Imagine it’s your wedding day, and everyone you know is going. The only ones left behind are your pets, so who’s taking care of them? Enter FairyTale Pet Care, the first-ever wedding day pet care service in the US. Founded by Ilana Karcinski and Kelly Nova, they recently pitched their business on Shark Tank and got a deal with Barbara Corcoran. As of 2023, FairyTale Pet Care is worth an estimated $800,000.
About the Founders
Ilana Karcinski and Kelly Nova are childhood friends who have been close for most of their lives. They grew up in the same area, attended the same schools, and worked the same jobs. The entrepreneurs also share a love for animals.
Growing up, the two Tampa ladies were the go-to pet sitters when family or friends had to leave town. TTheir shared journey continued at Florida State University, where they were roommates. It was during their college years that the duo rescued three dogs, each one becoming a cherished part of their extended family.
After graduating, Ilana and Kelly got jobs at the Hilton Tampa Westshore. Around this time many of their colleagues were getting married and the girls noticed many didn’t have anyone to mind their pets. This sparked a bright idea, one that had never been brought to life before, in the heads of Ilana and Kelly.
Founding FairyTale Pet Care
Launched in 2014, the company faced the initial challenge of educating potential clients about the nature of its business. The co-founders dedicated two years to meticulously targeting the right audience.
The breakthrough came when the team drew insights from wedding photographers and organizers, gaining a deeper understanding of the bridal market. Beyond providing temporary homes for pets, the service expanded to include dressing up furry friends, allowing them to participate when their owners walked down the aisle.
By 2022, FairyTale Pet Care had evolved into a franchise. Amidst this significant transformation, an invitation to appear on Shark Tank arrived. Eager for any assistance during this period, the founders welcomed the opportunity with open arms.
After Shark Tank
FairyTale Pet Care’s segment was filmed in June 2023, and the news of its airing came just a few weeks ago. Despite offering a niche service, the company will still benefit from the free publicity. The deal with Barbara should close within the next six months.
With well over two million people tying the knot each year in the US, the business targets a relatively small market but each customer has a high value.
Currently, the company only offers services in Tampa Bay, West Palm Beach, Las Vegas, and Pittsburgh. If your special day isn’t in any of these locations, you can get a custom travel quote on their website, FairyTalePetCare.com. Depending on the location, it will cost $500 to $750 for one pet which covers three hours of care.
FairyTale Pet Care is thriving as a franchise, with Ilana and Kelly always being hands-on with helping their franchisees. They even have a franchise operations manual with comprehensive videos for their new business partners. According to their website, it costs between $22,400 to $37,800 to become a franchisee.