(MBA, Health Services Management, '13)
Founder of Pawfect for You
Q & A:
- What was your favorite class, who was your favorite professor, or what is your fondest memory of Hofstra?
Professor Janet Lenaghan. She delivered an engaging lesson in every class she taught. Instead of focusing on my strengths, she taught me to be aware of my weaknesses and how to work with them, instead of around them.
- What was your first job after graduating from Hofstra, and what was the most valuable thing learned in that position?
I worked for a small software development company in East Meadow, New York. Working for small business gave me insight into the mechanics of running a business. I was involved in many tasks, from HR to accounting – all skills I use to run my own business now.
- What is your field of specialty, and how did you come to work in the industry?
My primary field of specialty is project management, specifically process improvements. I started in the field as a manufacturing intern for a large equipment manufacturer in 2005. As an intern, my summer projects involved making improvements to existing processes. From there, I was hired full time in 2007 and just recently started a new job in the same field working for the state.
- What advice would you give Hofstra students?
Don't let anyone stop you. Several people told me I was crazy to start this business. I'm glad I didn't listen to them. Follow your dreams!
- In one word, how would you describe Hofstra?
- How did you use the skills you learned at Hofstra to establish Pawfect for You?
My MBA really taught me about the foundations of a business ... law, accounting, employee management, etc. Having those courses under my belt made me aware of what I needed when I started the business, as well as what I need to do as the business grows.
- What's the biggest challenge and biggest reward that you've found in running your business?
The biggest challenge has really been time management. There's so much that goes into figuring out how to run a business – setting up a website, choosing an accounting system, pricing, researching insurance companies ... and the list goes on. It takes a lot of time, especially for a type of business that doesn't already exist. The biggest reward: watching my hard work pay off; watching this grow.
- Of all the weddings/events where you've escorted dogs, which is the most memorable and why?
Oh gosh, there are so many. Every event is memorable in its own way. If I had to pick one, I would say my first. A client came to me through Rover.com, a pet-sitting app. At first, it was just a request to watch a dog overnight. As I started a conversation with the client, she told me it was her wedding day and that she really wanted her dog there, but couldn't make it work out. With only a few weeks before the wedding, she needed to find overnight arrangements for her dog, since she would be at a hotel. I told her about my business idea – that I wanted to start a company to bring pets to weddings on their owners' wedding day, and asked if I could do a trial run with her. She really took a leap of faith with me, and I'm forever grateful she did. Not only did I feel great about being able to make her day complete, but I actually had fun doing it! She sent me the professional pictures right after, and I was able to use them to start my website and develop marketing materials.
Veronica Silva graduated from the Penn State College of Engineering in 2007 with a BS in Mechanical Engineering and went on to work for a manufacturing company in Maryland, where she earned her Lean & Six Sigma Black Belt certifications. After four years, she decided to return to her home state of New York and pursue an MBA in health services management at Hofstra University. An entrepreneur at heart, she hoped to broaden her horizons by widening her field of expertise.
With an MBA, an eye for opportunity, a vivid imagination, and an entrepreneurial drive, while planning her own wedding in 2016, she saw a niche in the wedding planning market. Using knowledge from the business courses she took at Hofstra, she has been able to build a business from the ground up.
Realizing how difficult it was to have her dog, JakeBear, included at her own nuptials, Veronica conceived an idea for helping other couples in similar situations. Pawfect for You, Inc. is a unique pet-sitting service that specializes in wedding day pet care. Veronica and her team are a full-service chauffeur and pet care provider for couples on their wedding day. The company offers custom packages with services such as pet transportation, overnight accommodations, wedding day baths, walking the dog down the aisle, and assisting the photographers in getting pets to sit for that perfect pose. "Everyone's wedding is a little bit different," says Veronica. "We work with them to figure out all the logistics." This service allows couples to enjoy their ceremony with their pet, without having to burden a friend or family member with pet care duties. In addition to bringing pets to weddings, Pawfect for You also provides pet assistance at proposals, engagement parties, and rehearsals.
"It has been very exciting to watch my business grow from an idea that so many thought was crazy, to the reality of Pawfect for You."
– Veronica Silva