The Journey to Earn
Pet Sitter International (PSI) 2020 Pet Sitter of the Year

In 2012, I made what seemed like a brash decision to start my own business after aging out of corporate life. Animals have always been magnets for me.  I loved to learn about them, understand them, train them, and just have fun with them. I saw the need for a professional pet sitter in my community, and I decided to fulfill that need by launching Crockett’s Critter Care.  

When I embarked on this journey, I had never started a business or taken a business course. It was scary and exciting to start something from scratch and watch it grow.  I learned everything I could about entrepreneurship at Craven Community College (CCC) and added to my knowledge of pet care by joining Pet Sitters International.  

“I hope I can do this…”

At the start, I dreamed of having four pet sits a day.  I had no idea that, in time, I would eventually hire six team members to cover all the requests for my services.  From day one, I vowed to do this right.  I’m always looking for ways to improve, learn, and grow.  I found the right people to help me at every stage of my business from the CCC entrepreneurship course and Small Business Roundtable discussions to networking with the businesswomen in Coastal Women’s Forum. 

My team includes employees, a writer, a photographer and videographer, an accountant, an HR consultant, a marketing expert, and some excellent mentors from the pet sitting/dog walking industry.   Being an entrepreneur and doing something that I loved, opened many new experiences for me.  And along the way, I discovered my inner strength and motivation to push beyond barriers and fears that may have impeded me in the past. Something that evolved from, “I hope I can do this…” to “I can’t believe I’m doing this…” to “This is the best thing I’ve ever done!”   Hope was replaced with confidence as I eagerly searched for “What’s next?” to improve my services.

2020 Pet Sitter of the Year

I was encouraged by other professional pet sitters to put my name in for PSI Pet Sitter of the Year.  In October of 2019, I was informed that I was among the top five finalists. In November, I was delightfully surprised by a telephone call from the President (Patti Moran) and the Marketing Director (Beth Stultz) of PSI congratulating me on being chosen the 2020 Pet Sitter of the Year.

Pet Sitter of The Year 2020 PSI Cover

Winning this award is a huge honor and a validation of the choices I made to create and build Crockett’s Critter Care. This award also provides opportunities for me to give back to my pet sitting colleagues, create new connections worldwide, and continue to contribute to my community by choosing the Craven County Sheriff’s Department K-9 unit as my pet project of giving this year.  

Going Forward

My goals are to educate pet owners of the importance of hiring the right person to care for their pets, to expand my services, and to infuse Fear Free methods and principles into every area of my business.  The leaders in my industry have rewarded me with their highest honor, my team is trained to provide superior pet care, and my clients have supported my business since it launched.  I am a very grateful and fortunate woman.