Michelle Watterson of CatNap Cottages
Michelle Watterson is a RevolutionHer™ Business Member based out of Arkell, Ontario, and is the proud owner of CatNap Cottages, where she offers a calming cottage getaway for your cat, giving you the complete peace of mind that kitty is being well-treated in a relaxing and playful atmosphere. We caught up with Michelle to learn more about her entrepreneurial journey…
What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
I’m not certain I ever aspired to be an entrepreneur. I wasn’t one of those people who knew they were going to go into business for themselves. I just knew that I had a love for animals. Working in Veterinary Clinics, I loved being the kennel attendant. I loved working before the clinic opened and talking to the cats. I knew I wanted to run a kennel. Then I became kind of fixated on achieving it. I knocked on a lot of doors to make it happen. I disregarded a lot of negative comments and a ton of “no’s” to make it happen.
What’s the best part about owning your own business?
The Cats!! I love what I do. I enjoy getting head bumps and snuggles. I go in and I am greeted by boys in Tuxedos and kittens. What is better than that. On a business level, it’s that I get to decide! I put the work in it for me. It’s my vision, my dream and I make the final decisions. I am very proud of that. I am proud that I took the leap into business ownership.
Have you ever had to sacrifice something at home for work? Or vice versa?
Absolutely! I think that comes with being an entrepreneur and a mother. I have had to leave work and pick up a sick child. I have had to tell a client no, because of family commitments. I have also had to tell my family no, because of work commitments. I can’t travel when everyone else is travelling because that’s my peak time. I work PD days, Statutory holidays, Christmas. It’s tough when your child says “Mommy, you are always working.” I try and give them a trade though. I need to make it up to them. We’ve surprised them with an overnight stay in Toronto. When I was done work for the day, I told them to get a change of clothes, a bathing suit and toothbrush and meet us in the car. It was so much fun. The next evening, I was back at work. We took what little time we had and made memories.
What do you do on a day off? Do you even know what a day off is?
Days off are with family, although I am always connected. I don’t think I have had a day where I have not been connected. I try not to come in on my days off, that is starting to become easier. At this time, it’s too stressful to disconnect completely.
Are you active in your community? What does supporting local mean to you?
Yes, I think it’s important to be a part of your community. It’s a good life lesson for my children. I can’t teach them to be giving and kind, without living it. My husband and I both volunteer for different community organizations. We also volunteer our time at their schools and sports teams.
Any tips for other women thinking of starting a business?
Do it! I guarantee, you will not regret it. I also think it is wonderful for my daughters to see. These are teachable moments for our younger generation. Live your dreams. You can be an entrepreneur, a mother, a wife and be successful at all of them. Will you make mistakes along the way? Absolutely. Dust yourself off and learn from them. While you are going about your days, don’t forget to celebrate your successes. You can do it while going through the ups and downs of life. You only get so many trips around the sun. Make sure your life is bringing you joy.