Editor’s note: For our special Women in Business issue, we asked women in our local business community to share insights they’ve gained through their work in Western North Carolina. Here is one of those stories.
I was actually a web designer prior to creating Pet Poo Skiddoo. I was in a great-paying career, but I honestly hated spending my days in a cubicle, staring into a computer screen. One day, I turned on my webcam to film myself while I worked — and I looked miserable! It was then I knew that I needed to quit and start something new. Of course, the issue was my only skills were in computers, and I wanted to get as far away from computers as I could.
So I started simple. I figured I loved being outside with nature and caring for animals, so why not create a dog-walking business that also offers pet sitting, and (for a unique twist) poop scooping? Turns out, the yard scooping got so popular that I stopped pet sitting and dog walking altogether and just focused on that.
Only a few months into my new yard-scooping venture, I was bringing large amounts of dog waste to the landfill. As the business grew, hundreds of pounds per month turned into hundreds of pounds per week, all being dropped off at the dump. I knew I had to do something, and I would spend the next two years developing a process that could actually compost all the pet waste in order to divert it from the landfill.
Fast-forward to now, and I have a 6-acre composting site, full-time employees, and am composting 4,000 pounds of both dog and cat waste per month.
My advice is to follow the path that interests you. You don’t need to have an end goal but pay close attention to the issues surrounding you. Is there something you can solve, make better? Who knew I’d go from scooping up some poop to running a business that is fighting to stop climate change?
— Stephanie Chow
Owner, Pet Poo Skiddoo