Or “How PupWalkr became an actual company”
-- Confession: Ok. So Let me start by admitting that these weren’t actually the first four walkrs. More like #3 — #6. But “the first four” makes for such a better title.
Rule #1 of writing: “Lie immediately to your readers to assert dominance.”
Now that we’re clear who’s in charge...
Many of you that used PupWalkr in its early days will recognize the faces below.
That’s because these four below were our only walkrs for a very long time. And it’s with their help that PupWalkr grew from a weekend project into a real(ish) company.
First came Cory
The Starbucks barista with aspirations of becoming an actor. No professional animal experience whatsoever, but so damn fun on his phone interview. I hired him on the spot.
Friendly. Kind. Positive.
He became the first of many to show me that being a good person counts for more than an impressive resume.
(NOTE: I need to mention that his picture above is not photoshopped. He actually glows like that in real life.)
She finished her undergrad at UNC and was back home for the summer. Before applying for grad school she joined the small team and became a crowd favorite.
Last I heard, she was at the University of Chicago for her masters degree in Appalachian feminist literature. A free walk credit to the person that can name a more specific branch of writing.
Ali taught me to care our walkrs as people. That everyone has their own hopes and dreams, and all the flavors of insecurities that come with.
(Fun fact: Ali had the best bangs I’d seen since Ringo Starr)
Third was Hannah M
Our first hire with actual professional dog experience. Her years of vet tech-ing and running her own dog walking business turned her into the total badass I met that day. Some of us called her “mom” though I don’t think she ever knew that. Some of us really meaning me.
Hannah M taught me not to f*#k with Hannah M.
No, I’m kidding. She’s really sweet. Anyone looking to hire Hannah in the future, don’t read this.
(Fun story time: On one of Hannah’s walks, she locked the keys inside the house. She called me. I had the flu. Went out to help anyways.
All that happened was we sat outside together until the owner came home. Hannah — if you ever wondered why I was in a sweater on that 95 degree day.)
And lastly, (the other) Hannah
She came to us by way of Cory. The two of them were best friends. Or roommates. Something like that.
Hannah L was a UGA graduate with a heart of actual gold. She worked with the Extra Special People group in college and was on her way to join the Peace Corps.
Hannah L taught me that, because someone looks like Kristen Schaal doesn’t mean you have to point out they look like Kristen Schaal.
(Wait wait, here it is: Hannah was dating Cory’s roommate, who was Cory’s best friend, who was dating Hannah’s roommate, who was Hannah’s best friend.)
In all seriousness, I learned a lot from these four. They showed me the kind of company I wanted to build and the type of people I wanted to build it with.
None of the four are on the platform anymore, but I’ll be checking in with them. So follow up posts coming soon!
Assuming any of them answer my emails.
Remember how weird it was to see your teachers outside of school as a kid?
Well here’s the team doing a thing outside of work. Ali couldn’t join us but we (I) still got plenty drunk.
A huge thanks to each of you.