Parenting as a Business Owner – Dogma Pet Services

Our first interview in our new “Parenting as a Business Owner” series is Tricia Jacoby. She is the founder and sole proprietor of Dogma Pet Services.


Q: How long have you been in business?

I have been working at Dogma Pet Services for 12 years; 9 years at 1880 Crosby Road, in Kelowna.

Q: What challenges did you face when you first opened?

My first challenge was getting my head screwed on tight. My second challenge that I really had from the get go was convincing those around me, those I was living with, that the space that I had was worthy of the business I was wanting. I had to make all sorts of reasons and validate why this had to be done this way, and that had to be done that way, so it was really about establishing a true sense of self, was the biggest challenge.


Where I was going to take this company within this market and industry was the first challenge. I wanted to be different, I didn’t want to be a cookie cutter. So I had to really think about what it meant to be outside of the box, and to really do things differently than everybody else in this industry. That was a big deal for me.

I also started Dogma when I was thinking of moving on in my relationship, and then I got pregnant, and became a mom, and evolution took over and I had to make decisions not based on what I would want, but what I thought was best for not just my family, my child, my future, and I had two children now. I had my children and I had the business. And they’re both very demanding children.


Q: How long had you been married before you started your business?

I was married in the summer of 2009, while pregnant, and had started the business in October of 2008, so you can imagine the back to back. Much of the concept of the business was constructed in September of 2008. I really wanted to be a stay at home mom, and originally thought of the business as being a stay at home mom position, with my husband looking after the finances. But then I got pregnant, and things weren’t so simple after that.


But when I started dealing with the business, it was really to become independent so should anything happen to my husband, I didn’t want to feel like I was dependent on anything. That was my motivation for having the business, but for continuing, especially when I was 6 months pregnant and leaning over a tub, the last thing I wanted to do was wash dogs. I didn’t want to go on, but I thought this is what I need to do to secure a future, and that’s what I did. The biggest challenge was trying to break the mold.

Q: What successes have you had in your business?

One of the things, the biggest success has nothing to do with my business, it has to do with me, and the fact that this taught me that YES, I CAN! There is no, “oh, I can take a sick day”, there is no “oh, I don’t feel like it”, YES I CAN is the only answer I had for every obstacle that came after Morgan while I was working. Yes I can, because I have to, there are no options, you have point a, point b, to point c, and you just keep moving forward. My biggest success was in learning about myself and the fact that I can do it.

With how far I’ve come, I know that I can go further. The second biggest success is the people I’ve met along this journey of entrepreneurship. Positive numbers coming at me, from people who are supporting me. That’s my second biggest success, to know that my company is being validated in more than just the financial but that it’s being bolstered up by people that want to see me succeed.


Q: Your daughter has been raised with a mom as a business owner. Have you noticed that she is affected by that in any way?

One of the biggest differences that I have noticed with her is she has become more independentand far more attuned to other people. She wants to help, she’s become more involved and far more sympathetic to other people’s issues than I think the average kid who doesn’t necessarily know what mom or dad does on a daily basis. The fact that she she sees how hard I work makes her want to work just as hard.

And when she asks what can I do during the day, especially in the summer time, you have to ask of them to be more tolerant. She’s been incredibly sympathetic, she knows that I am guilty for working so hard. And she’s proud, I see this drive when she talks about…she was asked by one of her teachers what she’d like to do when she gets older, and she said she’d like to be like mom.

Q: What was your reason for starting your business – your “why”?

Dogma had kind of been a dream of mine for a while, I didn’t want to work for somebody else, I knew I could do it better, with more compassion, and I wanted it, I had so many ideas, I knew I could do better. I ultimately, you think when you go through life that you’re stumbling along and you just pick up what’s most convenient. I truly believe this is my purpose.

Every time I try to veer away from animals, I keep coming back in some respect. This is beyond just logic. It’s beyond what can make me money, it transcends any of that. When I started doing it, I knew I was meant to be doing it. And it’s made my life complete.

Q: What advice would you give to somebody who is a mom, dad, or not even necessarily a parent, but somebody that says I’m sick of working for somebody else, I have a great idea and I want to start a business.

Do your market research. Make sure not only that you want to do it, but it’s an industry that you can be successful at and that you can start seeing results quickly. Nothing motivates people faster than seeing results. So anything that’s going to get you some level of results that you’re looking for, great, keep going, don’t stop, don’t let anybody tell you what you can or cannot do. Especially when you become a parent, they’re going to say your first priority is to be a parent, your first priority is to yourself.

Don’t give yourself nothing – you’ll get burned out. Don’t lose yourself when you’re a parent or struggling to be this entrepreneur. Be all of it, but don’t lose yourself in it. Always have a back door. It doesn’t mean that you’re not committed, you need to be smart. If you go balls to the wall and it doesn’t work out, some businesses don’t work out, if it doesn’t work out have a back door. Don’t commit 100%. I never committed 100% because I knew there was a fraction that needed my attention should something fail. I’m a parent, if I was single, with no children or other people I was needing to look after, sure, my business would be my everything. Spread it out but don’t spread it too thin.


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