Women in business: Follow the path that interests you

Stephanie Chow

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


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.