Rachelle Mellanby, Dogs Crossing, Coquitlam
Rachelle built her business, Dogs Crossing, with only a single client she found on Craigslist, and with no formal business or self-employment experience. She has grown her business through word of mouth and to date has served hundreds of clients and has four staff.
She is clearly passionate about pets! Rachelle’s business offers practical dog obedience classes, renowned pack walks, and more bespoke services. She has evolved her business during COVID to provide more physically distanced outdoor training classes and with less direct contact with her dog walking clients to keep everyone safe.
Rachelle is also passionate about fostering Doberman Pinchers and has adopted two of them herself. She also provides popular “doggy destress days” for BCIT students during exam time, and is a regular contributor for WhatsON! Magazine in her community.
Loan Client Q&A
Q. What’s the biggest business lesson you have learned?
There’s a saying that you never work a day in your life if you work at your passion. This is not 100% true. Yes, I turned my passion for animals into an income, but it’s a job at the end of the day. Running a business is a constant hustle in keeping clients and gaining new business in this highly competitive industry.
In the last couple of years, I have had to make sure to turn ‘off’ at a certain time of day as my own personal relationships were starting to take a back seat. It has worked a lot for my own mental and physical health and my relationships have improved with me being more reliable and available.
Q. How have your business goals changed since COVID?
My goals for Dogs Crossing have changed since COVID-19. I have aimed for as much consistency for the staff as possible during these uncertain times. I had to temporarily lay off two team members so keeping the morale up was key. I have really struggled with a lack of business and taking it personally. I have had to focus on the existing clients and am so grateful for their continued business.
I would like to get back to our numbers in early 2020 as they were record numbers of walking over 35 dogs a day in addition to boarding and training. I am aiming to return to those numbers by Spring of 2021.
Q. Tell us about your experience working with Women’s Enterprise Centre
Have had a great experience working with WEC! Carolyn, Laura, and Kim held my hand through the application process with all the documents required. I have been getting emails on workshops and tutorials which I am excited to tap into when I can find the time. This business spotlight is so great in promoting women-owned businesses. I feel proud of what I have accomplished in the last 9.5 years.
Where to Find Dogs Crossing