Success Story – Pawsitive K9 Care
Pawsitive K9 Care – Bowman 2023
BOWMAN – Gracie, a dog lover, took her fondness for animals and turned it into a thriving business when she was just in 8th grade. She founded her pet care company in the spring of 2019, offering services such as pet sitting, dog training and agility. She reminds us that following your passions and building a business around them is not just a dream, but an achievable reality – no matter what your age.
The spark for Gracie’s business started during a camping trip in 2018. The campsite had a dog agility site that she was able to use with her own dog. Use of that site made her recognize an unmet need in her area. Gracie saw an opportunity to provide services she deeply cared about, starting with her own dogs, honing her skills through training to ensure she could meet future client expectations.
Soon after officially starting her business with pet sitting, training and agility services, Gracie learned about the North Dakota Small Business Development Centers (ND SBDC) from her mother, who had seen information about an upcoming training on starting a business. After attending the session together, she registered for one-on-one advising and described it as, “Going above and beyond what I needed to help me reach my goals.”
Gracie’s business grew steadily and she soon looked to expand her services to add grooming. Her customer base had grown through word-of-mouth recommendations, and the local community of Bowman has shown support by attending her events, such as agility demonstrations at the county fair, validating the quality of her services.
The ND SBDC played a vital role in helping her secure funding for her grooming expansion by assisting with financial projections. Helping her formally put together a business plan was also part of the process to prepare for seeking commercial funding.
While her love for dogs is the foundation of her success, Grace acknowledged the importance of her support system. Family and friends motivated her to pursue her dreams. Her investment in education, particularly business and accounting classes, proved invaluable, helping her make informed decisions and navigate the financial aspects of her business.
Being a business owner appealed to Gracie for its flexibility. As a student, she cherished the freedom to set her hours and create her own schedule. Yet, she encountered doubt from others due to her age, which became a challenge she overcame with determination and resilience.
Looking back, Gracie praises the ND SBDC for helping her present a professional business plan and establishing trust with financial institutions. Their guidance contributed to her organization and growth, enabling her to reach her business goals. When asked if she would recommend the ND SBDC services to other entrepreneurs she enthusiastically agreed, attributing much of her success to the essential support she received.
Gracie shared this piece of advice for aspiring entrepreneurs: “Don’t care what other people think. Your dreams are yours…you can make them come true. Don’t let other people determine how and what you build. Put in the work and keep a confident mindset.”
After graduating from high school, Gracie hopes to go to attend college to receive her degree in psychology. She would like to become a therapist that will utilize as well as train therapy dogs for use with clients.