Stories of people who strike out to follow their dreams are always inspiring.
Christine Gregory is the Queen of Paws – well, she is the woman behind a pet business of that name, anyway. Through her shop and QueenofPaws.com Christine offers her four-legged customers an assortment of posh and local products, from apparel to treats and bath supplies. I envy her for the days she gets to spend at her Prairie Village, Kansas, shop, surrounded by fun pet stuff and the dogs who come in for grooming, aromatherapy and a romp in her day play studio.
Recently, I asked Christine to tell me more about her business and how it came to be.
How did you become a dog person?
When I was a little we got our first Shihtzu, Shasi Ling. Since I never had 2-legged children, the 4-leggers have been my babies. I can’t imagine my life without one.
Tell us about the special dog in your life.
Mykonos “Myko” Tai Ling which he’s named after my favorite Greek Island & he was also given the middle names of Shasi Ling & Tashi Tai. Never considered a male doggie but when my mom & I met him we fell in love! When my days are sad or even happy, Myko is always right there to brighten my day even more.
What do you want Queen of Paws to be for customers?
We cater to our clients’ loved ones, providing them with a day of relaxation and pampering. Our belief is that our customers’ needs are of the utmost importance, and we’re commited to meeting those needs. Customers love the intimate setting and special attention they get along with their pets. Our boutique offers unique specialty items for the pet that likes the best!
How long did you have your online store before you were able to open the brick-and-mortar location?
Prior to the brick-and-mortar location my mother & I traveled the midwest setting up a booth to sell my designer collars and other boutique-related items for 6 years. Three years ago an opportunity came my way to rent space within a co-op to sell my designs along with a broader array of items. During that time is when I started my online store and August 1, 2012, is when I branched out on my own.
What is it like to have a pet-based business right now?
It’s a dream come true! It’s not about being self-employed and my own boss. It’s truly a labor of love. Being surrounded with pets day after day, giving them the love and attention they deserve is so fulfilling. I worked in corporate America for 22 years and knew it was time I go after a dream that my mother and I shared for many years. Besides being with my 4-legger clients and carrying on a dream in memory of my mother.
How do you choose products to feature in your shop?
I travel to pet trade shows to see the new trends. A lot of research goes into selecting what I will feature in my boutique. If it’s not something I would give Myko, then I won’t have it here. Quality is very important to me. If I don’t believe in it, then I obviously can’t sell it.
How does supporting animal rescue help build your business?
There are too many pets that are homeless and in need of medical care. I believe in giving back to the community and to the animals that give us unconditional love. I host adoptions in my facility along with events benefiting local charities for animals and humans. I don’t believe in profiting from the sale of animals and supporting puppy mills and backyard breeders. Please spay & neuter. Adopt, don’t shop.
Queen of Paws is giving Wayward Dogs readers a chance to win a locally-made product that will help make your pet more kissable for Valentine’s Day.
For your chance to win an 8-oz bottle of Rupert’s Smoochable Doggie & Kitty Mouth Spray, just follow the directions at the link below!
***************Click here to enter: a Rafflecopter giveaway
This giveaway is now closed. The randomly selected winner is Krystal Miller.
Check out the ad for Queen of Paws and other fun pet-based businesses in my Valentine’s Day gift guide for dog lovers.
To learn more about the giveaway prize, check out my Rupert’s review.