But there are six other loves that have the young entrepreneur’s heart too ‑ but these ones have four paws and waggy tails. In fact, James’ black cocker spaniel, Ella, has her own business named after her, launched by the Middleton sibling in June last year.
He credits the cocker with saving his life, posting to Instagram on World Mental Health Day: “My own journey with mental health is no secret. A few years ago I was in a very dark and lonely place, I was existing without purpose or direction, the constant heart thudding anxiety stripped away any joy, excitement or anticipation.
James launched the Paw Print Fund in April 2020, in a bid to aid the animal welfare charities throughout the pandemic, with the Pet Food Fund acting as a doggy food bank.
Money raised, including over £3,000 from a Just Giving page, went directly to the RSPCA, Dogs Trust and Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.
Posting to the fund’s site, he said: “Loyal pets all over the country are providing invaluable comfort and companionship as we weather the COVID-19 storm.
“Regrettably, some households will be affected more than others, and thousands of pets will have to adapt to the sudden financial and lifestyle changes their owners have to make.
“That’s why I have set up the Pet Food Fund, an initiative through which I’ll be partnering with animal welfare charities, food banks and other organisations that continue to support animals across the UK during the Covid-19 crisis.
“Together, we can help keep pets in their homes and prevent rescue centers from being overwhelmed during this difficult time.”
The pandemic saw thousands of households across the UK welcome dogs into their homes, and James was no exception, introducing Nala to the pack in May.
The pup was the daughter of Zulu, who is the daughter of his beloved Ella. His other dog, Luna, also had six puppies in the same month.
Sharing a video of the pups feeding, he wrote: “A week ago Luna had three little pups at 5am, but we had to rush to the vets for an emergency c-section where another four pups were delivered. Sadly one didn’t make it but there are six healthy little pups suckling away happy as can be.“
He managed to capture a full family photo in June, with his four black cocker spaniels, Nala, the chocolate spaniel and golden retriever Mabel.
Weeks later, the busy entrepreneur announced the launch of his freeze dried raw pet food company Ella and Co.
He described the business as his ‘heart and soul’, writing: “I remember sitting in the therapist’s chair with Ella by my side having taken a leave of absence from my company Boomf to focus on my clinical depression, with tears in my eyes I said “what am I going to do next”.
“I had zero confidence and I felt like a complete failure -‑ the Therapist said, “do something you love ‑ you love your dogs and have so much confidence around them so why not try and include them in your next venture” and so the journey of Ella & Co begins.
“I am extremely proud to be launching @ella.co ‑ this is not just a business, this is my heart and soul, I couldn’t be more excited to share it with you. Ella has been my inspiration & I want to do everything I can to give back to her and the rest of my wonderful dogs for everything they have done for me over the years. The first step in my journey: creating the perfect balanced diet.”
James Middleton’s love for animals is bottomless and he’s previously been quoted saying: “I believe that dogs teach us our worth in the love they give so freely and unconditionally. No wonder that, however long they are with us ‑ for life, a visit, a moment at a hospital bedside ‑ they leave behind a beautiful, indelible paw print on our hearts’.”
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