Virginia Doser - One of the few Professional Innsitters
Date of Birth: 1/12/48
Interests: Cooking, travel, and reading
Quote: "Whatever you can do, or dream, you can begin it! Boldness
has genius, power and imagination in it. Begin it now." (Goethe)
Virginia's taking a break at a local inn!
Virginia Doser is one of the few professional innsitters in the U.S.
She began innsitting the summer of 1994 in Emporia, Kansas by taking
care of the White Rose Inn for her friends who really needed a holiday.
She enjoyed this experience so much that the following spring, she completed
an intensive, hands-on innsitting workshop in northern California, and
decided that innsitting was for her. "I was a librarian for the previous
twenty years in all types of libraries: public, community college, law
and accounting firms, and I have also done consulting for corporations
and individuals in library start-up and management. Additionally, I reviewed
books for Library Journal and a major southern California daily newspaper,
and compiled bibliographies. I enjoyed the diversity of all of this, but
I was ready for something else," says Virginia.
Originally from Wisconsin, she grew up in Long Beach, California. "I
attended California State University, Long Beach and earned two undergraduate
degrees in English and Comparative Literature. I sort of fell into the
graduate school library science program at the University of Southern
California, after contemplating a graduate degree in art history or law
school. I think I made the right choice; my experience as a librarian
really provides a resourceful background for me now," she states.
Virginia quit working as a librarian in 1995, and set up her innsitting
business; mailing out brochures and resumes, and visiting as many inns
as she could in California and Wisconsin. "My first innsitting job was
very local -- seven miles down the coast in Laguna Beach at the Carriage
House -- a lovely older inn that I still work at when I am able," she
remarks. Since Virginia worked in the hospitality industry as a waitress
and hostess throughout high school and college, she has a good understanding
of the service industry, and is able to handle situations as they arise.
She has innsat for small, quiet inns, and extremely busy inns alike; either
doing everything, or supervising a staff varying from 1-6 people.
As an innsitter, Virginia's duties might include all or some of the tasks
required: greeting guests, taking telephone and in-person reservations,
sending out confirmations, giving brief tours of the inn to people who
stop by, cooking and serving breakfast and afternoon snacks, shopping
and banking, housekeeping and laundry, and pet care and light gardening
if needed. "I do enjoy the variations and challenges of each inn," she
explains. Virginia goes on to say, "Because I am not the owner, it is
very easy for me to "sell" the inn as a good place to stay to prospective
guests. I let them know right away that I am taking care of the inn for
the owners, so they seem comfortable right away in asking questions or
making relevant comments about the inn to me. I, in turn, pass any suggestions
and comments onto the owners. This seems to be a good method of finding
out what guests really enjoy or really dislike about the inn without them
feeling pressed or embarrassed. Inn owners do appreciate suggestions and
comments, and I am happy to oblige as the 'middleman' between owners and
Since innsitting for over a year and establishing a few regular B&B clients,
Virginia would like to venture into caretaking, too. She has done some
housesitting and small estate caretaking locally, and would like to move
up to larger properties all over the country as a caretaker. "I have managed
small inns with no guests, larger inns with 12-15 people to take care
of each day, and I do enjoy both the solitude and the conviviality of
lots of people," she explains. Virginia does love to travel, and this
was pertinent to her motivation to get into this unique type of caretaking
service. She has seen a lot of the United States and Canada, and has been
to Europe a few times in addition to China, Australia and New Zealand.
"I hope to get to Alaska soon; I understand that this 'last frontier'
is truly beautiful. Hopefully I can work up there as an innsitter or caretaker,"
Virginia's interests also include collecting and using unique and vintage
cookbooks, embroidery and needlepoint, early Renaissance music, writing
short stories and yoga. She says, "Happily, I may indulge in all of these
interests while innsitting or caretaking during quiet evenings." What
has been the most enjoyable for Virginia in the past year has been meeting
so many very interesting and diverse guests of the inns who come from
all over the world. "If I visited all the places to which I have been
invited by these lovely people, I probably would be traveling for a couple
of years! I would enjoy that too," says Virginia. As an organized, resourceful
and conscientious individual, Virginia is able to innsit or caretake almost
anywhere. She says, "I hope to be doing this work for a long, long time;
what a wonderful way to encounter good people and see the world!"
Virginia's watering flowers in front of the Carriage House!
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