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Life and Work with Jen Klair

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jen Klair.

Hi Jen, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
I started Wags & Ruffs in 2018 with one goal in mind – creating a safe & fun place for dogs when they are away from home. I have a life-long love of animals and had a successful pet sitting business for many years when I lived in Tahoe with my husband and family. After running an online retail business for over 15 years (Jen Klair Kids), I wanted to return to working with animals and founded Wags & Ruffs in 2018 in my favorite place, San Diego.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
We had some struggles early on with securing city permits but finished the grueling process successfully and opened on Valentine’s Day in 2018. It was hard getting the word out early on, but we grew pretty steadily from the start mainly on word of mouth and Yelp reviews. When Covid hit in March 2020, we had to shut down temporarily but had so many wonderful customers who helped keep us afloat. We were able to open back up with new safety precautions in place and have been growing steadily in all areas that include daycare, training, boarding and grooming.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I have always had an entrepreneurial drive with my first endeavor being a pet sitting business (Jen’s In Home Pet Care) when I lived in Incline Village, NV with my husband in the late 1990s. When our oldest daughter was born in 1998, we moved to San Diego. Soon after that in 2000, we had our second child and I wanted to work but still stay home to raise both of our children. So, later in that year I decided to create an online baby boutique called Jen Klair Kids. This was back in the day where websites were not very common and it was a struggle early on. We persevered through some growing pains and had great success within the first year and grew rapidly.

When I decided to close the shop in 2015, I wasn’t sure what the next endeavor was going to be, so I took some time and decided on my first love – animals. I took my time to plan and create a business plan for a dog daycare in San Diego and we opened our doors three years later.

Is there anyone you’d like to thank or give credit to?
My husband is a high school teacher and has always been my biggest supporter and fan. My parents and children were also extremely supportive and helpful in my pursuit of this dream. It truly does take a village.

Contact Info:

Image Credits:

All pictures were taken by Wags & Ruffs staff during daycare, pack walks and training.

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