the world. Our Instagram followers are emotionally invested in the day to day lives of the goats, and many are faithful financial supporters."
Although Goats of Anarchy is currently registered as a 501c3 non profit organization, Lauricella states that relying on public donations to fund the rescue has been quite scary. To help sustain the business, she's launched Go Fund Me initiatives as well as a coming book to stay afloat. She hopes through these ventures, she can successfully continue to grow her second sanctuary location which can hold up to 50 special needs goats.
“I'm so excited about our first book Goats of Anarchy: Goats Just Wanna Have Fun coming out in March of this year from Quarto Publishing," says Lauricella. “This book tells a brief story about each of our goats and how they came to the sanctuary. The rest of the book is filled with adorable and hilarious photos of their day to day mischief and goat antics. We are also launching a children's book series called The Animal Tales. Polly and Her Duck Costume, The Goat with Many Coats, and Piney the Goat Nanny which will all be out in the next year."
But despite the sanctuary's growing popularity, Lauricella is really aiming to change how the world sees goats, especially since she sees them as loveable and entertaining animals.
“I had no idea how many special needs baby goats there actually are," says Lauricella. “Unfortunately, many of these babies are euthanized because of the cost and time associated with their conditions. However, goats are just as loving as dogs. When raised in a loving home, they are affectionate, loyal and very entertaining."
The Quick 10
1. What app do you most use?
2. Briefly describe your morning routine.
Right now I have different five alarm clocks. Five baby goats are currently living in my house, and as soon as the sun comes up, they are all crying for their bottle. I feed each one, change their diapers, and put on their temporary prosthetics. Once they are all settled and happy, I head outside to the barn to feed the other goats, pigs, chickens, and our miniature horse and donkey. After feeding all of those guys, I put Angel in her wheelchair cart and put the prosthetics on four of our adult goats. Then I give out lots of hugs and kisses before I go back inside to start the bottle and diaper routine all over again.
3. Name a business mogul you admire.
Sara Blakely, the inventor of Spanx.
4. What product do you wish you had invented?
Disposable diapers. I would have saved myself a ton of money!
5. What is your spirit animal?
Obviously a goat.
6. What is your life motto?
“If you spend too much time thinking about doing something, you'll never do it. Just listen to your heart and go for it!"
7. Name your favorite work day snack.
Hummus! I can eat it all day, every day!
8. Every entrepreneur must be...to be successful.
“You aren't successful if you aren't happy"
9. What's the most inspiring place you've traveled to?
I have done a bit of traveling, but I have no desire to travel anywhere else. The most inspiring place I've been to is my own back yard, as there is nothing more inspiring than watching special needs baby goats thrive in spite of their disabilities.
10. Desert Island. Three things, go.
Goats, hummus and cruelty free lip gloss!
Photo Credit: afewgoodclicks.com
In 2016, Renee Wang sold her home in Bejing for $500,000 to fund her company, CastBox. Two months later, she landed her first investment. Just a half hour after hearing her pitch, she was offered one million dollars. By mid-2017, CastBox raised a total of $16 million in funding. CastBox's user numbers at that point? Seven million. Fast forward to today. Renee Wang of CastBox announces a $13.5 million Series B round of financing, bringing her funding total to a tidy $29 million. CastBox is now serving more than 15 million users.