Your Name: Elizabeth Legere

Business Name: Alexandria Pet Care, Inc., an in-home pet sitting and dog walking services

Type of Business Home & Housewares; Pet Care

Business Location: Alexandria, Virginia, United States


Reason for starting
Ten years ago I walked in from work and launched “I can’t take it any more! I hate work!” My husband jokingly struck back, “Just quit! Take a break, get some air, and walk the dogs around the neighborhood.” So I did. I founded Alexandria Pet Care. Three months later my schedule was full and I hired our first employee.

Biggest Success
Our positive growth year over year is our biggest success, even through the toughest years 2009-2011. Today Alexandria Pet Care Inc. has a family of over 500 clients and their 700 household pets of all kinds, the smallest of which is a snail named Patrick who loves fresh basil.

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?
Hiring and retaining top-notch people has been our number one challenge. Our strategy has been to treat employees well, hire only when we can keep employees fully busy and engaged, to include employees in company “growth” efforts such as marketing activities and new client meetings, and to reward tenure with benefits and 401(k).

Who is your most important role model?
I’m not limited to one! Anyone who takes risks, pursues their passions (for business or not), takes time to honestly evaulate what makes them happy and eager to greet each day: those are my ROLE models. Our crazy busy world where working harder for less emotional reward seems the norm, anyone who works with honesty and thoughtfulness is a model.