Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in pet care but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Stephanie Shipley, CEO of Paw & Order, Inc., located in Keswick Ridge, NB, Canada.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

We offer exceptional overnight stays, a comprehensive enrichment-based daycare program, and group/private training sessions for dogs in our community. Our clients are pet parents who are looking for their pets to be not only cared for but also loved when they are not able to be with them themselves. Our clients adore their furry family members and want them to be treated with kindness and compassion as an individual with their own unique personalities.

Tell us about yourself

I got started in pet care because of a combination of my love for pets and my background in the hospitality industry. Every single day, I have the opportunity to make a tremendous impact on the lives of animals and their owners. We provide rescue and foster care for those animals who need us the most - the unwanted, abandoned, abused, and neglected. My motivation to keep going, despite what I have seen happen to animals at the hands of humans, lies with the pets that I can help.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

As a business owner, my greatest accomplishment has certainly been to not only survive the Covid-19 pandemic but to create an environment where we were able to retain all of our employees and experience growth with very little income due to travel restrictions. We have placed ourselves on the "map" within the global pet care industry and have been recognized as one of the best pet care facilities in the world.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

Owning a business is not for the faint of heart. Being pulled in a multitude of directions simultaneously is an understatement. Adjusting to the way each generation and individual works and values their work demands daily effort. Creating and maintaining a work environment where our Team Members feel a sense of autonomy and also understand our Core Values is imperative, and this does not happen by mere chance. Strategy and ongoing support are key factors in creating a team of well-balanced and engaged employees.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Make sure that you have the time to invest in your business. Be prepared to work both in your business and in your business.
  2. Make sure that you have the ongoing support of your family and friends because finding a balance between home life and work life can be difficult at first and during periods of growth.
  3. Make sure you are familiar with employment laws and financial statements. Both of these impact your life daily, and understanding them before you start will help you to set things up for success right from the start.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Being an entrepreneur is not for everyone, but it is indeed one of the most rewarding things I have ever done in my life. Give back to the community that allows you the distinct privilege of operating within it and seek to make a difference.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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