Why did you open up an Independent Pet Store? Is it something you always wanted to do?
We had both wanted to own our own business and met while working at another independent pet store in town. The owner closed the store and we decided to open our own venture. Christine was new to the pet industry but with years of customer service and many pets in her life and was intrigued with the products and information available to help pets and their people. I had been in customer service in both the retail pet industry and veterinary medicine since I was sixteen and knew I wanted to be my own boss and help animals and their pet parents. The old store closed on October 11, 2015 and we found a space, remodeled it, stocked it and were open on December 21, 2015. A whirlwind for sure but so rewarding!
What do you feel is unique about your store?
We offer a wide variety of natural foods, treats, supplements, safe toys and accessories. We are the only retailer in our area to offer the Life Stress Scan and follow up counseling to find appropriate foods for the pet. We also pride ourselves in our friendly, knowledgeable customer service. We have just one location so far and just two part time employees, very highly trusted, knowledgeable gals who love animals and share our commitment to our clientele. Our dogs come to work with us most days so there is usually a canine greeter working and people love it!
What seems to be the main concerns of the pet parents that walk into your store?
The health, happiness and longevity of their pets. Everything ranging from an interactive toy to entertain their pet while they work to joint supplements to ease arthritis. We do quite a bit of allergy work and will track down a food that fits, saving the pet parent hours of research and tracking things down. We stock many types of diets to suit most every need.
Do you have a success story to share about how the GPH Pet Wellness Life Stress Scan and/ or products have helped a dog or cat get back into balance?
We have many success stories with the scan but two that are very personal. Christine's dog, Cash, a shih poo, had always had digestive issues, itchy skin, ear infections and anal gland problems since he was a puppy. She tried salmon to soothe the skin, but after the scan learned he was sensitive to it! He has been on his revised diet for over a year and so much happier and healthier. My retired racing greyhound, Petey, suddenly developed diarrhea at age 10 1/2 that would not go away even with medication so I tested him. Within two weeks of the diet change he was back to normal and loves his new foods. Both boys work as greeters at the store and we show their scan results to people who have pets with issues--we keep the sheets behind the counter for easy retrieval..
Do you have a Holistic Vet that you refer people to if needed?
Yes, a veterinary chiropractor has moved into town and he and his staff send pets to us for testing and we send pets to them that could benefit from their services. We maintain a good relationship with all the vets in town, both holistic and traditional.
Do you work with any local animal charities?
We work with many local pet charities from donating food, hosting adoption events and collecting money for them. We hope to increase our involvement with the groups as time passes. Nothing excites us more than someone finding their forever home!
What are your plans for the future?
Continue to serve our customers and their pets at our current level of service. We would love to expand into other locations to help reach more pets!