Prior to the lockdown, Lizzie Hudson was rushed off her feet.
But people started cancelling their holidays so they did not need someone to care for their pets.
Now, the owner of Deepings Kitty Kare in Deeping St James hopes selling her own special pet food will instead bring home the bacon.
The 39-year-old mum launched the business about three years ago after wanting a change from the travel industry.
Many years before, Lizzie studied a college course in small animal care, and became a trainee vet nurse, but it did not work out. This led her to study to be a travel agent, which took her to Thomas Cook and others, with a specialism in selling cruise holidays.
Lizzie would win awards for top sales and customer service, something she would find useful in later life.
After moving to the Deepings six years ago, to be closer to her mum and starting a family, Lizzie began to regret not working with animals.
Once, on holiday, her sister mentioned she used a pet sitter rather than a cattery to care for her cat.
Lizzie explained: “So, once I came home, I looked into what’s involved in setting up a pet sitting business. I could not believe the great response I had and I’m loving every minute of my job.”
What sets Lizzie apart from other pet-sitting businesses is that when she cares for pets, everyday she sends a video of them through WhatsApp, which reassures the owners their pets and homes are safe.
Such a message also confirms to them that she really cares about pets, which has led to a regular clientele, who return to Lizzie time and time again.
Lizzie receives many recommendations too and they are often posted on her Facebook page.
She said: “It gives new customers confidence in leaving their beloved pets in my good hands.”
Such good service has also Lizzie to be nominated in the Deepings business awards two years in succession.
Sadly, the lockdown means no-one is going on holiday, so they no longer need a pet-sitter.
Lizzie recalled: “It was cancel, cancel, cancel and I got upset.”
However, just before the lockdown, Lizzie began selling pet food, something she saw as a natural progression for her business.
The lockdown has allowed Lizzie to put her ‘heart and soul’ into building a new website and also to promoting the pet food.
Lizzie said: “By offering free delivery and collection during lockdown, I have attracted new customers.”
The free delivery is within seven miles of the Deepings, though for 45p a mile, Lizzie will also deliver up to 12 miles away.
The pet food business is generating new customers, though as yet, not enough income to make up for the lost pet-sitting. But once the lockdown is over, Lizzie says people will go on holiday again.
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She added: “I have very loyal customers and I know I will be looking after their pets in the future.
“I have attracted new customers from the pet food. Hopefully they will also start using my pet sitting service, which will definitely keep me busy.”