TAMPA, Fla. — Kelly Nova and Ilana Karcinski, two best friends from Tampa, made an appearance on Shark Tank this year.
You can say the outcome was like a fairy tale. In fact, that’s what they call their business, FairyTail Pet Care.
“So Iliana and I have actually been best friends since we were 13 years old. We were both born and raised in the Tamp Bay area, so we grew up together, we actually went off to the same university, Florida State, and were college roommates,” said Nova. “Then, when we graduated, we both moved back to the Tampa Bay area, and we started working at a hotel here in Tampa, at the same hotel.”
It was during their time working in the hospitality industry that they realized there was a need not being met when it comes to weddings.
“Couples that were getting married at the hotel wanted to have their dog as a part of their day but then the logistics got in the way, they didn’t know who was going to take care of them on the day of, they didn’t want to put that responsibility on somebody else, or ask someone they didn’t invite, so the light bulb went off and we realized this could be a service people are looking for,” said Nova.
So in 2015, these two best friends combined their love for dogs and experience with weddings into one business, FairyTail Pet Care.
“We did a lot of research, and we were the first wedding pet care company to start in the U.S.,” said Nova.
“I mean, your dog is your family, and when you love your dog that much, of course, you want it to be a part of one of the biggest days of your life,” said Karcinski.
From greeting guests to walking the ring down the aisle to photos, there are countless ways Kelly and Ilana can include your pet during the big day.
“Black and white tuxedo bandannas, flower collars, black harnesses, and leashes, so that everything just kind of looks nice for photos,” said Karcinski.
During the past nine years, they’ve worked with more than 1,500 dogs and a handful of cats in weddings across the country.
“People pay us to travel out to California, to New York, all these different places because there isn’t a service there doing this,” said Karcinski.
Kelly and Ilana were even asked to appear on Shark Tank.
“And we got a deal with our ideal shark, which was Barbara Corcoran, so we are very excited to see what happens next,” said Nova.
The deal puts them in a great position to expand the businesses even further.
“And so for us, we were really looking for a franchise partner that could help us scale it even faster and really help us with the pieces that are missing that we don’t have, a mentor essentially,” said Karcinski.
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