Hello again! This blog post is quite a personal one, and honestly, one I have been putting off. The past six months of my life have been a whirlwind, to say the least. My situation is pretty unique, but I hope you can find inspiration in it if you are currently unhappy with your employment.
Back in February of 2017, my friend Sarah (she's got a really cool chip review Instagram - check it out!) sent me a screenshot of an ad for a website that offers dog boarding from people's homes called DogVacay. She suggested I use it for my dogs the next time my boyfriend and I go away. That's not how I saw it, though! All I could think was, "I could be this person! I could watch all the dogs!" Within a few hours, I was signed up. Around this time, the idea of Fluff Pet Care had also started to come to me, I just had no idea how to make it a reality. I was working full-time as a department manager at a beauty retailer, as well as finishing up my degrees at university. I constantly felt burnt out and unmotivated, so I didn't know when I would find the time or energy to work on creating a brand.
I knew my job at the time wasn't long-term, and I was also really unhappy there. I planned to leave, but I just didn't know when. Well, a week after signing up for DogVacay (now Rover), I got a request for dog walking. I met with the clients, and as I was walking back to my car, I tripped and fell. This was actually the second time in a week I had fallen. But this time it seemed more serious. My ankle was throbbing and I could barely get up. I ended up driving home (it was my left ankle, luckily). By the time I got to my house, my ankle was three times its regular size. It turns out I broke it and I would be off work for a while. Now, I don't know about you, but I fully believe in fate and everything happening for a reason. This was it. This was my chance to start working on my idea of a pet care line.
Between my doctor's appointments and physiotherapy, I was feverishly working away. My amazing boyfriend carted me and my boot around to stores, checking out ropes, fabrics, and hardware. I held on to shopping carts to support myself, and I whizzed around Home Depot, Canadian Tire, and any other store that held the promise of having the supplies that were just right. I knew that this was something big in my life, and so I worked up the courage and told my place of employment that I would not be returning. I had expected to feel this huge sense of relief, but all I felt was the weight of everything that still had to be done in order for me to support myself financially.
I was still taking clients for boarding and walking (and letting them know that my mobility was a bit dicey). I hobbled around neighbourhoods with dogs and hung out in their backyards with them. My clients were all amazingly understanding of the situation. While I was getting pretty regular bookings, it still wasn't enough. I needed a job that was flexible so I could work around my dog walking and client appointments. I joked with my boyfriend that I should drive for Uber, and he said, "You should!" The more I thought about it, the more it made sense. I could turn the app on while I drive around to client's homes and while I run out to get supplies. So I did it. And it was terrifying, but only at first. I've had some really funny encounters, and met some great people. I don't really drive anymore since I'm pretty busy with Fluff, but it's nice to have the option on slow weeks.
Along with dog boarding, dog walking, and Uber, I also started doing social media for a local bar. It's not a huge source of income, but it definitely helps. It's also something that I can do from home, and on my own time. Plus, it was great practice for me since I hadn't officially launched any of my Fluff Pet Care social media yet. My degrees are in Psychology and Criminology, so I am no expert on social media or anything business related. I taught myself everything I needed to know about SEO, marketing, and running an Etsy shop (mostly all from YouTube videos!)
While, again, I believe that everything happens for a reason, this hasn't been an easy process. There were times that I was the most stressed I have ever been in my life. I could barely move around because of my ankle, and I was throwing myself full-force into an idea that I had no idea if I could actually make happen. Yes, it would have been great to keep full-time employment and work on Fluff Pet Care, but I know I wouldn't have given it my all. Quitting my job was essential for my particular path, and I don't regret it for a second. I truly feel I am setting myself up for my future. I have always wanted a farm where I could do animal-assisted therapy, so I am working towards building a brand and I am hustling to make it a reality. Animals are my passion, and I have always known this. I am so grateful and happy that I am in a position where I am around them all the time!
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post. It means so much to me. Everyone has been so amazingly gracious to me during this transitional time. Please let me know what your dream job is in the comments :)