Local Talk: Q+A with Montclair Astrologer and Entrepreneur Heidi Macalle

Heidi, you have created a product for dogs whom are near and dear to me. What is it about dogs that had them serve as the final customer and how did you come to dream-up this concept?  

I have always loved dogs.  I grew up with them and when I got my own dog my love grew exponentially.  After I dove deeply into training my own dog to be the best dog ever, I learned more about dog behavior from a professional.  That served as the launch pad for this idea.  As much as dogs are similar in some of their natural behaviors, they still have a personality all their own.  It was this that sparked the idea of marrying my practice of astrology which celebrates the traits of people born at different times of the year with the premise that dogs might have the same characteristics, although maybe on a lesser scale.


Tell us about your initial interest in Astrology and how your work has evolved over the years. 

I started being interested in astrology in my high school years and my interest only grew year after year.  After reading all that I could get my hands on, I finally found a group of astrologers in North Jersey when I was in my 20's (pre-internet) which was hard to do.  I worked with a mentor, I got certified in my early 30's and my practice has slowly grown since then.  I always knew that as I got older my practice would get better and better.  As an astrologer, you'll always be able to provide your client with a perspective they cannot get on their own but with your own life experiences what you provide becomes much more rich and pointed. 


I find that people are either believers or not in our celestial connections, what do you say to the detractors as to not sway their POV but to create more of an understanding and appreciation?  

I would say to look at their life in cycles or turning points.   For starters, pay attention to age 29-30, age 42-45 depending on what generation you were born in, age 49-50 and age 59-60.  If you find that you have major events or revelations during these times you'll know that astrology is working in your life, with or without your knowledge of it.


You're a true dog lover as am I. For me, I couldn't imagine not having a dog in my life as they are our truest, most pure partners. What is it about dogs for you that creates that special bond? 

 It's their unshakeable trust in you, no matter what.


Tell us about your dog? Breed, traits, and personality? Also, how has she reacted to you dedicating your time to building this brand?  

My dog is a rare breed - a Dogue de Bordeaux or French Mastiff.  They are guardians and equally stubborn and smart.  They will run the show if you don't.  This breed is a beautiful red color and I've always had a thing for redheads (shh!)  We call Eva "Eva The Diva".  She's a Leo and if you know anything about Leos, they act like royalty.  She couldn't care less what I'm doing with my free time as long as she gets her gourmet meals and her daily promenades through the park.


Now that you're an entrepreneur, what have you found most difficult as well as rewarding about the process so far? 

Having faith in yourself and your product is a difficult hurdle.  Getting great feedback and support from people you respect is the most rewarding part for me.


How did you go about creating the design? What was important in the final execution?  

A dear friend who is a jewelry designer in NYC inspired me to create a charm after I mentioned that I would like to create a product line after I wrote a little e-book based on astrology and dogs.  I provided the initial sketches and she helped me fine tune the design.  It was a pretty big learning curve for me.  I had to understand the lingo jeweler's use and what to look for as far as quality control.  In the final execution, you must be demanding but also understand your limitations.  Hard for a perfectionist like me. 


How has living in the Montclair area contributed to launching the brand? 

I've lived in Montclair for pretty much my whole life.  From my experience, it's a town that has valued diversity and creativity which has only grown over the course of many years.  Being surrounded by creative people begets creativity.


You have a time machine and can leap into the future, what does your brand look like in several years? 

It is appreciated enough for its distinctive celebration of our dog's specialness to be mass marketed and provide a source of funding for Rescue which is near and dear to my heart.


Tell us one thing about Astrology that hardly anyone or no one knows?  

Only a seasoned astrologer knows that your birth chart belongs to you alone and it unfolds through you; it doesn't happen *to* you.


What's your favorite coffee or tea beverage?  

I’m easy.  I just love a simple cup of well brewed coffee with milk or cream depending on how rich the roast is.