Meet Ilana Karcinski & Kelly Maronpot of FairyTail Pet Care!
Hooray for a another Boss Babe Feature! We have an amazing interview for you today: Kelly Maronpot & Ilana Karcinski of FairyTail Pet Care. Kelly & Ilana have been best friends since they were 13. They have shared one another’s challenges & successes through college, first jobs, starting a niche small business in Tampa Bay, and so much more. What I love about these two is not only their ability to work together seamlessly and maintain an amazing, long-lasting friendship, but also their positive energy and eagerness to keep endlessly building on the strong foundation they have for FairyTail. Enjoy their words!
Tell us about yourself and what you do!
You will often find us finishing each other's sentences. Best friends since we were 13, we met in middle school and instantly bonded over our two favorite things: music and animals. Over the many years of friendship, there are one of two things you could always find us doing; dancing at concerts or loving on anyone and everyone's pets!
The idea for our company came after we graduated from Florida State University and began our careers with Hilton Hotels. We saw a need for couples getting married that spoke to us; they wanted to include their pets in their special day but it was just too stressful. Our pets are our family and we couldn't imagine not having them there on such a special day! Caring for animals is second nature to us, and having been pet sitting for friends and family (plus raising our own dogs) we knew this was our calling! We are creative, hard-working and have a passion for treating your pet like they are our own. This along with our hospitality background creates a professional and personalized experience for both our human and furry clients.
What’s 1 challenge you’ve faced and 1 success you’ve had since you’ve created your business?
When we first began our business, we were basically the first of its kind. There were a handful of pet sitting companies that somewhat offered wedding services, but none that specifically focused on weddings that existed in the United States. While this was extremely exciting & gave us a lot of creativity with our new business venture, it was also a huge challenge to overcome. People had no idea a service like this existed, or even that it could exist, and we had nothing to compare ourselves to in the market. We knew that we had found a niche market that absolutely needed to be filled, but essentially had to create our own structure & guidelines from scratch in order to actually make it work. We are now about to celebrate our 3rd year in business and could not be prouder of what we've accomplished so far!
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received and has it come in handy for you?
It's definitely cliche, but "Do what you love & you'll never work a day in your life."
We have both always known how important it is to love what you do (since you spend most of your life/time doing it!) and knew we wanted to find something we were passionate about. We feel so fortunate that we found it so early on in our careers! We were very lucky to have the support of our family & friends in leaving our corporate jobs to start this wonderful adventure. It was a scary leap of faith, but it has certainly paid off & we wouldn't look back for a second.
When are you at your happiest?
When we are with dogs!
What do you tell yourself when things get difficult?
Puppy kisses always seem to do the trick!
What are you grateful for?
Each other! We are always in awe of all of the other local business owners who run their company solo. While being entrepreneurs is by far the best choice we've ever made, it's certainly a lot of work & comes with a lot of unchartered territory! Being best friends for so long, we know each other's strengths and weaknesses and are able to seamlessly work together to run our business. We have the opportunity to run things by each other, learn together, get honest feedback, delegate the workload, and work together to make difficult decisions with someone we trust entirely. We definitely realize how lucky we are to have that & remind ourselves of this often!
What’s 1 personal goal and 1 business goal you plan to accomplish this year?
We're actually working towards accomplishing a goal that fits into both categories! Finding a better work/life balance. When you work with animals & do what you love everyday, it can be hard to separate the two! But we know how important it is to have time for yourself (& friends/family) and that's something we definitely want to work towards this year - while still giving FairyTail Pet Care and all of our amazing clients the love they deserve, too! Another big goal for us is continuing our philanthropic efforts. We exceeded our donation goal in 2017 by almost $1000 and hope we can continue on that path. Several months ago, we implemented a policy of donating 10% of every wedding package to the animal charity of the couple's choice, so are definitely looking forward to seeing that come to fruition in 2018!
Where can you be found on a Tuesday afternoon?
At a local heights coffee shop working together or meeting with clients/other vendors!
Where can we find you on a Friday evening?
Likely working a wedding or spending time with some adorable pups! If we're not working, then we're probably at a concert!
Where can you be found on a Sunday morning?
Hiking with our pups, going to the dog beach, or maybe working at a local market!
Finish these sentences:
I love: We love our job!
I’m always looking for: We're always looking for dogs to pet!
My inspiration is: Our inspiration is music, animals & our families!
I’ll never: We'll never meet a dog we don't like :-P