June 24, 2018
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Girl Friday helps to ease chaotic lives

Debra Bell | BDN
Debra Bell | BDN
Kathi Howland's business, Girl Friday Errand and Shopping Service, offers busy people a chance to reclaim some time in their day. She specializes in dog walking and pet sitting.
By Debra Bell, Weekly Staff Writer

BREWER — When busy schedules cause mayhem and stress, Kathi Howland is ready to help.

Howland, the owner of Girl Friday Errand and Shopping Service in Brewer, said she was inspired to start the business when her own life turned chaotic.

“I have an older dog [named Tillie that has] special needs,” Howland said. Because of those needs, Howland rearranged her own schedule to accommodate them into her daily routine. For working women, especially, finding time to fit everything in can be exhausting.

Howland knows. She’s been there. She’s done that.

Now her business will provide relief for pet owners and busy professionals alike.

Howland opened Girl Friday Errand and Shopping Service in December 2011. Girl Friday Errand and Shopping Service specializes in pet sitting and dog walking. However, Howland’s business also offers a full spectrum of clients with a complement of services from grocery shopping and post office visits to waiting for the cable guy.

“I’m serving as the ‘go-to’ girl for my clients,” Howland said. “There’s a huge benefit to my clients. I come to them in their residence and provide in-depth services. My mission is to treat every client [relationship] with ‘I.C.E.’:  integrity, courtesy and excellence.”

Howland is insured and bonded to ensure her clients have total confidence in her services. In addition, she said, her business approaches each client relationship with respect and confidentiality.

“My mother instilled in me some core values,” she said. “Be ethical and treat people with kindness. If I can pass the buck along and pay it forward then hopefully it will instill that in others. That is one reason I started this business.”

The other major goal: To help her clients find more time in their day.

“For women especially, we want it all,” she said. “We’re so stressed out that we can’t find time to get everything done. For pet owners, instead of worrying about how to get home during lunch or when to go on vacation, I can help you find time.”

Some of that time comes in the form of allowing a client to give their “mind a chance to stop.” Howland knows that the kind of trust required to let go of some responsibilities doesn’t come easy. That’s why she sits down with the client to figure out what service will work best.

During the holiday season, Howland will be starting to help clients regain time by gift shopping, gift wrapping, and making trips to the post office or United Parcel Service. For clients heading out for the holidays, Howland will be ready to keep Fido and Fluffy happy and healthy at home.

For more information about Girl Friday Errand and Shopping Service, visit www.girlfridayerrandsandshopping.com

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