Krista Castellarin, founder of Fabulous Furballs, says, "Fabulous can be found in all things - you just have to look for the sparkle."
Fabulous Furballs is a chain of luxury pet spas and boutiques which cater to pets and the humans who love them. Krista started the company after relocating from Las Vegas to Edmonton three years ago. Fabulous Furballs Limited was recently named #9 on Profit Magazine's list of the Hot 50 Fastest Growing Companies in Canada.
Three Things on Ms. Castellarin's mind:
1. Bet on yourself and bet big! RRSP and stocks are a great concept, but I'm always amazed at the number of people who hold off opening their own business because they don't want to take the risk. As the American markets have shown, the leaders of some of the biggest corporations in the world don't exactly have perfect track records for good decision making! When I created Fabulous Furballs, I cashed out every penny of my retirement fund and decided that if I was going to invest in anyone's decisions, they were going to be mine. My retirement was either going to be huge...or it would turn to dust as a result of my actions. Our company has grown 900% in three years - try getting those returns in the stock market!
2. It's okay to lose a little sleep. My bank account has gone from being in the red to being a very nice shade of black, but it's never the balance that keeps me awake at night. It’s the excitement of visualizing 300 Fabulous Furballs stores and 15 Fur Institute grooming schools across Western Canada and the Western United States. I get goose bumps just telling people about it because it's all so real. Figure out what gets you so excited that you can't sleep, and go do that with your life.
3. Know yourself first. When I relocated to Edmonton from Las Vegas, I began learning all about poutine, ice hockey, and why the labels were in French and English. All of this was helpful to know my market, but what was more important, was who I was and what I wanted my business to be. I knew Fabulous Furballs needed to be a little bit “Vegas” - a place where my “village” and my “people” could feel comfortable fawning over their Chihuahua or getting pink highlights for their Shih Tzu! But, it was also my mission to have fun giving back to pets in need, and to create a company that prides itself on a passion for animals and fellow animal lovers. Today, I am so proud when I see our customers - our friends, gather for our Halloween Howler and Pet Photos with Santa to support our local humane society. They aren't just spoiling their pets, but supporting the effort to find every pet a loving home. Every time I walk into any Fabulous Furballs location, I am home, I am with family - an extended family built on our mutual love of furballs.
Special to The Globe and Mail