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Meet Scherree Smith of Kings & Queens Pet Sitting in Arlington and Mansfield

Today we’d like to introduce you to Scherree Smith.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Kings & Queens started in 2008 when I couldn’t find any pet sitting companies that catered to a more personalized service for our pets. I decided to start creating a business that was 100% tailored to each pet’s needs. Growing up our family pets were always part of our family. They sat at the table with us, slept in bed with us, and most of the time came on road trips with us. When we had to leave them with someone it was usually family. Sometimes they weren’t always available and we didn’t like to inconvenience them.

When I started the business I was 18, so I was still unsure of my career path. In 2008 pet sitting hadn’t gained the traction like it has today and turning it into a career wasn’t really the thing to do. Pet sitting was left up to the teenagers needing extra income or someone who just wanted to spend time with pets in their free time. Shortly after getting some cards done and picking up a few clients I was offered a position with the State Health Dept. where I was an assistant to the Epidemiology team. At 18 this was a good opportunity, but after a few years and moving into the finance side of things I decided this was not the direction I wanted to go in. I was still building my business on the side when I wasn’t working 8-5 and I just loved it! I would go to care for my clients before work, during my lunch break and after work every day. My weekends off turned into working full days and my holiday time off from work turned into 16-18 hr. days. I just loved watching my business grow and being able to help more pet parents find reliable care.

In 2012, I decided my goal was to run my business full time. I loved the idea of having freedom to do what I wanted with the business, have a life, and love my “job”! The only way to do that was to hire, as it was just getting too busy. I ended up hiring my first employee in 2012! Fast forward to 2015 my business had turned into a company and I was ready to run it full time. Today, we now have 5 wonderful employees and almost 300 clients who we care for 24/7/365. The best part about my “job” is hearing the feedback from happy pet parents who never have to worry about leaving their babies (pets) again. I love being able to employ awesome pet fanatics and allowing them to work flexible schedules so they can get their degree, stay at home with their kids more, or just get out of the house a few times a week! We are also very active in our community. All of our staff have been involved in fostering, working with rescues, or volunteering at some point. We love to host fundraisers to help educate our community on pet care and raising funds for our local shelters and rescues.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Definitely not. When I started Kings & Queens Pet Sitting I was so excited about working with pets I didn’t realize what it took to actually create and run a business. Once I started growing I needed policies, a pricing structure, emergency protocols, etc. When I hired employees that was a whole new ball game. I decided I couldn’t build my business alone and needed a team. I brought in a business consultant, payroll, HR, a lawyer, and immersed myself in chat groups catering to business owners in the same boat. This was crucial in creating a strong foundation.

Since I truly love what I do, stepping back and taking a break can be difficult. I found I was always working on something. Whether it was an ad, replying to emails, updating our social media accounts, etc. I have learned to have “time off”, because burn out is a real thing.

About a year after I started hiring, I hit a wall. I was exhausted and I felt like the work never ended. “I can’t tonight, I am working” was a common phrase my family and friends knew all too well. I wondered if I could keep going, I was depressed and my health was declining due to the lack of balance. One day my business consultant said who runs the business? You or the business? That instantly reminded me of why I started it all. Not only to provide one of a kind care to pet parents, but to have the freedom to do what I wanted! Clearly my business was running me. I decided that I wasn’t going to give up I was going to change how I worked. I still have days where I feel overwhelmed, but I can manage it much better now.

Kings & Queens Pet Sitting – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Kings & Queens Pet Sitting is an in home pet sitting company. We come to our clients homes and care for their pets when they can’t be there. When our pets are in their own environment and maintaining their normal routine they do so much better. Unlike a lot of companies with 2 hour windows we are very punctual. This allows us to maintain your pets’ routine and reduce stress. We have households with one pet, households with as many as 10+ pets, pets with severe anxiety, pets with strict diets, and pets who each have their own unique instruction.

We specialize in tailoring our service to meet the needs of each of your pets. It’s not a one size fits all. The way we achieve this is by not timing our visits. Most companies will stay for 30 minutes. While this may be good for some households it may not work for others. The problem with this is that if it takes longer to care for the pets the pet parent is charged with an additional fee to tack on more time. When your vacation is over you may come home to an unexpected bill. We stay as long as we need to make sure everyone is happy, has had plenty of exercise and interaction, and your home is cared for as well. This also sets us apart tremendously as it’s not something that other companies do.

A few other qualities that set us apart is our client app. It allows clients to book services, pay their invoice, and interact with the care givers in real time. Our detailed visit reports with pictures that are sent via text or email, so you always know what’s going on back home. Our reliability, always being there for our clients if they want to enjoy the day at an event, go see family, or get called away for work. Constantly learning and being a resource for our clients. We have been certified in pet first aid and CPR, trained in animal behavior, and are always trying to find additional classes and ways to improve our knowledge of pets.

I am most proud of our reliability. Our team amazes me every day. They go above and beyond our clients expectations every time! When a client gets delayed or stuck somewhere they are there to step in last minute and continue carrying for the pets until their safe return. We also have clients who have emergencies with family or work last minute and we are proud to say we have only turned away 3 service requests in the last 10 years.

Kings & Queens Pet Sitting is known for many things! Most I have mentioned above; always being there for our clients when they need us, convenience of booking, peace of mind allowing them to enjoy their vacation, knowledge, and quality of service.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
For me, success is creating a life for myself and helping others. The average person works from the time they are 16 to the time they are 65 if they are lucky. This is a huge part of your life, and so many people are caught up in the idea of retirement. They can’t wait until they retire so they can do what they love and enjoy. Why can’t you do that now? Creating a business that allows me to live my life and enjoy my job is my goal. Pet sitting allows me to help people in many ways and that makes me very happy.

“Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome” -Arthur Ashe

I think the markers for me are always changing and success is when I can look back and say that I lived.

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