Love What You Do and Success Will Follow

By on December 17, 2016
Love What You Do And Success Will Follow

By Christina Russell –

Life is too short to spend 40+ hours a week doing something you don’t love!

I wanted a greater level of financial security than my parents had. I grew up without a lot of money. My mom was a single mom, supporting two kids as a secretary for the Orlando Transit Authority, making around $7,000 a year. My sister and I were latch-key kids, back when that was a thing. She remarried when I was 7 and had two more kids and my step dad supported us on the small salary he earned with the phone company, where he worked for over 30 years. Watching their struggles motivated me to work hard so I could achieve more than I grew up with.

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I eventually received my degree in English thinking that I wanted to move into an ivory tower as a tenured professor. I started my PhD at Penn State, and realized that was not the life for me. I was editing physics textbooks on the side as a freelancer, and ended up moving into science writing as a career. After nearly 8 years as a science editor at Los Alamos National Laboratory, I took the entrepreneurial leap and opened four fitness franchise locations with Curves. That was when I fell in love with business and leadership.

My goal has always been around excellence. In my early career, I wanted to be the best editor and rise in management. When I took the leap and started my franchise businesses, I wanted to be the best, and I won Franchisee of the Year in my first year. As I moved toward executive leadership, I wanted to make sure I had the know-how, so I went back to complete my MBA, and I graduated top of my class. And as I grew in my career in leadership, I continue to learn through peer groups and professional groups like the International Franchise Association.

I’m proud to lead Camp Bow Wow, which is the leader in the pet boarding and day camp sector with over 130 locations in 39 states. I’m proud to say that we’re driving continuing double-digit unit-level revenue growth, as well as record franchise sales, and we also have customer satisfaction scores that are higher than Nordstrom’s. My goal is to keep building and innovating to keep our pet parents and franchisees delighted, and dominate the industry worldwide.

Whether you define our industry as the pet industry or the franchise industry, it’s the same advice I would give to a talented man or woman who wants to succeed. You need to genuinely care. Care for the dogs. Care for the franchise owners. People see through a sales pitch, but they resonate with someone who genuinely cares about their experience and their success. We have a genuine passion for our vision of Happy Healthy Pets, Happy Healthy People. Our company motto says, “Never put the dollar before the dog,” and that culture of safety and security inspires a high customer loyalty. Customers feel that passion and commitment at every level of the brand.


Christina Russell, the President of Camp Bow Wow, North America’s largest and $93 million pet care franchise, follows a key business principle instilled from a young age: personal responsibility is fundamental for growth. Her mother was a single mom, supporting two kids as a secretary for the Orlando Transit Authority, making around $7,000 a year.  Despite facing many challenges, Christina’s mother set the bar high, imparting the idea that her daughter could make it on her own through strength and hard work.


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Love What You Do and Success Will Follow