WEST LOOP — Platinum Paws, a new luxury dog nanny service with such high-end services as body cameras and confidentiality agreements, has opened for business.
Platinum Paws is the brainchild of Elena Stein, a West Loop resident who said her career as a lawyer kept her too busy to take care of a dog herself. She left her law practice about a month ago and teamed up with friend Gregory Morris, a Logan Square resident, to launch what she calls her passion project.
With its deluxe package charging $700 per week, Platinum Paws will be marketed almost exclusively to affluent, busy professionals who live Downtown, the duo said.
Stein and Morris said they and their two part-time nannies will sign confidentiality agreements to protect their clients' privacy. And in a few months, they hope to equip themselves and the other nannies with body cameras so customers can keep an eye on their pets and the services they're paying for.
"We're working with people who don't want their address or phone number known," Morris said. "It'd be like if Jimmy Butler needed a dog walker."
Clients pay by the day or week depending on their needs. The top-of-the-line "platinum" package, which costs $700, includes two nanny visits each day with walks, runs, grooming, training reinforcement and "pet-and-play" sessions (which are what they sound like). Basic in-home boarding costs $45 a day, and customers can also customize their dog's care at a special rate.
Though dog walkers and doggie daycares abound throughout the city, Morris said the whole business is aimed at making it convenient for Chicagoans "to leave their pet at their house."
Stein said she has many friends who complain their dog sitters aren't up to snuff, and she runs the business out of her apartment in the West Loop, where a dog walker was notoriously caught kicking a puppy earlier this year. Stein, who has yet to get a dog herself, drives her business with a simple question: "what would I want if I hired somebody to take care of my pet?"
Morris and Stein said they have done two consultations with prospective clients, but have yet to sign one since opening Aug. 18. Right now they're marketing their business through Facebook advertisements, social events at nearby apartment buildings, and handing out business cards at nearby dog parks. Eventually, they hope to expand their business throughout the city and to some suburbs, and plan to hire on dog nannies as employees with full benefits after thorough vetting.
"Just like any other job, they have resumes as well," Morris said. "We actually want to provide for our employees."
Though she left an established profession for a fledgling new business, Stein says she is happy with where she — and Platinum Paws — are going. She doesn't miss law.
"This is much more fun," she said.
As of now Platinum Paws aims to serve the West Loop, River West, River North, Gold Coast and Streeterville neighborhoods.
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