Excerpt from an article appearing in the Salem News on September 17th, 2018
Editor’s note: This is the fourth in an occasional series where we explore the variety of occupations held by North Shore residents. We’re curious to find out why people do the jobs they do, learn more about the local economy, and understand how different professions impact the community. Know someone with an interesting vocation? Email your suggestion to HGreen@salemnews.com.
Nancy Beaurpere is the owner of Dingo’s Dogsitting in Beverly. She started the business while living in Brighton in 2008 and relocated to her Beverly location in 2014 after moving to Swampscott. At Dingo’s, she and her staff take care of 30 to 40 dogs a day, on average.
Why did you start your own dogsitting business?
“I always really loved dogs. When I was little people would call me the ‘Dog Girl’ because I would literally bring my dogs with me everywhere – I would even run to school with them, at which point my mom would pick them up as she was dropping off my brother … When I graduated college in 2006, I began working with my dad at a trucking company that he owned. Around that time I adopted a puppy – Dingo – and I was bringing her into the warehouse with me to work, but she was so bored! A puppy needs a lot of exercise and social interaction, and just did not have the time during the day to devote to all of her “puppy needs”. So I had an idea – I put an ad on Craigslist asking if anyone wanted to drop off their dog so Dingo would have a playmate. I did not put a price on the listing since the other person dropping off their dog would , in essence, be helping me. No one responded. Hmmmm… So I then tweaked the ad, instead offering the service at a fee. Once I put a price on the service, people started responding. This was my first lesson in perceived value! From there I realized I could do a lot of side gigs that were in keeping with my love of dogs. Dingo’s started out completely and unequivocally as a “side hustle”.
What’s your favorite part about your job?
“I really like being my own boss, there’s obviously pros and cons to that, but it’s nice to be able to tailor my schedule around the needs of my family. The other great thing about being your own boss is that you can figure out what you like to do and delegate out the rest. It’s also fun to be around the dogs – no one goes into this industry unless they love dogs.
What’s your least favorite part about your job?
“Probably the most challenging part is the fact that even though I’m making my own schedule, as a business owner, especially in a service business, you’re really on 24/7. I’m never able to turn off my phone for any long stretch. There’s an expectation that you’re going to be available for your clients and your staff no matter what day or time it is so it can be difficult to remain present at home when you’re conscious of that all the time. With that being said, I’m so thankful for the job that I have and the position I am in. Life is all about balance and I think most working parents, and certainly the self-employed, can vouch for the fact that figuring out an appropriate work/life balance is an endless, life-long journey. But it’s not the destination, right? It’s the journey!”