Animal lovers Lucy Rhodes and her partner Louise Bennett met as students studying sports and English, respectively. While Lucy became sports co-ordinator at Coventry City Football Club, Louise went self employed making her own dog treats at home and selling them on market stalls, later taking on a small pet shop in Blackminster, Evesham.
Two years ago the two of them teamed up to buy the substantially bigger but run down Tiggy’s pet shop in Alcester High Street and went to work on the shop fitting, physically transforming it into the thriving enterprise it is today. They sell pet supplies including premium food brands and stressing natural ingredients and raw foods.
Along with toys, treats and accessories they stock a huge range not only for dogs – Lucy and Louise each have dogs – but also cater for cats, rabbits, hamsters, parrots, budgies and fish but also wild birds.
Now both aged 26, the friends have just launched their online shop including click and collect options, post or personal deliveries within 10 miles of the shop.
“We have spent four months getting the online shop ready, teaching ourselves to do it,” says Lucy. “The online site e-commerce site Shopify has been brilliant and a lot of our customers say how nice it is to see young people making a real go of self employment.
“For other young people thinking of going into business I’d say, definitely start small and then grow big. Don’t put too much pressure on yourselves. Just get things done as you can get them done and enjoy the process!”