President and founder, Dairydell, Inc., PO Box 751378, Petaluma 94975, 707-762-6111, www.dairydell.com
Professional background: Founded Dairydell in 1989; Founded Dog Talk Diva brand in 2011
Education: B.S from Cal Poly – San Luis Obispo
Graduate Studies in Business and Public Admin: Cal State Hayward,San Francisco State UniversityUC Berkeley
Tell us about yourself and your company: The entrepreneurial bug bit early and by 1981, I was on my path. I started Dairydell in 1989 -- a dog training hobby that soon became my livelihood.
Raised on my family’s Petaluma dairy, I learned the language of animals and that skill was to lead meto my eventual profession. I now own and operate Dairydell Canine Doggie Dude Ranch & Training Center -- on a family ranch which I converted from cows to canines.
Under my newest Dairydell brand, Dog Talk Diva, I specialize in helping women find their power – starting but not ending with the family dog. I’ve launched a new line of dog training products for women and am doing more public speaking. My book, “LIPSTICK AND THE LEASH: Dog Training a Woman’s Way” released in March.
I’m excited for the future and where this path will take me.
Is there a major accomplishment in the past year or so that you would like to share?
Growing my company by over 73 percent since 2007 in a rotten economy – that was a major accomplishment.
I decided to expand my business in 2006, when the economy was strong and I was feeling pretty confident. Little did I know the economic monster that was waiting around the corner! I opened the doors of my expanded facility in October, 2007. We all know what happened next.
In spite of the worst economic climate in recent memory, the company managed to grow exponentially between 2007 and now. I’m indeed proud of that – and very grateful.
What is the achievement you are most proud of?
Of all the things I’ve done in my field, I am most proud of establishing my new Dog Talk Diva brand which identifies women as the target audience; 74 percent of every dog-owning household leaves dog training to a woman, yet no one had targeted her special needs in this area. I am so excited to pioneer this field.
As part of breaking new ground in the women’s market, I’m also proud of publishing my first book, “LIPSTICK AND THE LEASH: Dog Training a Woman’s Way,” and achieving Best-Seller status in the first month.
What is your biggest challenge today? Staffing and controlling payroll in a seasonal business is my biggest challenge. Maintaining a core staff of highly trained professionals is critical in a high-end service business like mine, but wildly fluctuating revenue can make that very difficult.
Every month I work on broadening our non-seasonal business services and revenue streams that can help even out cash flow peaks and valleys. Meeting challenges is how we make our businesses better!
Words that best describe you: That’s an interesting question. Let’s see, I think the words that best describe me would be:InnovationPassionCourageHumorService
As a successful female professional, what were the biggest obstacles you faced and how did you overcome them?
I encountered no professional obstacles due to my being a woman. My obstacle, if there’s been one, has been other dog trainers, most of which are women themselves. I have found that dog training is a lot like religion – different doctrines each passionately argued by their followers. Dog trainers are a zealous lot, I must say.