September 23, 2017

Ex-Royal Navy Katie now steers pet professionals

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Aboard the Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal, Katie Tovey-Grindlay

helped support Harrier jet pilots as a Communications & Information Systems Specialist

Back ashore, she’s redeployed her comms expertise to support entrepreneurs

in the UK’s thriving £4.6bn pet sector – and also helps pet businesses overseas

FIVE MILLION Twitter followers now use a fan base she’s created named #WoofWoofWednesday

FROM SHIP-SHAPE TO WOOF-WOOF: Former Royal Navy Able Rating Katie Tovey-Grindlay (left)

recruited her own crew of pet industry clients after re-launching her career

Katie is now available for interview

Aboard the Royal Navy flagship aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal, Katie Tovey-Grindlay worked below-decks as a communications specialist.

But since leaving the Armed Forces, she’s redeployed her military-sharp professional skills to help pet businesses at home and abroad steer a steady course for success.

Now Katie has become one of the UK’s leading communications, marketing and social media experts supporting entrepreneurs in the UK’s £4.6 billion pet sector.

As an acknowledged pet business growth expert and owner of two dogs herself, Katie, 33, from Bristol, now also helps growing pet firms overseas across America and Europe.

And through her company, Woof Woof Network, she’s created a Twitter chat hour, coining the hashtag #WoofWoofWednesday which now reaches an amazing worldwide audience of five million.

“I loved my time in the Royal Navy and I’ve also always loved animals,” says Katie, who lives with husband Noel and their two dogs, five-year-old black-and-tan Dachshund cross, Toby and black Labrador Bertie aged six (below).

“Serving as part of the ship’s company on HMS Ark Royal was very different from what I’m doing now, but when it comes to communications, there are also many similarities.”

For a small monthly fee, pet business clients can also join her membership club, The Barking Tribe, which entitles them to personalised support with a wide range of practical tips and advice. Topics covered include everything from online business growth and email marketing to using video and blogging to boost sales.

All Tribe members and Woof Woof Network followers also get the chance to network with other pet industry owners, discuss shared challenges and meet for regular social events.

“In the Navy, as an Able Rating Communications and Information Systems Specialist, I was sending and receiving signals to and from other ships and helping support our Harrier pilots,” adds Katie. “But the Navy also taught me that communicating effectively is not just about talking but also about listening, and that’s also always true in business.

“Working in communications in the Royal Navy meant having to be clear and concise, and I always remind my clients how important those skills are when I work with them to build their business.”

From her HQ in Bristol, Katie’s Woof Woof Network clients extend nationwide across the UK and include businesses in the dog, cat and equestrian sectors. She also supports and advises overseas pet firms in America, Canada, France and the Netherlands.

CANINE COMPANIONS & CLIENTS: Above, Katie exercising her dogs, Toby, left, and Bertie; and here, busy helping her Woof Woof Network customers

After Katie left the Navy in 2011, she started a pet services business offering dog walking, home feeding visits, home board and holiday cover. Through this she became acquainted with many start-ups and small businesses keen to grow.

They began meeting once a week, on Wednesdays, which led to Katie launching her own business and calling it Woof Woof Network, a one-stop shop supporting pet firms and helping answer entrepreneurs’ questions.

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