About little old me...
I’ve always been aware of my drive to help others. It’s something that’s been with me all through my life from knowing first hand what loss, pain and adversity really feels like.
My life experiences are vast, from an early age of being in care, having to grow up fast, losing a parent young, learning to survive, struggling with depression most of my young life and having undiagnosed dyslexia, to finding the companionship of dogs and succeeding in the big business world against the odds. I developed a massive drive to succeed and I have the perfect cocktail for success, coupled with my learned life skills bringing me to my dream goal of owning a business that helps others.
Sadly a lot of people go down a spiral of negativity when faced with adversity, but I chose the positive path and what a rewarding path it is.
After making my mark and outgrowing working for other businesses like Pandora and Thomas Sabo, I decided the corporate world wasn’t the place to be for me. I wasn’t born to be a follower but I had learnt so many amazing skills and confidence to risk everything to be my own boss. In 2013 I had a breakdown, took time out, sold all my useless belongings, rented my house out, bought an old camper van and spent months deciding what to do next. I wanted to get happy and healthy so I started a Bootcamp to get fit and this inspired me to get my Personal Training qualifications and I started my journey to helping others. I quickly became life coach material and moved back to my home and built my clients purely through recommendations!
Annoyingly I had a car crash in 2017 and my work as a Personal Trainer and life coach declined. I lost my mojo for running ultras and being an amateur athlete and faced being told by health professionals I would most probably never be athlete material again. This made me very very sad. Then one day while enjoying a coffee with friends in a cafe that let dogs in, they said “you could do this”. So I did! But I had better ideas!
I ignored the health professionals and meditated, hypnotised and used alternative ways to mend myself, cleared my debts, boosted my credit score, and went for a business loan, sold my car, and anything that I could use to self fund my dream. I had done it before and I could do it again, I told myself. But this was even bigger then anything I had done before, however, this time I had so many skills and experiences it all fell into place nicely.
And from that I created my dog cafe in a turn around of 6 weeks, doing 90% of everything from the DIY, legalities, advertising, hiring of staff etc myself. Pulling all my past experiences together from big businesses I’ve worked for, to knowing how to survive, to renovating my own home, on very little and relying on very few.
My cafe in three months of opening has already made an impact on the local community. I created a sensory room for autism, registered PAT dog therapy evenings, music therapy, book exchange, customer token scheme to encourage my customers to buy food & drink for the less fortunate, employ volunteers with mental health and disabilities and cater for diverse diets, amongst many other things.
Why I need crowdfunding...
By self funding this project, I’m unable to move the business concept forward to enrich even more people through the ethos of the cafe. Funding would greatly help me to pay for staff to work, allowing customers to continue having a great experience and provide a safe space. This will allow me to be able to work on providing more to the current community, networking and advertising, raising more awareness of the impact we are making. My goal is to fund a second cafe in another community, because my drive to help others doesn’t stop in just one place. After seeing the positive response from dogs and humans - I strongly believe all and any community would benefit from an environment like this.
If you check out my Facebook page @thechillindog / The Chillin’ Dog K9 & Human Cafe you will see how many likes and recommendations I have in just four months of trading...this cafe is something so many communities need!
Please help me on my mission to provide this!