Featured on Sep 16, 2011
"Don't be inspired, stay inspired."
Co-founder of Waggit - a community of pet lovers. Being from the midwest, I can't get enough Italian beef from Portillos and snow white Christmas holidays. I'm a fan of dogs, miniature versions of things, and any food that has noodles. I jump at the opportunity to be creative and believe life's too short to do something you don't love.
- Title: Co-founder, Waggit
- Age: 29
- Location: SoHo, Long Island City
- Contact: @audreyhtan
What inspired you to build a community for pet lovers? What pets do you currently have yourself?
I’ve always been an animal lover. Dogs, cats, horses, elephants – I love em all. I’m that girl in the park that will ask you, ‘Aww…can I pet your dog?’
So, I don’t have a pet. [Gasp] Let me explain. In my last job, I travelled a lot and I couldn’t commit to being a full time pet owner. If you do it right, it takes a lot of energy and resources to love a pet as much as they deserve – and I just didn’t have what it takes. And I know a lot of other people in my situation. They love pets, but don’t feel comfortable making the full time commitment.
So I thought – wouldn’t it be nice to have a system where people could share their love of pets with their community? Like neighbors loving their neighbors pets? Pet owners get better, more reliable pet care, non-pet owners get a chance to care for a pet they wished they had, and the pets are themselves are totally happy making new friends. My idea is really inspired by creating a win – win – win situation for everyone.
What is your favorite thing about New York?
I love the people. Who are we kidding – the city itself is dirty, rat infested, and stinks of garbage when it rains. But when you go to any park and sit on a bench, the people can always fascinate you with its cultural diversity, fashion exclamations, and amazing food. You can look at a stranger and never really know what their real life story is, but still have fun trying to think of one anyway. People flock to New York because it’s a beacon of possibilities. With some luck and a lot of hard work, one can turn scraps into something beautiful. Like Alicia Keys famously sung, it’s a ‘concrete jungle where dreams are made of, there’s nothing you can’t do.’ THAT’s what I love about NYC.
Founding and running a startup is a significant time commitment. How do you balance personal time and business?
Balancing personal time and business is definitely a tricky thing, especially when you feel like your social life is so intertwined with work. But being a natural introvert, I preserve my mornings to be quiet, eat a nice breakfast, and do my reading for the day. I try not to turn on my computer until I’m physically in the office. It forces me to just be still before I plug into the madness of work. Plus, when I’m with friends, I’m very deliberate about not talking shop. I try to respect their time away from work and let myself naturally forget all the pressures at work with a gut wrenching laugh fest.