Dr. Jennifer Creed has been a practicing small animal veterinarian for over 20 years. Jennifer was an emergency veterinarian for many years before she went to working at a daytime small animal clinic .She is the owner and operator of 2 small business. The first is A Plus PetVet – a small animal clinic located inside a dog day care called Depaw University Canine Campus. The second is a home based cattery that breeds exclusively Ragdoll cats called Midwest Ragdolls. Ragdoll cats are bred to have laid back temperaments and soft bunny like fur.They have been a TICA recognized breed since the early 1960’s and have been steadily increasing in popularity ever since. Dr. Creed is a regular speaker on cat health topics at the the Lincoln State and Wisconsin Cat show and her cats have been featured in 2 books :one veterinary book and one childrens book. Dr. Creed is is the mother of 4 beautiful human children and many furry family member including 3 dogs , 5 cats, 2 horses, 2 tortoises, and a Goffin Cockatoo named Gym. She is an avid horseback rider and stays very active with running and obstacle races. Dr . Creed and her family are lifelong vegetarians and animal lovers.
How did you get started in this business? What inspired you to start this business?
About 25 years ago I went to a cattery and purchased my first Ragdoll cat. The facility was run by someone without any veterinary training and it was dirty, it smelled and the cats all looked unhappy .
I realized that with my veterinary training I could do a better job.I fell in love with the Ragdoll breed because they have such sweet temperaments and require little grooming.
How do you make money?
I adopt kittens and provide all of their initial veterinary care to add value to my kittens.
How long did it take for you to become profitable?
My business is a labor of love. It operates at a loss but I love it anyhow.
When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?
The amount of work can be overwhelming and it’s impossible to call in sick. The kittens need to be fed no matter what happens in your life. Going on vacation takes months of planning and its very expensive to get a pet sitter for all the pets.
How did you get your first customer?
My first customer was from the newspaper. That’s how long ago it was! Now most people find me because one of their friends has one of my cats. Referrals are the best kind of business.
What is one marketing strategy (other than referrals) that you’re using that works really well to generate new business?
I like facebook. It’s fun to post pictures of cute kittens and I love it when people send me pictures of their beautiful cats.
What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?
I absolutely hate the fact that there is so much baloney on the internet. I wish there was a law that you have to tell the truth on the internet and that you can not be anonymous. My toughest decision has been whether I should bother with people online who lie or should I turn the other cheek. Other breeders particularly love to harass each other online then hide – so not the way to do things.
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
I’m honest and I care about the cats . I always put the kittens best interest first
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
When I realized how much people value the companionship my kittens provide.
What does the future hold for your business? What are you most excited about?
The doggie day care where my clinic is located is opening a dog dock diving pool. I’m pretty excited about that . For the cattery, I have a new blue male I purchased from Canada who is so so sweet . I’m excited to see his kittens.
What business books have inspired you?
DVM 360 has helped me a lot. I also read The Art of Veterinary Practice Management. I run my cattery much like a veterinary hospital .
What is a recent purchase you have made that’s helped with your business?
I purchased some beautiful cat condos from Clark Cages . The moms love to use them as a nice safe quiet place to have their babies . The adult cats have run of the cattery unless they need a quiet, private space.
Whats your favorite part of your job. ?
Playing with the little purring ,beautiful kittens on a daily basis.