Meet Rachel Smith, the pet care manager at Kenl Inn.
Tell us a little about your business. – We’re getting ready to celebrate 33 years in business! At Kenl Inn (kenl-inn.com), we have dog daycare, grooming, training, and boarding. We also board cats, pocket pets, reptiles, and birds. We even boarded a small flock of ducks this fall! We offer a variety of activities including nature hikes, one-on-one playtimes, and several group play options. You can customize your pet’s stay so it’s absolutely perfect.
How did you get started in the business? – I have always loved animals. I started working at a veterinary clinic in high school where I cleaned and did some vet assistant work. During college, I started working at the front desk and learned the customer service aspect of the industry. I continued working as a veterinary receptionist until 2011 when I started working as a customer service representative at Kenl Inn. I became the pet care manager at Kenl Inn in September of 2018.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? – The transition from customer service representative to pet care manager was an exciting challenge. It was my first managerial position, and I had to learn all the details of being a pet care attendant. The other managers and the senior pet care staff did a wonderful job of supporting me and helping me learn the new job. I have an amazing team!
Tell us a little about your family. – I live with my partner, my 6.5-year-old son, and my 5.5-year-old step daughter. We also share our home with two cats, a miniature poodle, fish, and assorted gastropods and creepy crawlies.
What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? – Walk my dog and have (socially distant) coffee with friends.
What is your favorite quote or the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? – When I was five, my dad gave me a gold pin that said “attitude.” He taught me the importance of keeping a positive attitude and meeting life’s challenges with a positive outlook.
What is your greatest talent that you don’t utilize in your daily work life? – Painting. I was an art major in college, and I’ve had several solo shows and group shows in Lincoln.
Which talent would you most like to have? – I wish I were a better singer! I’ll just have to stick to singing while I drive.
If you could choose any other profession to be successful in, what would it be? – I would like to own a restaurant or bakery. I love to cook, bake, and try new recipes.
What is your favorite book or the last good book you read? – The last good book I read was Octavia Butler’s Bloodchild. It’s a book of short stories that are mostly science fiction. I also spend a lot of time reading to my kids. We’ve read a lot of chapter books and graphic novels together. It’s also been fun to revisit some books from my childhood, like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Neverending Story.
What is your favorite TV show? – Star Trek: Discovery.
What is your favorite local restaurant? – Cultiva. Their crepes and coffee are so delicious!