Laura Fazio spent much of her career selling pharmaceuticals, but recently decided to start her own business catering to Springfield-area pets.
Fazio, who spent about 15 years in sales, plans to open a pet daycare and boarding business in an Upper Valley Pike shopping center this spring. The business, Wags N’ Wiggles, will allow customers to drop off their dogs during the day or overnight and allow them to get exercise in a 4,000-foot play area in the business.
It will be open at 1608 Upper Valley Pike, in the shopping center across from the Upper Valley Mall.
Her family owns the Fazio Color Shop, 1020 S. Limestone St., so starting a business is sort of a family tradition, she said.
“He’s been a small businessman for 40 years,” Fazio said of her father. “It’s kind of the way we grew up, running our own businesses.”
She decided to start the dog daycare business after noticing there are few places in the area that allow pet owners to leave their dogs during the day. The goal of the business is to give the dogs plenty of exercise and time to learn socialization skills, while owners are at work or busy running errands. She researched similar services in Dayton and Columbus before she decided to start her own business.
The location should be a good fit because there’s plenty of parking and good traffic, said Steve Anzur, executive director of the Small Business Development Center in Clark County. The organization assisted Fazio with several services, including marketing materials and help developing a business plan, he said.
“You could tell when we first met her that she had a clear vision of what she wanted to do in terms of this dog care business, and she just needed some advice,” Anzur said.
The business will accept all sizes and breeds once it opens, Fazio said. Dogs must be current on vaccinations and will undergo a socialization evaluation before being accepted. It will be open from 6:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturdays, and will eventually have eight to 10 part-time employees.
“I just have always loved dogs and I think it’s such a great idea for them,” she said.