Meet Eleanor Lawton, a local entrepreneur who owns and runs Second City Pet Services in Birmingham, UK; offering a friendly and reliable dog walking and pet sitting service in Kings Heath, Moseley and surrounding areas.
Eleanor Lawton in her own words…
I recently gave up working in the arts to start my pet care business. I’ve always loved animals and owned pets and over the years I dreamt of working with them in some way.
What was your first job?
I got my first ever job when I was 16 years old. I worked as Saturday girl in a corner shop, I was paid £2 an hour!
When did you know that you wanted to run your own business?
I’d never really thought about it until very recently. I have a few friends who are self-employed in different fields and it was clear to me that they truly get job satisfaction. Doing a job you love while being your own boss seemed ideal but I didn’t think I was cut out for it or have the necessary experience. I knew I wanted to work with animals and I spent a while deciding how I was going to do this and researching different types of business and finally I arrived at dog walking and pet sitting.
Were there any barriers you faced – particularly as a woman?
It’s still very early days for me but thankfully I’ve not met with any barriers as such. I have had people voice concerns about me working on my own, entering homes and walking through parks alone.
Why did you set up Second City Pet Services ?
I saw a gap in the local market and I’d been helping out friends by looking after their pets when they’re away or busy and decided to make a business out it. I love animals and know how difficult it can be to devote enough time to caring for them while working, looking after a family and other commitments so I wanted to offer help to people in this situation so the animals are well looked after and I get to spend time with all the pets too!
What has been your biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge has been doing everything on my own! I’ve never before had to make so many decisions. It’s been very exciting and nerve wracking but I’ve learnt so much, even in such a short time.
What has been your most memorable moment?
I got really excited when I got my first request from a genuine customer!
What would your top tip be for women starting out in business?
Sign up with Women & Enterprise for all the help and advice they offer! My only regret is that I didn’t do this sooner so maybe a tip would just be to just seize the day and start up.
What would you most like to change in the world?
The level of equality. It would be amazing if everyone had the same opportunities regardless of their, gender, race, religion or weatlh.
What do you do to relax?
Even though I’m walking all day I like to go for a run, then I feel like I can truly relax. I love to watch films and documentaries too, I always enjoy some sofa time with a good film, good food and a cat on my lap.