We had the good fortune of connecting with Estella Martinez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Estella, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I worked for a company for over 17 years prior to being let go 1 month into the pandemic. Right about this time my dad started drastically declining in health, he suffered from Alzheimers. I became his main caregiver assisted by my husband, my brother and my sister-in-law. The time spent caring for dad was an honor. My dad is the reason I have such a strong love for all living creatures, especially dogs. Dad always showed compassion and kindness towards all dogs, especially strays, and I as a little girl followed his footsteps. Even in dad’s final stages his love of dogs never waivered, my own golden retrievers Darby and Leia were a great comfort and joy to him. Dogs Fur Life, LLC was a dream that came to fruition with losing my dad, it was his last gift to me. I realized at 54 years old it was time to do something that brought me joy (his mantra), something that was so natural to me, I feel like DFL has been in the works since I was a little girl. Then came the time to put the business idea to paper, how was the business going to look? Taking care of the dogs is the best part, but I did have so much to learn such as marketing, certifications, taxes, software and more! We never stop learning, and this past year was definitely a year of growth.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I bring to the table over 50 years of loving dogs, I do not recall a time in my life without a dog nearby. I am that lady that talks dogs to anyone that will listen. I care for the welfare and well being of all dogs, I do not know it all but what I do know I share with other dog parents. Dog boarding and doggy day care in my home is a unique experience, in a smaller ratio environment there is play time, brain exercises, treat time, meal times, nap times, more play time, DogTV, conversations (I do most of the talking lol) and lots of love, attention and hugs. My newest service- Wedding Dog Attendant is what I am most excited about! At weddings I provide care for dogs as they participate in different ways in their pawrents wedding. I walk them down the aisle, provide photo assistance, cocktail hour escort, and many additional duties, and this can be packaged with my boarding service as the humans honeymoon. This was not the original business plan, initially I was offering dog boarding/doggy day care and had a booth at a local antique/craft mall selling dog themed merchandise. Honestly, the retail side just never took off, that made me sad initially but then the new direction with my wedding dog attendant service organically started when a couple who I take care of their dogs asked if I would assist them at their wedding, my service was born, and what initially seemed like a failure turned into something that I absolutely love offering. This taught me that my business may and will evolve, but will always lead me back to my love of dogs.
I want people to know that DFL is a place their fur babies will be cared for as I care for my own two dogs Darby and Leia, in addition
I am registered LLC
I carry pet sitters insurance
I am pet cpr/first aid certified
Certified Pet Sitter through the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters
My Mission Statement reads
“My lifetime of loving dogs continues as I responsibly love and care for yours. I do this with gratitude, patience, excitement and joy”
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Klyde Warren Park
Grapevine Dog Park
Trinity Park in Fort Worth
Cedar Ridge Natural Preserve
Fort Worth Stockyards
Cedar Hill State Park
Lots of patios along the way especially BoomerJacks in Bedford, my favorite patio
And all these places are Dog Friendly!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My husband Art. The evening we met in 1988 I had recently lost a dog, I spent quite a bit of time talking about Ringo and crying, he patiently listened and was very sweet, I tell people all the time, he knew what he was getting into! LOL! But on a serious note, he is my biggest supporter, he immediately supported my idea, his words “Let’s make this happen” He is my marketing consultant, created my logos, creates my business cards, flyers and more.
But most importantly, he loves all DFL fur clients, I knew he would, back in 1988 when he listened to me that first evening.
Instagram: @dogsfurlifellc @weddingsbydfl
Other: Tiktok dogsfurlifellc