For years, Linda Waitkus’s job was working as a manager in retail department stores. But her passion was taking care of her Golden Retriever, Soleil. Ultimately, she decided to find a way to turn her love of being around dogs into a second career. When Waitkus learned that a local pet shop owner wanted to sell her business, Waitkus began to map a strategy to buy the store and spent a year developing a solid business plan and getting advice from other pet store owners and suppliers
Three years ago, Waitkus officially retired from a major retail store and bought the pet shop. At 57, she has no regrets about taking an early “retirement” and starting over as an entrepreneur. “I ran a $75 million department store, but had to learn how to sell a bag of dog food,” she says with a laugh.