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Check Out Liza De La Chapa’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Liza De La Chapa.

Liza, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I was living in El Paso, Texas in 2004 when I adopted my first Golden Doodle named Bailey. A year and a half later, I adopted Marley, her sister, and the three of us became inseparable. When time came for me to travel, I constantly ran into the same problem of finding a boarding facility that suited my two doodles’ needs, as well as my own. Every boarding facility in El Paso looked like juvenile detention, cinder clocks, chain link fences, and I was being nickeled and dimed on if I wanted someone to pet them or feed them hamburgers and ice cream. I was a self-proclaimed crazy dog mom and needed to find a place that loved my dogs the way I loved them!

Fortunately in December 2008, I moved to Los Angeles, California and on my drive into the city, I passed by D Pet Hotels Hollywood, and my life changed forever. I had finally found a facility that was air-conditioned and had supervised indoor play, with real bedrooms, with real beds in them! They had room service, and they had a whole staff of people who understood that these were more than pets. I was a loyal client for eight years. When the opportunity to open a franchise location came my way in 2017, I embraced all the signs the universe gave me and settled in my home of Texas, finding the perfect location in Austin.

D Pet Hotel Austin has been a passion project of mine. It was a career change that made me feel like I was dedicating everything in me to ensure I created a place with the best care and attention for our dogs. Our clients are family, their dogs are an extension of them, and each day we exceed in fulfilling the needs of our local dog owner community.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Ask any entrepreneur if it is a smooth ride and the answer is always no. I had never owned my own business before so I really had no idea what I was getting into. The only thing I did know for sure was that if I was going to take a bet I would bet on myself because no one was going to work harder for my own success than me. In regards to financing, who was going to loan money to someone with no experience and no background in this field? If I had a dollar for every bank that asked me how much my husband was willing to put in financially and how much of the work he was willing to take on, well I wouldn’t have needed a loan as there was no husband. The Small Business Administration was willing to give me a loan and I jumped on it and went from there. The next hurdles included finding a building that would be large enough to house the hotel, finding staff, finding clients, figuring out social media, figuring out search engine optimization, etc… The learning curve was huge and just as soon as things are starting to run smoothly, COVID strikes and no one knows what is going to happen and the entire world stopped traveling and started living in fear. My business is tied to the travel industry as most people board their dogs when they are going out of town, but at this point no one was traveling and no one knew when it would end. Many small businesses were lost. I consider myself very blessed as we have been able to stay open. There will always be more challenges and that’s part of what makes owning a small business very satisfying because you get to be creative in solving the problems that come up.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I own D Pet Hotels Austin, a luxury dog hotel. I take care of the most distinguished dogs in town by providing them with three indoor air-conditioned playparks that have an attendant present making sure all the play stays nice. All of our dogs stay in suites, some have Kuranda orthopedic dog beds, others have twin and queen size memory foam beds and all have flat-screen T.V.’s to make the dogs feel like they are at home. All of our guests receive room service for all their meals. They get to play all day, and on the day they go home, they are treated to the Spaw where they can get a bath and a blowout or a whole new haircut so they can go home in style. Our hotel is also staffed 24/7 so there is a dog butler at night to make sure any of the guest’s needs are met regardless of the time of day or night. We are known for going above and beyond for all our dogs, and we pride ourselves on taking the absolute best care of the pups. We love on them, hug them, pet them, read them stories and spend lots of quality time with them. If there is a medical emergency, we will gladly take them to vet and make sure they are taken care of, especially when their pawrents are out of town. We are proud that we know most of dogs by name and have personal relationships with them. I also have the best team, they take care of the dogs just as if they were their very own pets.

Let’s talk about our city – what do you love? What do you not love?
I love Austin! The best part of the city is, of course, the people. Texas is home to some of the most friendly genuine people in the country. I also love that there are lots of outdoor things to do, from walking around Lady Bird lake to stand up paddleboarding or riding your bike there is always something fun to do. The food scene is unreal here, thank goodness we can go play outside to burn it off.

The least favorite part of Austin, like all good cities when the secret is out and everyone knows it is a great place to live, the traffic gets bad.

Pricing:

  • Capital Suite $115
  • Sensational Suite $95
  • Standard Suite $70
  • Half day of daycare $30
  • Full day of daycare $40

Contact Info:

  • Email: austin@dpethotels.com
  • Website: www.dpethotels.com
  • Instagram: dpetaustin
  • Facebook: D Pet Hotels Austin


Image Credits:

Liza De La Chapa Portrait by Sarah Baber Facility Pictures by Julian De La Chapa

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