by SAMANTHA EDWARDS | photos by Alicia Jeanne Photography

Working & Playing Together

family_keefe1The Keefe family loves Leucadia. Having lived in the coastal community for almost a decade, parents Mark and Suzy saw each of their children – Rylan (7), Hudson (4), and Finnley (19 mos.) – born at Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas. It was also in Encinitas that Spawtique, their mobile pet grooming business, really began to take shape. Because they needed more space for their family to grow, the family recently moved to San Marcos but continue to be active in the 92024 community. “There’s so much to love. The people, the community, the businesses, restaurants, and the beaches,” said Suzy. “The love that people have for the town is infectious and it has an energy all its own.”

family_keefe6Now living on their own urban farm, the family has done a lot of growing: their pets include three dogs, a cat, a pony, four Nigerian Dwarf goats, two rabbits, and 17 chickens. The family came up with the concept of “Hens Helping Hounds” after Rylan saw a puppy in a kennel and became upset when she learned they couldn’t adopt another dog. They now sell their extra chicken eggs and use the money to find pets in need, clean them up, and care for them until they are ready to be adopted out. “My kids are learning that that they can use the resources they have on hand to help make the world a better place,” Suzy explained. The family hopes to eventually work with shelters as well, by grooming the dogs to help them become more adoptable.family_keefe3

Parents: Mark Jeffrey Keefe and Suzanne Sebald Korn-Keefe
Children: Rylan Marli Keefe (7), Hudson Robert Keefe (4), Finnley Rowan Keefe (1)
Community: Leucadia and San Marcos
Hometowns: Mark – St. Helena, CA; Suzy – Cazenovia, NY
Occupations: Owners of Spawtique Mobile Pet Grooming
Pets: Gustavo and Franklin the Boston Terriers, Chuey the Chihuahua, Ziggy the orange tabby, Coco the pony, Dancer, Prancer, Comet, and Cupid the Nigerian Dwarf goats, Shadow and TumTum the Holland Lop bunnies, Dotty the hen and her crew of 16 chickens
Favorite Places to Visit in 92024: Beacon’s or Swami’s Beach, restaurants along the 101 (so many good ones!), San Diego Botanic Garden, and Yoga Tropics

family_keefe5 family_keefe2 family_keefe7Even Mark and Suzy’s animal-centric profession is a family affair. Suzy started Spawtique in 2007, and Mark joined her about a year and a half ago after leaving the corporate world. “The kids help out where they can and they see us working hard, caring about the animals, and treating our groomers with respect,” they elaborated. “It’s really a neat family dynamic we have. We all grow, live, work, and learn together.”

“It’s really a neat family dynamic we have. We all grow, live, work, and learn together.”

family_keefe4The Keefes enjoy spending time together and supporting each others’ interests whenever they can. On the weekends, they can often be found working outside together, doing fun projects and chores, watching Rylan ride horses at the barn, playing at the beach, or exploring other areas of San Diego. “We dream of traveling around the country in an RV, teaching the kids along the way,” Mark and Suzy shared. “For now, we stick closer to home most of the time.” But when you love where you live, home isn’t such a bad place to be.