Julie Nelson

Consumer Goods | Startup | Retail

Dana Point, CA, USA

Expert Bio

Julie Nelson is an experienced retail and start-up executive with 25+ years of general management, merchandising, marketing, and wholesale leadership experience spanning multiple categories including pet food/supplies, apparel, footwear and accessories. During her 13-year tenure at Petco she served as Head Merchant/Business Unit Leader for the Cat Foods, Treats & Litter division, as well as the Dog Food division, a $1.2 billion business. She also served as the Head of Category Marketing & Vendor Partnerships, Head of Growth & Profitability, and Head of Business Development for Pet Services. Julie served on the board of directors for Petco Mexico, Mexico’s largest pet specialty retailer. She was tapped to create and build Petco’s first Wholesale & International division with successful wholesale partnerships including Canadian Tire and Pet Barn Australia as well as with the US military exchanges. It was in this role that Julie’s passion for entrepreneurship was sparked. Julie was recruited from Petco by co-founders Chef Bobby Flay and Elly Truesdell as the first employee of their premium cat food brand, Made by Nacho. As President of Made by Nacho Julie built the strategy and team from the ground up into one of the nation’s fastest-growing cat-only food brands. Within 20 months of joining as the first employee Julie scaled the brand to a broad assortment of dry food, wet food, treats and toppers and into distribution through DTC, all PetSmart stores, Amazon, and all Petco stores. Today, Julie leverages her expertise in start-up general management, commercialization strategy, product strategy, go-to-market strategy and channel/retail strategy to consult for early-stage CPG brands. She is also a passionate mentor and master teacher with SKU accelerator, providing guidance and teaching the Channel Strategy master class for the Fall 2023 Petcare track cohort of founders.

About my sessions:

  • Expert advising on consumer goods, startups, retail and business strategy




Consumer Goods

Start-up General Management

Product Development





Founder & Principal Consultant

JNelson Consulting LLC

Aug 2023 - current

View Website

President & Chief Commercial Officer

Made by Nacho

Aug 2020 - Aug 2023

View Website

Director / Business Unit Leader


Jun 2007 - Aug 2020

View Website



Jul 2005 - May 2007

View Website


Filene's - a May Company Department Store

Sep 2002 - Jul 2005


Shane Co.

Jan 1999 - Jul 2002

View Website


Cathy Jean Inc.

Apr 1997 - Dec 1998

Assistant Buyer

Robinsons-May Department Store

Jun 1996 - Apr 1997


Bachelor of Science

Drexel University

Design & Merchandising | Business Administration

Social Media Accounts

Reviews (0)

Starting at



for 30 minutes

Reviews (0)