5 Questions With… Wayne Hartley
You founded Hearts Pet Care while still working a 9 to 5 and decided to become a full-time entrepreneur during a pandemic. Why did you decide to jump out at this time and do you have any regrets?
I decided to take the leap into full-time entrepreneurship because I saw that there was an opportunity for me to build my business, grow my clientele, and share pet care knowledge all around the city. Everyone was stuck at home. They are looking at their pets more and now they’re wondering what they were going to do with them now. Then it became clear to build up my mobile services and bring the pet care to them and offer convenient and consistent care around the city. I don’t have any regrets at all. Any failure or obstacle that has gotten in the way has taught me a few things and I still wouldn’t change it at all. I love what I do and I make it known through the work I put in.
Why do you think that people of color are not represented in pet care?
Simply due to the lack of representation from prior generations. We are doing a much better job of it now, but the fact remains that the pet care industry is mostly made up of people who do not look like me. I do believe that if there were more acceptance, better wages, better opportunity, and an overall appreciation shown to people of color in the field, the rest would feel at ease and want to participate more.
We know that when starting a business there is a checklist of sorts to make sure that you are on par for success. Anything that was not on that list, that you didn’t anticipate or wish you would have accounted for?
There is definitely an extensive checklist for business ownership. The To-do list is always getting longer as you go and when you don’t have anyone to delegate the work to it seems to become overwhelming at times. It’s always important to prioritize and handle what can be handled right then and there. knowing your budget (numbers) and really sticking to a plan is so important. You have to also account for the people you bring onto your team and make sure they understand to uphold your mission and values.
You are a proud member of the Omega Phi Psi fraternity. Any other professional organizations that helped you prepare for your entrepreneurial journey and are there any that you may suggest to those that are considering doing the same?
Yes, I am also a part of the Dekalb County Chamber of Commerce, National Dog Groomers of America Assoc., National Assoc of Professional Pet Sitters, and National Assoc. of Veterinary Technicians. I definitely recommend finding what you truly love to do and put yourself in the position to learn everything you can in order to be the best version of yourself. Habitat for Humanity, the Boys and Girls Club, and the YMCA are always great organizations to look into as well. I have worked with all three in the past.
Can you please share your 5 tips for pet owners during this pandemic and beyond?
1.Exercise or some type of outlet is needed. Pets, just like people, have been stuck in the house. Make sure that your pets get some form of exercise to loosen up joints and lose the pandemic weight that we have all gained.
2.Get your pets regularly groomed. People are bathing and grooming their own pets and not properly drying them causing mats and knots. Matting is uncomfortable and happens really quickly.
3.Separation anxiety is rea!l It’s time to acclimate them to others and socialize. As you start to transition into traveling and going back to work, dedicate time to showing them that it is ok while you’re gone.
4.It is very easy to avoid the vet during this time. Skipping out on prevention can be very detrimental to your pet’s health. With the weather getting warmer it is time to get our fur babies checked.
5.Call Healthy Hearts Pet Care for all of your pet’s needs, including; grooming, boarding, dog walking, and pet sitting. 😊
5 Questions With… Wayne Hartley