PRESIDENT & CO-FOUNDER
Brittany Feldman was born and raised in New York City. After graduating from the University of Michigan in 2007, she became a special education elementary school teacher in the NYC public school system. She received a dual Master’s Degree in General and Special Elementary Education in 2009.
A devoted animal lover since birth, Brittany always dreamed of helping animals in need. It was not until a 2012 trip to Villalobos Rescue Center in New Orleans, where she saw firsthand the faces of dogs rescued from unimaginable abuse, that she was inspired to take action. She became involved in the rescue world through volunteering at various shelters, as well as sponsoring pit bulls that she visits yearly in New Orleans.
As she became more immersed in the world of animal welfare, issues such as the horrific puppy mill industry came to her forefront. Having purchased her own dog as a puppy from a pet store in 2006, she realized the importance of spreading awareness about adoption so that others could make well-informed decisions. As her passion grew, she decided to leave the Department of Education in the summer of 2013 to work at an animal shelter and further her knowledge of the rescue world.
Aware of the staggering population of animal lovers who continue to buy from pet shops and breeders, Brittany wanted to create a revolutionary shelter, one with a fashionable and whimsical vibe. With her quirky sense of style and tremendous passion, Shelter Chic was born- a fancy, funky, edgy shelter that would appeal to a diverse group, even to the “non-shelter” crowd.
VICE PRESIDENT & CO-FOUNDER
Amanda Folk was born and raised in a suburb of Detroit. She graduated from the University of Michigan Stephen M. Ross School of Business in 2007 where she earned a Bachelors in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance and Accounting. She has over 7 years of experience working in financial roles including Investment Banking and Corporate Finance, with extensive experience in budgeting and financial planning.
Amanda is an avid animal lover and lifelong dog-owner, who was unaware of the importance of animal adoption until her friendship with Brittany opened her eyes to the countless animals in need. Having been friends for over a decade, Brittany came to Amanda with the idea for Shelter Chic. Amanda was eager to get involved, and with her business acumen and make-it-happen attitude, she was the perfect partner to make Brittany's dream a shared reality.
DIRECTOR OF CLIENT SERVICES
Tracy Venezia was born and raised in New Orleans and knew form a young age that she wanted to work in animal welfare. After graduation from Tulane University in 2004 with a B.A. in Communications and Public Relations she moved to NYC where she has worked in animal welfare for the last 7 years. Luckily, her and Brittany met in 2012 in the animal welfare community and had an instant connection with their love for animals (and New Orleans)! With Tracy’s passion for animals and experience, she would be the perfect fit for Shelter Chic.
Her focus is on the positives, not the negatives. People always ask her “why are you so nice to people giving up their pets?” and her response is “they chose to bring the animal to a safe place rather than abandon them on the street like so many people do. Most people surrendering their animal aren’t doing it because they want to, it’s because they have no other choice.” She treats every animal like they are her own and makes sure that every person who walks into Shelter Chic (no matter the reason) feels like a friend.