Barnet entrepreneur shortlisted for two awards in the pet care industry
Lisa Baptiste has always had a connection with animals. As a child, she wanted to be a vet. Lisa grew up with dogs, guinea pigs and hamsters and spent her weekend's horse riding, mucking out and grooming at the stables.
The Perfect Pet Nanny, Lisa’s first animal business was started 7 years ago. It happened by accident after she was diagnosed with a chronic illness and then breast cancer.
Lisa said: “I was unable to work for a couple of years and it was a friend who suggested I do some pet sitting because her pets were always drawn to me.”
In her business, she helps Barnet pet owners care for their animals. Lisa said: “I love working with animals- their energy is very healing. Dogs and cats in particular are sentient animals and their love for us is unconditional.
“They know when we feel down and need support. They live in the moment- forgive and do not hold grudges. They rely on us for warmth, nourishment and comfort and in return, they are loyal and offer us companionship and love. I feel so lucky to be able to work with my pet clients.”
As the pandemic hit, Lisa and her husband realised The Perfect Pet Nanny would be severely affected now clients were not able to travel and many were working from home.
The restrictions inspired them to set up a new business called Mooch and Gander. The premise of the enterprise is an online marketplace selling sustainable pet food and products from local businesses. Already, 70 business have signed up to sell their products on the site.
Of the business idea, Lisa said: “I realised that people were not going to be travelling and working from home so I thought you can look at it negatively, but I always try to draw a positive. It coincided with my husband being in an industry that was severely affected. I had been toying with this idea for a couple of years and thought there was an opportunity here to build something. It is like the silver lining COVID cloud because it gave us the time and the opportunity to pivot and build this platform.”
Mooch and Gander also act as an online hub for small community businesses. The company holds a monthly networking meeting on Zoom: “It has been so positive. A lot of what we do is about collaboration and sharing of information. It has been really exciting to see that side of it evolve.
“I have always been a big supporter of shopping local. If you buy cheap, you buy twice and it is so true, our pets deserve better.”
Over the years, Lisa has built strong and positive relationships with clients. She misses being able to look after the animals: “I never imagined seven years ago I would be working with animals and certainly not such a wide variety. I really miss all my wonderful clients.”
Going above and beyond for her clients has seen Lisa shortlisted for two awards. Mooch and Gander have been shortlisted for the Animal Star awards in the best pet-related business/online store category. The Perfect Pet Nanny has also been shortlisted in the best businesswomen awards in the best customer service category. Both award ceremonies will take place online in March.
Lisa said: “I am really excited to be nominated and shortlisted for both these awards. It is good to be recognised for what I do and how happy I make my clients.”