The pet shop business is a great way to share your animal passion with like minds. Over time, your entrepreneurial spirit and product knowledge will establish relationships with customers concerned about the welfare of their pets.
Alexis Murphy, age 38, Co-owner, Long Live Cats and Dogs
We began this business to help pets, educate consumers, and allow people to make informed decisions when it comes to their pet’s health and longevity. Long Live Cats and Dogs got started eight years ago. I had to take the bus in the pouring rain to buy cat litter so my friend (and now partner) Kristy Clark offered to drive me—there wasn’t a pet store nearby. We decided right then and there to open a store and four months later we did just that.
We found a location and Googled ‘how to open a pet food store.’ It was exciting and completely different from our regular jobs. Kristy is a social worker and I’m a radiologist technician. We kept our jobs because it took the store four years to make money and pay ourselves. We considered the store more like a hobby but never as a wrong choice.
We moved to a bigger location with a larger inventory (against our accountant’s advice) and started to turn a profit. And we started another business:Neuterhead, a non-profit that raises money for rescue groups, and we are proud of raising a lot of money. We put on a rock and roll show, sell merchandise, and distribute the money to dog and cat rescue groups.
We both had lots of pets growing up. Kristy has two dogs and several cats, so owning a pet food and supply shop was a natural progression. I still work part time at the hospital; we have two managers running the store and we all make a comfy living.