Apples and Almonds

Apples and Almonds
Kat Almond walks her client, Monty, while sister Fenley tags along on a bicycle.

The age-old adage about the apple not falling far from the tree is apparent in the Almond family.

Kathryn Almond, 11, wanted to start a pet business. Using her artistic talents, she designed flyers and, with the help of her eight-year-old sister Fenley, hand-delivered them to 51 homes in her San Marco neighborhood.

“Just out of nowhere, Kathryn decided to start a business,” said her mother, Hillary. “She just insisted, so I told her she had to figure it all out herself.”

In short order, Kathryn’s Dog Walking Service was born. Little did she know she was treading in her mother’s footsteps.

“For years I’ve wanted to have my own business and I love dogs,” said Kathryn. “When I told my grandparents (Rutledge and Noel Liles), my grandmother said, ‘Did you know your mom had a dog-walking service when she was your age?’ I was so surprised!”

Like mother, like daughter: Hillary Almond’s dog walking service was featured in the Jacksonville Journal, August 27, 1979.

Like mother, like daughter: Hillary Almond’s dog walking service was featured in the Jacksonville Journal, August 27, 1979.

But it should be no surprise Kathryn has the spirit of an entrepreneur.

“I watched my dad work in a firm and then watched both of my parents go out on a limb to start Dad’s law firm,” said Hillary. “Kathryn has watched her dad (Eric) and me pour everything into our business while taking care of three kids. We started Almond Engineering from scratch. It’s very healthy for the kids to see. We have good years and lean years and they roll through it.”

Kathryn said her family is very supportive of her endeavors. “My mother drove me around to deliver some of the flyers and my grandparents ask me how it’s going and encourage me,” she said.

When asked about her qualifications for starting this business, Kathryn remarked, “Well, I love dogs and cats. I am responsible. I know to be on time and be nice and polite.”

Kathryn is undecided about how to best use the money from her dog walking and pet sitting endeavors so she is saving her earnings until she decides. Mother and daughter are amused and amazed that they had the same business idea a generation apart, and it seems Kathryn Almond has what it takes to succeed.

After all, this junior entrepreneur just can’t help herself – it’s in her genes.

By Peggy Harrell Jennings

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