We had the good fortune of connecting with Ligaya Kelly and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Ligaya, can you tell us about an impactful book you’ve read and why you liked it or what impact it had on you?
Reading is like air and water – they are all a necessary part of life. I consume books like food and have many favorites in several genres. Scattered across my desk are books that I’m reading and ones I want to start reading. My Kindle and Audible runneth over. Because of this, there isn’t one book that has impacted me more than another. I take from all of them and use what I learn to improve myself. However, I do have favorite authors. Brené Brown is at the top of my list. Her research helped me to see more clearly how to live happier. From Daring Greatly to Rising Strong, Braving the Wilderness, and Dare to Lead, she’s covered every aspect of a person’s life. She said, “Let go of who you think you’re supposed to be; embrace who you are.” I was always so afraid that people wouldn’t like me if I were just me. Then, when I finally let go of that idea, I found that what others thought of me never really mattered. As long as I am happy with who I am, I’m good. I’ve learned to let go of the little things because, in the end, they don’t change the outcome. All of this plays into my personal life as well as my work. As a mom, I want my children to see a strong, independent person who makes a difference. As a business owner, I hope to be successful and be an example to others to take pride in what you do. In turbulent and unsure times like these, we need words of encouragement, places to escape to, ideas that are outside of the box and even unconventional. You gain so much and lose nothing from reading a book, even listening to others read the books to you. I love my Audible because I can “read” while doing dishes or cleaning the house. I encourage everyone to pick up a book and read a little every day. Even if it’s just one paragraph, make it a habit, and you won’t regret it.

What should our readers know about your business?
It started with a desparate search for work answering an obscure ad on craigslist.com. It read something like this: “Mature couple wanted. Must be business minded and must not be afraid of the dark.” It was a job managing a pet boarding facility. My husband’s background was in construction and I was a bookkeeper. After discussing it with my family we met the owner. A wonderful, quirky, older woman who bought the place as a second business. We moved in a month later and built it up from 12 kennels to 34 in less than four years. We realized this was where we were meant to be so we offered to buy it from her and after getting turned down by a dozen banks and lenders, we reached out to some investors and purchased it from her two years later. That was four years ago. We now have 46 kennels, a cat building, a full-service grooming salon, five employees outside of our family and a thriving business, even with the pandemic. We like to think of our services as grandma’s house – your pet comes to get spoiled. We love the animals and enjoy meeting new people. While it has had its ups and downs, the rewards make it all worth the while.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If my best friend was visiting Santa Clarita and I had a whole week to show them around we’d start with dinner at either La Esmerelda in Saugus or Bonsai Gardens in Canyon Country. We’d follow this up with a relaxing evening at our place where there’s no light pollution from the city, and you can see the stars and occasional satellites passing by. A good night’s sleep will be required because we’re super active. We’d start out the next day with a trip to Vasquez Rocks, where so many famous movies were filmed. It’s great for hiking and photo opportunities. On the way back, we’d have a late lunch at Halfway House Cafe. We’d finish up the day with a nice walk through Central Park on Bouquet Canyon. Day 3: A trip to Hollywood, Beverly Hills, or China Town. All three are only about an hour’s drive from here and always interesting for visitors to see. On day 4, a little more hiking in the Santa Monica Mountains. There’s a beautiful loop at Towsley park all kinds of interesting things to see, and the view from the top shows you all of Santa Clarita. A stop at Brewery Draconum for a bite and a good microbrew. They have an awesome Bavarian pretzel with beer cheese. Then, if there’s time, a visit to Hart Park to feed the animals. Day 5: A trip to Santa Barbara is in order because it’s less than a two hour drive for an amazing zoo and the best fish and chips at Dargan’s Irish Pub. Don’t forget to order a black and tan and their Irish Cream creme brulee. Day 6 might take us to Santa Clarita Valley Equestrian Center for a little trail ride and then Havana Savannah for their specialty – tornado brew and a sticky pecan bun or panini sandwich. Day 7 will be spent relaxing at home with a smoked brisket and friends talking about the good ole days.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
This is dedicated to my husband, Michael and my children, Garrett and Jessica. They are the foundation for which I build everything from. They keep me grounded, bring me joy and give me a reason to live my best life possible.

Website: https://bouquetcanyonkennels.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SCVBCKennels
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bouquetcanyonkennels
Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/bouquet-canyon-kennels-santa-clarita-2

Image Credits
All photos were taken by the author, Ligaya Kelly.

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