#CLTInspreneurs: Meggie Williams
Meet Meggie, founder of Skipper
Meet Meggie, founder of Skipper She has always been curious and likes to ask hard questions. She admires people who live on their own terms. She tries to be kind and courageous all the time. She is self-driven, never needed someone else to tell her when to jump, and is usually the one out there encouraging other people.
Two years ago, my husband and I were looking for a dog walking service for our dogs, Stinson and Khumbu, and couldn’t find one we liked. So, we created our own.
We’re here to bring our clients peace of mind. At Skipper, our clients receive real-time updates and an automated summary report with a GPS-tracked map and pet photos after every visit.
We make our service really easy to use; we offer free same-day scheduling and never charge for additional pets. Visits can be fully customized to fit your dog’s needs. We’re very selective with the team members we hire; everyone loves animals and has experience in pet care. Our team is bonded, insured, background-checked and professionally trained. We earn our clients’ trust because we care about providing an unparalleled level of convenience, quality, and care in everything we do!
What is a typical day like for you?
It changes depending on the week! We’re in the process of raising our first round of funding – I spend a lot of time meeting with potential investors. I’m also currently working on several partnerships with other businesses. I work closely with the rest of our rock star team out of our office in Hygge; we’re focused right now expanding our technology and getting ready for our first new market launch. Details on that coming soon. 🙂
Favorite part about being an entrepreneur?
Ah, there so many things. For one, I love being an entrepreneur in Charlotte where I get to be a part of this growing base of entrepreneurial people committed to seeing this city thrive on the contributions of the creative class. A high tide raises all ships, and this community knows it. I have a lot of close friends and mentors who are building companies, and we all care deeply about each other’s success. I wake up every day feeling honored to be a member of this tribe.
I was more relaxed before we started this company. 🙂 I used to read a lot. We’d go to Barnes & Nobles and walk through the aisles, find a few good books, grab a fancy coffee from the café and then hole up at one of the tables… read a little, talk, and read some more. I was better at slowing down the pace then. It’s harder for me now to get out of fifth gear.
What did you do before you went out on your own?
I was strategy consultant for IBM in NYC, and then I was the General Manager of a startup based in San Francisco.
Why did you pick Charlotte as the home of your business?
After Sebastian and I got married, we backpacked around the world for 9 months. We met so many people, explored so many places, and learned about ourselves and what feeling ‘at home’ meant to us.
When we got back from our trip, we wanted to find a place where we could make roots. Sebastian grew up in the mountains west of Asheville and I was born and raised in New Jersey. We met at UNC-Chapel Hill and lived in NYC for a few years. We always knew we’d come back to NC. We love Charlotte for its great blend of urban and rural lifestyles. It’s sophisticated without being pretentious. You can find adventures inside and outside and never get bored. The people are diverse, and you can be as engaged with the community as you want to be. Having a business here has deepened our relationships and introduced us to so many new friends and new purposes. We tie our identity to this place and deeply care about its future. We’re proud to call Charlotte our home.
What inspired you to go out on your own?
I saw something that wasn’t being done well and knew there was a better way. I did research and analyzed the market. We talked to many other dog owners to understand their needs until I felt confident that I could build something people would love.
What do you do when you’re not working?
I love adventures. I specifically love fast things, like roller coasters and speed boats. I’m always up for live music and being outside. We take the dogs on hikes and love to explore new trails. I love going to the movies. I’m active in my neighborhood community and serve on the board of Friends of 4th Ward. I play on a volleyball team that’s been together for 2 years.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned from being out on your own?
I’ve learned how to be scrappy and hustle. Running a business does not lend itself to a traditional work life – and I love that. I surround myself with go-getters who do whatever it takes. We learn the rules so we can change them. We’re not afraid of going outside the lines. We know we’re here to rewrite the books and we’re relentless about finding a better way. There’s nothing more empowering than discovering self-awareness from being pushed to rise higher, to know more, to be better.
Talk about a time you failed big time and what you did next.
I was laid off from my previous job. The company was going bankrupt but no one on payroll knew that at the time. It felt like a huge failure. I didn’t tell anyone for a whole week. I got myself together, and, after some self-reflecting, decided it was time to put this new idea into play that I’d been thinking about for a while. That’s when I started Skipper.
Who do you look up to or look to for inspiration/advice?
I’m big about making friends with the people I admire. I try to surround myself with inspiring people. I call my mom every day.
What’s your motto, or some words you live by?
People don’t remember what you said, they remember how you made them feel.
What advice would you offer to someone who wants to be an entrepreneur?
Do your research. Be ready to pick yourself up and dust yourself off… a lot. Read about the different types of cognitive biases to learn how and why you and other people think… “Thinking Fast and Slow,” by Daniel Kahneman is a good start. Remember that no matter whatever happens, the worst case scenario is probably not all that bad. Be ready for this to be lonely at times – and be okay with that. Find people who will support you and give you objective feedback. And feel free to email me, I’d be happy to talk with you, too. email@example.com
Where can people stalk ya?
What’s your “power color”?
A Note from BW on Meggie Williams…
We chose Meggie to represent the SERVICE space. She has created not only a company, but also the programming, logistics and technology to make the business flourish. Could you ever imagine someone listening to your crazy idea over the phone and telling you to go for it and that she’ll support you on it, too? That’s Meggie. In fact, that’s how she and BW owner Corri met. After only a few sentences of learning about our #BWLuckyDog campaign (where we featured black dogs in need of good homes) Meggie was on board. Meggie’s operation of, and passion for Skipper is truly special and her energy is electric. Her enthusiasm rings true to something we always say: “if you’re not excited about your brand, no one else will be.” Vote Meggie Williams 2020.
Awesome interview! Meggie, Sebastian and Waggle are the best!