Pet sitting and house cleaning: all in one St. Petersburg business
Donna Brown, mired in corporate America, longed for a different career path. “I wanted to do things that I really loved to do, and that’s helping people in their lives,” she says. So, in 1995, Brown launched FairyDust Services, which provides housecleaning and animal-sitting services. “I’ve had pets all my life,” she says. “I grew up in Connecticut with dogs, cats, horses and goats, so it was easy to decide to work with animals. I started housecleaning because a friend pointed out that I’m so dedicated to cleanliness that I would be good at doing it professionally.”
Now she employs about a dozen people in cleaning, pet sitting and overnight care. “I like keeping the business to a medium size, because it’s important to me to have good communication with my staff and all my clients,” she says.
Owner Donna Brown opened FairyDust of St. Petersburg in 1995. FairyDust received the Super Service Award in 2010, 2011 and 2012.
Housecleaning makes up about two-thirds of her business, and she works with carefully selected natural, pet-friendly aromatherapy products. “Not only are we superbly clean, but the products we use also leave a gentle fragrance in the home,” she says.
Brown says she and her staff take pride in devoting significant attention and time to the animals in their care.
“We emphasize their social well-being,” Brown says. “We take care of feeding and so forth, but we also want to give them a nice long walk, hang out with them, cuddle with the cats. When their family is away, they’re missing the human contact. We bond with them and let them know we’re there to care for them.”
Angie’s List member Beverly Feldman of St. Petersburg appreciated this devotion when FairyDust cared for her three dogs while she was on vacation. She’s since hired them several more times and remains pleased with their services.
“We were very impressed with the initial interview, as they asked all the right questions about our pets — not only their feeding needs, but their personalities and habits,” Feldman says. “They were given long walks and lots of petting, and we could tell they had been brushed while we were away.”
Brown also puts her lifelong experience with her own pets to work in her field.
“I’ve worked with a lot of vets and been trained on medical procedures like diabetic shots and subcutaneous fluids [inserted by needle just below the skin], so people know we can take care of pets with special needs,” she says.
Brown attributes her company’s high overall grade to her staff’s dedication to their work.
“Although it’s a business and we make money from it, it’s about passion,” she says. “We take whatever time is necessary to tend to their needs. We can go into a home with a shy cat or timid dog, and the clients are so surprised that the animals immediately take to us. That in itself is gratifying to us. They know their pets are going to be in good hands.”
The Super Service Award recognizes contractors and health care providers that have maintained a stellar service rating on Angie’s List throughout the past year. Be sure to always check the List before hiring, however, as ratings can and do change.