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Daily Inspiration: Meet Jennifer Taylor

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jennifer Taylor.

Hi Jennifer, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
JenLovesPets was first born in the Rancho Penasquitos Dog Park in the heart of PQ.

I was on disability due to multiple autoimmune disorders that required me to quit my loved career in BioTech Property Management. I was struggling healthwise and found peace at the dog park with Brezzi; our first family dog. We as a team ended up meeting and knowing almost every dog that visited the park and I found I wasn’t suffering as much physically while with the pack. This leads us to the path of pet sitting and dog walking.

Within months JenLovesPets was created as a legal, professional, pet sitting and dog walking company. Every waking hour, I studied pet care and the business and by the year-end, I was booked. The next few years, I worked from early morning to midnight at times – being a solo pet sitter and dog walker can be tough but oh so rewarding! It never felt like work.

Even though I enjoyed my “work”, I realized it was time to hire. Being a control freak, I struggled with letting go of the reigns. Many fellow pet care professionals can relate to this; I’m sure. Because of this, I knew I had to hire employees instead of Independent Contractors… I wanted the quality, training, and work to be the JenLovesPets way.

A decade later, we’re 13 people strong, voted the best and most recommended in multiple apps and sites. We’ve added Dog Training with the help of an amazing CGC Dog Trainer. and a state of the art facility for an office and training. None of this would have happened without this team, the employees made JenLovesPets what it is today.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
My first thought is, “Yes, everything has been amazing and I feel like things just fall in place as JenLovesPets grows” Similar to labor, that pain is excruciating and LONG but as soon as you hold your baby, it’s forgotten.

The first few years were a struggle financially even with the quick growth. It’s true (and everyone should listen) when they say to have a few years of cash on hand when you start a business. Looking back, I realized I did not appreciate my worth and undercut my pricing severely. Many of pet lovers are enjoying our times so much we don’t even think about the money and when it comes time to hire, we slapped into reality. I struggled for a long time in increasing our pricing though it seemed to be easier thinking it was for my team instead of me.

“Know your worth”.

“Mistakes have been made”.

We aren’t perfect but we own up to our mistakes as a team and within the team. It’s vital (to the core) to admit and make up for any accident or mistake that’s made by our team and as individuals. I think having integrity isn’t something you can say, it can only be proven. I’ve encouraged my team to not be ashamed but to own up to and learn from it. The goal is to limit accidents and mistakes so extensive and ongoing training helps!

COVID……we were knocked off our feet, breathless when COVID hit –but who wasn’t? I witnessed so many pet companies go under and we were all scared of losing everything. I have no idea how we made it. Except for our most loyal clients. They literally carried us the entire year making sure to pay us even without service. Just another testament of how amazing this team is. We did our best to stay in constant contact with our clients and continued serving the essential workers and slightly pivoted with adding a Concierge Service. This also allowed us to help those that were high risk.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
We’re a large family of over 700 human clients and over a thousand pet clients. We specialize in professional pet (all pets) care, dog walking and non-aversive, fear-free training. As a business owner, I have priorities in care though. My number one priority is making my employees happy. Number two is the pets. Next is the pet parents. A happy team member will love to come to work and will give the best quality care to our pet clients making their pet parents happy.

I feel it’s important to build a bond and trust not just with our furry clients but humans too.

A client recently told me I saved her dog’s life. She reached out after being referred by one of the top-ranked dog behaviorists in the States. The dog was extremely reactive and fearful so she couldn’t find a pet sitter. She was fostering and wanted to adopt him but traveled a lot so a pet sitter was required. Sadly, he would have been euthanized if she herself didn’t adopt him. I worked with them along with the behaviorist for months and was able to build his trust — Became one of his favorite peeps and he was my favorite dog client of all time (everyone knows I say that about all my clients…oopsie!)

Everyone knows me as AuntieJen, I go over and beyond to make sure everyone –pets and humans — are cared for with the upmost quality and loving attentiveness.

I’m most proud of the JenLovesPets team. Their passion for pets and pet care is remarkable, individually they’ve created a well-balanced team that works seamlessly to ensure each pet is pampered.

Personally, I’m proud to be a mentor of other local (some not so local) pet sitters. I used to shy away from coaching or guiding because “who was I?” Now I watch other pet professionals grow and I know it was partially due to a few seeds I helped plant.

The crisis has affected us all in different ways. How has it affected you and any important lessons or epiphanies you can share with us?
Don’t let fear cripple you. When the pandemic first hit, I felt paralyzed. Fear of the virus, lack of work with nothing to do initially had me scared to death for my team and business. I’m not one to dwell on these types of negative emotions and pivoted it to a more positive activity – serving. Which is how the Concierge Service came about. Something I enjoyed seeing was the other pet sitters in San Diego doing the same thing. One was even highlighted in the news because of it. She thanked me for the idea later!

Then our clients reached out daily wanting to help the business financially even though we couldn’t work for them at the time. I realized this past decade of pet service truly was recognized and appreciated by every one of our clients. They made sure we were still here afterwards…San Diegans have the biggest hearts! Now we are doing our best to go over and beyond for our JLP family as a thank you for carrying us through this crisis.

Pricing:

  • Dog Walking starts at $20
  • Pet Sitting starts at $25
  • Dog Training starts at $125
  • S.T.A.R. Puppy Class $250
  • Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Class $250

Contact Info:

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