Every parent wants their child to grow up in a loving and safe environment and, for many, their "children" include fur-babies. Megan Mabe, owner of Uppity Pups, prides herself on creating a loving, safe and clean environment for your “furry kids.”
Being a business owner wasn’t in Megan's original plans. Megan was on track to become a teacher when a contact she made while pet sitting during college presented an opportunity. He owned property that had an established kennels business on it and the owners were looking to retire. Although this peaked her interest, she didn’t think too much of it at the time.
During college, Megan was working at the Winter Haven Library where she gained invaluable leadership skills that she utilizes today. The many women there encouraged her to pursue her dreams. Through this she gained the confidence to take a leap towards her goals.
When she graduated, Megan was drawn back to her deep passion for animals and the concept of owning Uppity Pups came back to mind. After a little negotiation, she presented a business proposal to the property owner and they became 50/50 partners.
Together they purchased Uppity Pups in 2017 and set about transforming it to match their vision. They have launched doggie daycare packages, grooming, retailing of pet products - leashes, collars and scarves, grown boarding services and have given the building some TLC, refreshing the overall look and the environment for their furry guests.
Not only have they made cosmetic changes and added new services, they have also added new staff to their team. Sarah, Norma Jean and Wanda are the three core women in her business, “Team work is a huge part of my business and I couldn’t be successful without the help of my team,” she shared.
While her team is hard at work with the daily care of their guests, Megan takes care of the marketing & finances, and still makes time to be involved in the day to day duties. “Dogs are people’s family, so you have to on the ball at all times to make sure they are taken care of,” she explained.
Uppity Pups existing clients and new ones have responded well to the changes. She is seeing business growth from both the year round Winter Haven community and from the seasonal snowbird visitors too. Last holiday season, they had 80 dogs in their care in just one week! It’s safe to say that Winter Haven trusts Uppity Pups with their furry family members.
Owning a business doesn’t come without challenges. Megan shared that "Being a "woman in business" has made me grow up quite a bit, and sometimes tough choices have to be made, but I feel blessed to be in the position that I am in”. She is very proud of how far she has come and because of her experiences she wants to tell every young lady to, “Just go for it. Don’t over analyze every single thing. Try something new!”
Uppity Pups has been under new management for over a year now and Megan has gotten involved in many community events. From Grove Roots Brewing Co.’s Moonlight Market, Main Street Winter Haven’s Bark in the Park and even some work with Southeast Guide Dogs. Megan and her team cannot wait to continue to do more in the community in the coming years.
Megan is excited to continue the success of Uppity Pups for many years to come. “I see this as a lifelong thing.”