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Women in Business: Interviews with local pet business owners

Posted by Jen Siow on

If you’ve been keeping up with our story here at Persimmon Peak, you know that being a creative entrepreneur wasn’t something I actually set out to do with my professional life. Previously on The PawPrint Chronicles, I’ve shared why I started Persimmon Peak and how my background in theatre prepared me for the challenges of running a business.

It’s been an empowering experience to build a business that will one day allow me to have a lifestyle I’ve only dreamed of (namely: having control over my schedule, working with animals, and being able to take afternoon naps). Growing my business this past year has also been a lovely opportunity to connect with a community of fellow women entrepreneurs who, like me, have set out to turn their skills and talents into a livelihood. 

As Small Business Saturday approaches, I’m using this platform to shine a light on other woman-owned pet businesses in our area! For this article, I interviewed the women entrepreneurs behind Dapper Dog Mobile Pet Grooming, Dog Days Barkery, and Farm to Treat. Keep reading to learn more about about the motivations, challenges, and opportunities they’ve encountered running their small businesses. 

 

Persimmon Peak: The PawPrint Chronicles - Interview with Maggie Gates of Dapper Dog

Maggie Gates

Owner of Dapper Dog Mobile Pet Grooming in Mobile, AL

"Dapper Dog is a mobile pet grooming salon. I take my bus and visit clients' houses where I bathe, groom, and pamper their pets. One of the aspects I adopted early on was quality over quantity. I pride myself in my work and have always strived to do the best job possible.”

How long have you been running your business?

I’ve been in business for almost 6 years. 

What motivated you to start your business?

Ultimately it was my desire to be my own boss that gave me the idea to start my own business. I was at a loss at what direction to take until a dog grooming position opened up, and I fell in love with it! Shortly after, I began putting everything in place I would need to open Dapper Dog and haven’t looked back since. 

What is your favorite part about running your own business?

I think my favorite aspect about the business has been getting to know the clients and of course the dogs! I’ve made some wonderful friendships with both along the way. Another wonderful feature about owning my own business has been the ability to make my own schedule. I love the fact that I’m able to balance my work life and family. 

What has been the biggest challenge of being a woman business owner?

I’ve been very lucky to not have many challenges as a woman running my own business. One of the only things I can think of is the perception my husband runs the business when they meet him. I remember one time I had someone hit my bus on Airport and fled the scene. I called the police to report it and when my husband came to check on me the officer assumed he was the boss. It wasn’t a big deal but that scenario has happened more than once. My husband is very supportive of me and is involved at least behind the scenes. He changes the oil on the generator and fixes what he can on the bus. He is also the I.T. support guy and was the driving instructor! Whenever there are issues he can’t handle, I turn to local repair shops. I’ve been fortunate in having the chance to build great relationships with other local business owners while maintaining and growing Dapper Dog.  

How can our readers support you?

I have a Facebook page you can find under Dapper Dog Mobile Pet Grooming

Are you running any specials for Small Business Saturday?

No specials for Small Business Saturday. The benefit of running my own business is I’m able to choose to take the weekends off. I use that time to spend with family. Otherwise I would miss a lot of my step-son’s soccer games. 

 

Persimmon Peak: Interview with Carra Smith of Dog Days Barkery

Carra Smith

Owner of Dog Days Barkery in Mobile, AL

“Come check us out! Break out of the big box mindset and shop local and, hopefully, discover something new!”

How long have you been running your business?

We just celebrated our 4th anniversary!

What motivated you to start your business?

I moved home to Mobile and couldn’t find anywhere that sold the food and products I liked to feed my dogs. With the help of my parents, Dog Days Barkery was opened 6 months later!

What is your favorite part about running your own business?

Definitely getting to meet so many different people who are all obsessed with the same thing as me: their pets! It’s been great getting to know so many dogs and their humans. 

What has been the biggest challenge of being a woman business owner?

I think being taken seriously. Some folks think the store is silly and I know we won’t change everyone’s mind (and that’s ok), but I think we’re pretty fantastic :) We love to provide new and interesting products that you might not have seen before and we love making your bond with your dog stronger and brightening your pet's life.

How can our readers support you?

You can find us online at www.dogdaysbarkery.net and on Facebook and Instagram at Dog Days Barkery. Come see us in person at 5552 Old Shell Rd Suite A, Mobile, AL 36608

Are you running any specials for Small Business Saturday?

Our first 10 customers of the day will receive an adorable tote bag filled with goodies for them and their pup plus we’ll be doing a raffle and celebrating the season!

 

Persimmon Peak: Interview with Anna Grantham of Farm to Treat

Anna Grantham

Owner of Farm to Treat in Fairhope, AL

“My goal is to provide gourmet treats that offer a delicious and nutritious list of ingredients. I’m not just an “all natural” dog treat company. Everything I create can benefit your dog’s health and well-being. As always, I hope to continue to spread the word about our beautiful and hardworking small family farms in Baldwin County! Their products fuel my dog treats.”

How long have you been running your business?

I started Farm to Treat 6 months ago.

What motivated you to start your business?

I started my dog treat business after spending a year researching and feeding my dogs a balanced homemade diet. This included their treats and snacks as well. After having friends and family reach out for advice, I decided to begin marketing my knowledge and love of dog nutrition.

What is your favorite part about running your own business?

My favorite part is definitely the reward of seeing my ideas grow into reality. Knowing that I’ve worked hard at something and seeing it pay off in the excitement of the fur-babies that enjoy my products. 

What has been the biggest challenge of being a woman business owner?

The biggest challenge has been creating and managing a routine in the midst of the pandemic. I work 2 other jobs and now homeschool my daughter. I’m a single mom who can’t afford to drop everything and give 100% of my time to my small business. Eventually I will have the means to run Farm to Treat full-time, but for now, I am making it work with the season of life I’m in now.

How can our readers support you?

I utilize Facebook as my main marketing platform. I also have an Instagram account that is dedicated to my dogs’ meals as well as my business. You can find us on Facebook and Instagram at Farm to Treat. I am in the middle of creating my website.

Are you running any specials for Small Business Saturday?

Yes! We're offering 10% off any specialty cakes (birthday, adoption day, etc) and 10% off of treat boxes.

 

🐾  We hope you enjoyed reading about these inspiring women in business! Please help their businesses grow by using their services, supporting them on social media, and sharing this article with your friends :)

Big thanks to Maggie, Carra, and Anna for participating in our article this week!

#shoplocal Alabama Entrepreneur Mobile AL pets small business women in business

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