PRZOOM - /newswire/ -
Washington, DC, United States, 2006/05/11 - On June 12, Herndon, Virginia resident Amy Nichols, CEO of Happy Tails Dog Spa, will be honored at the National Business Women's Conference for her entrepreneurial accomplishments. Founded in 2002, Happy Tails built a 7-franchise empire in 4 years.
As a technology sales executive, Amy Nichols felt guilty that her long work hours didn’t leave enough time for her dogs Bodhi and Griffin. She realized that many other busy professionals shared her concern, and began making plans for launching a dog day care service in 2001.
Nichols analyzed all the information she could find on the growing pet care industry. She also enrolled in Up & Running, a 13-week seminar for new business owners at the non-profit National Women’s Business Center (NWBC). “The class covered a lot of ground,” says Nichols. “We learned about everything from finance to strategic planning to marketing.” Also importantly, weekly meeting with a like-minded group of soon-to-be entrepreneurs alleviated Nichols’ pre-launch stress.
In June 2002, Happy Tails Dog Spa, a full-service dog day care, spa and boutique, opened its first location in Tysons Corner. By 2004, the company’s revenues exceeded $1 million/year. Given the popularity of her services, Nichols saw an opportunity to replicate Happy Tails’ success nationwide. “For someone who loves dogs, this is a great business,” she says, noting that total US pet expenditure exceeded $34 billion in 2004. In May 2005, she launched a franchise program and signed up 6 franchisees before year end. Also in 2005, Nichols launched K-9 Support, a charitable organization that raises funds for military and seeing-eye dogs, and sponsors local rescue missions and foster programs.
“Amy is an outstanding role model for women entrepreneurs,” says Penny Pompei, President of the National Women’s Business Center. “Her innovative thinking has taken what began as a small business to great heights. Our Entrepreneurial Vision Award celebrates trailblazing accomplishments by women business owners. That’s exactly how I would describe Amy’s success”. NWBC’s annual Entrepreneurial Vision Award was established in 2001. Its 2005 recipient was Deryl McKissack, CEO of McKissack & McKissack, the oldest minority-owned architecture and construction firm in the nation.
Nichols will be honored at the Women Entrepreneurs Gala on June 12. The Awards Dinner will be held at the JW Marriott Hotel in Washington, DC, following the NWBC’s annual conference.
About the National Women’s Business Center (“NWBC”)
The non-profit NWBC (WomensBusinessCenter.Org) was established in 1996 by Congressional action. Over the past 10 years, the Center has helped over 12,000 entrepreneurs, primarily women, launch or grow their businesses. The Center’s workshops and seminars are led by successful entrepreneurs who are experts in the field that they teach. A complete list of their training programs is available at the Center's website.