1) Why did you start your dog walking business?
We started Chicago Bark District after a friend who didn’t work traditional 9-5 hours was unable to find a reputable company to walk his dog only on Saturdays. My business partner Cole had been walking dogs for another company for 7 years, and I needed a new challenge after getting my degree in Chemistry and realizing I never wanted to work in a chem lab again!
2) What do you enjoy most about running CBD?
Seeing our dogs grow up! As an avid year-round cyclist, I enjoy the fresh air and exercise…and I don’t mind biking through midwest blizzards to go walk awesome dogs!
3) What are the biggest challenges you face?
Making perfectly efficient routes for employees without random gaps in schedules is probably the most challenging and stressful part of my job. There’s always something that messes it up!
4) What are the biggest industry challenges you foresee?
Burn out. It’s such a fun and rewarding job, but it’s non-stop. The only actual day off I get is when I physically leave town — but then I still upload to social media, check emails, talk to employees, etc.) It’s hard to say no to client requests because if you can’t accommodate the request, they’ll find someone else who will. We also provide service to transient neighborhoods where people often move away after 2-3 years.
Dear Clients: Please STOP moving away!
5) Why did you join the Pet Industry Coalition?
The pet industry can be quite isolating. PIC is such a supportive and informative group — being part of a community is important to me, especially when that community is operating their businesses the right way.