NKU student combines love for animals, business

Taylor Landrum found a passion for business in NKU's entrepreneurship program, which helped him launch Fur Sure Dog Care last May. 

FurSure
photo by Timothy D. Sofranko

“If it wasn’t for the entrepreneurship program at NKU, I would have never done this…”    

By Jayna Barker

NKU Marketing + Communications

For most college students, starting a business doesn’t easily fit into a busy schedule that revolves around studying, doing homework, working, and trying to squeeze in a social life.

That didn’t stop Taylor Landrum, a U.S. Air Force veteran and NKU entrepreneurship student, from launching Fur Sure Dog Care last May.

Fur Sure offers a mobile approach to dog care. Instead of clients taking their pets to a physical location, Taylor travels to each home to walk, brush, de-shed, bathe, or trim nails.

But Taylor, who is expected to graduate Spring 2017, didn’t originally have plans to start his own dog care business…. or a business at all.

After graduating from Ryle High School in 2010, Taylor joined the U.S. Air Force. When his enlistment ended in 2014, he matriculated as a student at NKU. The animal lover didn’t become seriously interested in starting his own business until taking ENT 310, a new venture creation course, under the guidance of Dr. John Clarkin.

“If it wasn’t for the entrepreneurship program at NKU, I would have never done this,” Taylor says. “NKU has helped make my business what it is, and it has given me the confidence and know-how to do what I’m doing,”

Coming up with a great business idea was the easy part, Taylor says. It was turning that idea into a reality that felt like hitting a wall. Taylor knew he’d found a market with needs that weren’t being met. He’d done the feasibility studies and knew that his idea was practical. But where was he supposed to go from there? What was his next move?

After seeking advice from Dr. Clarkin, Taylor visited the Small Business Development Center and Center of Innovation and Entrepreneurship on campus. He filled out the necessary legal paperwork, and soon enough, Fur Sure Dog Care became a limited liability company (LLC).

“Students like Taylor come to NKU for an education, not just a diploma,” Clarkin says. “Through his studies, he found a way to link his passion and love for dogs to a business concept where he could earn a living. He was looking for more than a job... He was looking for a career path that followed his dreams. I expect that Fur Sure is the first of many entrepreneurial ventures in Taylor's future.”

As a student who owns his own business, Taylor’s goal—other than making northern Kentucky a better place for dog owners—was to have a flexible schedule. His clients started out as family members and close friends, but he’s gained traction by word of mouth. Currently, Fur Sure offers its services to Campbell, Kenton, and Boone county residents.

When it comes to the future, Taylor has an interest in consulting but still has plans to keep the business going after he graduates. Whether it’s in a part-time or full-time capacity will depend on how his clientele grows between now and then.

Taylor’s advice for students who are thinking about starting their own business?

“Own your idea like the business you want it to become,” he says. “And never be afraid to deviate from what you originally created. Always be willing to move off that path and pivot in a different direction. Your destination will change—be resilient, versatile and open to new ideas.”