Local Business – PeeWee’s Playdates

PeeWees-Playdate-KelseyWe all struggle with the thought of leaving our pets when we go out of town.  On the rare occasion that the Sage Hounds stay home, we always worry about who is going to take care of them.  So it was truly a blessing when we found PeeWee’s Playdates and met Kelsey DiGiacobbe. She was the perfect dog walker + pet sitter and made us feel ok about leaving town.

Kelsey set up time to meet with us and meet the Sage Hounds prior to our trip.  She asked all about our dogs and their routines as well as any emergency information, vet contact and all of the other important details.  She also asked if we needed her to do anything else like water plants, turn on or off lights, etc.  We really appreciated her thoroughness.  Not to mention our pups really liked her!  We felt a huge relief knowing that we would be leaving the Sage Hounds in great hands!  She even sent us a picture while we were gone so we could see how they were doing AND we came home to some happy pups!

As small business owners, we are always interested to know more about other small local businesses and the people behind them.  we really liked Kelsey and loved how well she took care of our dogs so we wanted to find out more about her and her business.  We sent her some questions and she happily answered them.

“Who or what inspired you to start PeeWee’s Playdates?”

My miniature dachshund Pee Wee inspired PeeWee’s Playdates.  I was no longer happy doing retail management (which I had done for over 10 years).  A friend asked me at the time, “What do you really want to be doing?  What makes you happy?” And I answered, “Walking dogs!”  Saying it out loud turned it into something real and after that, there was no turning back!

“How did you come up with the name?”

I named her Pee Wee because she is on the smaller side for a dachshund, at only 10lbs.  I always loved Pee Wee Herman as a kid (and as an adult!)  I watched Pee Wee’s Playhouse on TV every week and Pee Wee’s Big Adventure is still one of my favorite movies to this day.

“How long have you had your business?”

I started PeeWee’s in May of 2009 in North Carolina.  The first 6 months was a steady build of new clients.  Starting my business, allowed me to step down to a part-time manager in retail so that I could focus on both jobs, allowing me to maintain a steady income.  by the holidays of 2009, I quit my job as a store manager of Pier 1 Imports and devoted my time to PeeWee’s.  It became a full-time job for me within just a few months.  After 2 years, I sold my client list and trained a new owner in North Carolina to take over so that my family and I could move to California.  PeeWee’s OC started in May of 2011, so we are about to have our 5 year anniversary!

“What does a typical work day look like?”

PeeweeWake up, check my phone for texts, emails or calls from clients regarding any schedule changes or bookings.  Make necessary changes.  Walk Pee Wee and Tucker (my dogs).  Do morning dog walks or pet sit visits for clients that are out of town.  Check the schedule to make sure that Carissa, Estelle and Kathy are on schedule for their morning stops.  Personally do 5-7 afternoon walks (our busiest time of day) for vacation folks but primarily for clients that need us while they are at work.  Check the schedule to make sure that the team is on schedule for their afternoon stops and then repeat for the evening!

PeeWee’s has an average of about 20 stops per day on the weekdays.  We have as many as 30 stops per day during peak times in the summer and holidays.  My goal along with doing pet visits myself, is to make sure that my sitters and walkers are on time to their stops and that I am available to answer any questions and communications from my team and my clients.  My walkers text after each visit is completed so my phone is blowing up from morning until the time that I go to bed! 🙂

“What is the best thing about your business?”

The animals of course!!  Seeing happy pet faces and being outdoors is nice (especially when it’s cool out).  It’s also really rewarding to know that we are giving pet owners the peace of mind that they need to enjoy a vacation or long day at work.

“Do you work with all kinds of animals?  What was the most unusual?”

We have more dog clients than any other type of animal.  A good amount of cat clients too.  We also care for fish, hamsters, rabbits, birds and turtles.  The most unusual for me was a chinchilla.   She was SO soft and adorable.  The owners didn’t have any other animals so their chinchilla was the family pet.

“What services do you provide?”

We provide dog walking, pet sitting and overnight pet sitting services.  All services can be customized for length of visits and all services are done at YOUR home.  The whole reason that our services are done at your home is to keep your pet in the security of their own home which reduces stress and eliminates issues that can come with day care or boarding facilities such as fleas, kennel cough or depression.  Though it is not asked for regularly, we will do doggy transport if needed to the vet, groomers, etc.

“What areas do you service and how can we reach you?”

PeeWee’s home base is located near downtown Brea but we have walkers in La Habra Heights, Fullerton and Anaheim.  We are a family oriented business; my husband, Jason DiGiacobbe, is a web designer that created and maintains my we site and company branding.  My mom, Kathy, is a walker based out of Fullerton.  Carissa and Estelle have been best friends since high school.

PeeWee’s is open for business 365 days a year.  It’s been a LOT of hard work the past 5 years.  That includes holidays, nights and weekends but I wouldn’t trade it for the world!  I have met some really amazing people and their wonderful pets.  You can see what they are saying on PeeWee’s Yelp page.  You can find more information on my website or like our FaceBook page where we share adorable pictures of our clients’ pets.

The next time you are going out of town or need an extra hand with your pets contact PeeWee’s Playdates.  They are AWESOME!



xx Mary + the Sage Hounds
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