I’ve always known that I’ve wanted to help animals but never realized that it was my true passion and life’s purpose until just recently. I worked for the same organization in a stable position from the time I graduated college for well over a decade until I made the leap to follow my dreams just over four years ago. Before making the decision to leave, I spent a lot of time exploring options and doing some major soul searching and it took me a LONG time to really commit because it’s always easy to go with the safe options in life and I’ve never considered myself a risk taker. In this scenario, that meant sacrificing a comfortable income with great health insurance and retirement benefits. What all this amounted to was giving up things that I equated to security. What I did know was that I wasn’t my best self where I was at and that it wasn’t fair to me or to anyone around me. This meant that I had no real inspiration and no drive to go beyond what was required of me in my position. I was terrified to make what I considered to be major life changes and to step outside of my comfort zone, but I also didn’t want to continue to stay in a position I felt I had become stagnant in which came with its own set of fears. Luckily, I had a good friend and coworker, Kris, who also shared my passion and who really supported me in this decision. So with this combined passion and vision, everything somehow fell into place and we were able to use our retail background to open a resale shop, knowing that our profits would go to help local pets in need. Now over four years later, we still have that drive and motivation because we’ve developed support from the community and we get to see our dream in action every single day.
In the past several years, I’ve learned some very important lessons. First, it doesn’t matter what other people think. Do what inspires you and makes you happy. If I had listened to everyone that told me this wouldn’t work, I never would’ve considered it. Second, if you believe in your passion and vision, you can make it happen. This doesn’t mean that it won’t take tons of effort and work and that it won’t be completely exhausting sometimes but it does mean that it will be worth it. Third, don’t look too far ahead. I don’t take any of this for granted. I’m thankful EVERY SINGLE DAY for what we’ve been able to do and for the accomplishments we’ve made up to this point. So take everything as it comes and be grateful and appreciative. Finally, success means different things to different people but for me, following my dreams meant letting go of past ideas of success. Success doesn’t necessarily equal financial “wealth”. Success shouldn’t be defined by superficial or material means. Success should be defined by happiness and true satisfaction in knowing you’re making a difference.
To date, as a shop we’ve been lucky enough to donate over $165,000 to local pets in need but there’s still so much we can do and there’s always a need. We are constantly grateful and humbled and most importantly, we’re always striving to do more.
I’ve had rough days and even rough weeks and sometimes I do feel overwhelmed but this has been an amazing journey overall and I can’t wait to see what’s ahead. No regrets.