Local Business Spotlight
Hey everyone, I’ve decided to start a new category of posts for this blog. After being heavily active in the dog community around Orange County, I’ve been meeting some great local business owners with a passion for animals and a determination to make sure any animal they come in contact with lead happy and healthy lives. I think these types of business’s need to get more attention, which is the main reason I’ve decided to start the “Local Business Spotlight” section of the blog. In each post, I will be interviewing a new business owner/Entrepreneur that works out of Orange County, in order to get you a little more aquatinted with all of the people and animal related services that make Orange County such a great place to live, not only for us humans, but our 4-legged friends as well.
So to start us off, I’ve had the pleasure of being introduced to Joni Oldfield from Animal Amour and Animal Amour Pet Sitter University. She has been in business in Orange County for almost 14 years and loves the animals and humans she works with. To make things interesting, for this first post, you have two ways of learning more about Joni and the two businesses she created. You can read my article below, or, we also had her as a guest on my Real Estate Broker’s podcast called Prestige Living. This podcast interviews local Orange County Entrepreneurs and is meant to educate others on some of the challenges an Entrepreneur faces when starting a business and how they persevered through them to ultimately become successful.
If you would like to listen to the podcast to hear Joni speak about her businesses, which I highly recommend, click on the Stitcher logo below. Otherwise, without further ado, lets take a look at Joni and her businesses.
CLICK THE STITCHER LOGO TO LISTEN TO THE PODCAST
ALSO AVAILABLE TO DOWNLOAD FROM ITUNES HERE:
Joni was born in Indianapolis but moved to Orange County 30 years ago and has been here ever since. When Joni came to the OC, she was working in the corporate 9-5 world and continued that career for another 16 years. One day, Joni and her husband decided to take a small vacation and had to find someone to care for their cats while they were gone. She called around, talked to her neighbors, and asked her vet for recommendations. After talking to a few of the pet sitters recommend to her, she quickly realized she wasn’t going to find anyone that she not only trusted to take care of her pets, but could also trust to have a key to her home while she was away. At this moment, Joni realized there was a need in her area for a more professional pet sitting company who clients could trust with their fur babies, and their home, while they were away. With these goals in mind, Joni started Animal Amour. Now fast forward 14 years later, and she now has a stable, well established professional pet sitting business which runs almost exclusively off of referrals from her past clients who loved her, and her level of professionalism, attention to detail, and of course, the service she provided.
Animal Amour offers a variety of pet, and non pet related services. Joni makes sure she treats every client individually, so each of her home visits are customized to the needs of her client. For instance, not only will she come and visit your dog while you’re away, she can also feed, refill the water, clean up the poop, take your dog for a walk, take in your mail and newspapers(so it looks like someone is home), and even water plants if needed. Here is the full list of services she provides:
As you can see, it’s a very comprehensive list. One of the services that stood out to me personally was the overnight stay. If your dog is fearful of being left alone, one of her employees will actually stay the night at the house to keep your dog safe from the boogie man, or maybe in this case, the evil mail man. Speaking of her employees, everyone she hires is pet CPR certified, has had a background check, and is personally trained by Joni. She does this to make sure your pet is safe, comfortable, and stress free, so you can sit back and enjoy your vacation without having to worrying about your fur baby.
For a few of you, knowing your pet and home are in good hands is still sometimes not enough. Joni realized this, and has used technology to make sure you stay as connected to your pet as you want to be while gone. If you have a smart phone, which come on, it’s 2015 you should, Joni will send you pictures and videos throughout the day of her visit. This way, you can see with your own eyes how happy your dog is while you enjoy yourself in a far away land. Joni and her team will even Facetime or Skype with you if you want to brag about how much fun you’re having to your dog at home. Animal Amour’s services are available in Costa Mesa, Newport Beach, Irvine and Corona del Mar. For a full, more detailed list of the services and prices, and to learn more about Animal Amour, please CLICK HERE.
Now this is why I really enjoy Joni’s business ambition and dedication. When you’ve been successful in the business for as long as she has, other people trying to start their own pet sitting companies, not surprisingly, started to reach out to her for advice. After numerous calls and e-mails, Joni again realized there was a need, and she knew she could fill it. This is how the concept of the Animal Amour Pet Sitter University began. Joni loves to give back to her community, and what better way than to teach people how to run a successful business doing what they love? So in 2007, Joni opened Animal Amour PSU(Pet Sitter University). This university teaches new entrepreneurs how to start their very own pet sitting business from scratch. She helps them create the business, set up a website, market the new business, provide them with all of the forms and contracts needed, and then she meets with them when ever they have questions or ideas they want to run by her. She does this all because she wants to teach others how to properly take care of animals professionally, which will lead to happier pets and owners all over Orange County.
During our interview I asked Joni, what she would do if someone wants to start a pet sitting business in her city which will directly compete with her business. Her response really shows her true motives for creating PSU, she told me she never turns down anyone looking to open a new business even if it’s in her neck of the woods. She knows there are more pets out there than her business can handle. If someone wants to do business in her area, she welcomes them, and gives them the same training as everyone else. I think ultimately, this shows she cares more about the animals than her immediate bottom line. I’ve seen this in action myself, I recently interviewed one of her university clients for a future blog post, who also runs her Pet Sitting business out of the Costa Mesa area, and she praised Joni for helping her with problems and questions that came up as she went through the often stressful process of starting a new business.
If you love animals and have ever thought about making it into a career, check out the Animal Amour Pet Sitter University’s website http://animalamourpsu.com/ to get more info and to to see if a career dealing with pets is right for you.
In the next Local Business Spotlight, I will be interviewing Veronica from Gentle Hands Mobile Grooming, so look for that to be posted in early November.
If you have a local dog related business, operate in Orange County CA, and would like to be featured on the local business spotlight, please email me at: TheOCBarkYard@gmail.com.