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Hidden Gems: Meet Regina Richardson of Furry Ventures Pet Care

Today we’d like to introduce you to Regina Richardson.

Hi Regina, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
I grew up in a small town right outside of New York City. My love for animals started at a very young age, bringing home stray animals and begging my mother to keep them. She usually said no, but I kept trying all the time. After I graduated from college, I moved to Tampa to pursue a career in Public Relations. I finally got to adopt a dog of my own from a local shelter and his love reinforced my desire to work with animals. After I got married, I started a Wedding Pet Care Company when I saw that there wasn’t much help with including your pets in your wedding. I always dreamed of having my dogs at my wedding but didn’t want to put the responsibility on my friends or family. I wanted them to enjoy the day with me and not have to worry about leaving my wedding to take care of my dogs. So, I quit my day job and started Furry Ventures Pet Care to help other couples’ dreams come true!

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back, would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Like most companies, it hasn’t always been a smooth road. What we struggled with the most was educating vendors and couples about our service. Most people don’t know a service like this is out there and that it is possible to include your dog in your wedding without it being stressful. So, after a few years, more and more people are now learning about this niche concept.

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
Furry Ventures Pet Care is a Wedding Day Pet Care company that also offers daily pet care. We help couples that want to include their pets in their weddings but don’t know how. We handle everything pet related, from providing couples with a licensed dog handler, round trip pet transportation, and coordinating with all their vendors before and during the wedding. We also assist with the ceremony and pictures, making sure their dog is always looking at the camera. Our number one goal is to make sure your dog is safe and is having the best day ever! It is possible to include your dog in your wedding, and we make sure it’s a stress-free experience for you AND your dog! Our attention to detail and quality of service is what sets us apart from others in the pet care industry. Seeing all of the happy brides and grooms is what we’re most proud of. The joy of making someone else happy is one of the most innately rewarding experiences we can have as humans, I think. We’ve also been recognized as one of the best pet sitters in Tampa by Creative Loafing’s Best Of The Bay two years in a row. Just being nominated as one of the best in your field is incredible, but to be awarded twice in our first two years as a business is honestly not something we ever imagined would happen.

Do you have any advice for those looking to network or find a mentor?
I remember starting out and knowing that we had a great idea but no idea how to get it off the ground. I asked a lot of people with more business experience than me a lot of questions. Some things worked, and somethings didn’t. I think that’s the nature of starting a business, throwing things at the wall and seeing what sticks. Networking, especially in the current climate, can be difficult. I think the best way to meet people is to do just that…. go and meet them. Taking the initiative to introduce yourself can be daunting at first, but the trick is not to overthink it. And social media is such a valuable asset. Content is king. I go places and meet people and they always say, “Oh, you’re the dog people!” and it’s a testament to our digital footprint. The first piece of advice I would give to anyone starting a business in any industry is to define your target market and then target them on social media.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Two dogs, orange brick- The Soucineks Two females, flower girl- Landrum Photography Couple in white with Frenchie- Stills by Hernan Golden Doodle- Ashlee Nicole Photography Dog in front of picture- Ashley Dilligard Photography Iridescent with Frenchie- Honeywood Photography Blue color wall- Brianna Kim Photography Me standing with dog sitting- Madisun Page Photography and Jennifer Alyssa Photography.

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