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.
This post and giveaway is sponsored by Queen of Paws.
Stank breath and puddles. Both have been synonymous with Scooby since I met him.
Because he’s an old dog — and has always been an old dog to me — I try not to hold these things against my novelty-sized canine. Also, I understand that toy breeds are notorious for having teeth problems, due to having so many teeth crammed into such tiny heads. And, frankly, most of the miniature pinscher people I’ve met also struggle with the weeing problem.
But sometimes, you just get enough of fetid kisses and ruined bathroom rugs.
So, when a representative from MrChewy.com recently contacted me to offer me a $50 credit to the online pet food outlet, I made sure to order some dental treats.
We got Pet Naturals Breath Bites, a product that’s supposed to help minimize the pungency coming from both ends of a dog. According to the directions, these special treats are intended to be given between meals, on a daily basis.
It’s too soon to tell if they’re working, but Scooby eats these treats happily.
He’s a bit less enthusiastic about accepting breath spray.
As mentioned on Monday, Emily from Our Waldo Bungie and I attended The Great KC Pet Expo over the weekend and came home with a lot of dog products to try.
One of those products: Rupert’s Simply Smoochable Doggie & Kitty Mouth Spray, a clove oil-based spray manufactured and marketed right here in Kansas City. (Read all about this product line and enter to win some at Emily’s post.)
I love the packaging, which features original art by Kansas City artist Charlie Podrebarac, and I love the scent even more.
Clove is earthier and not quite as intense of a scent as peppermint. For that reason, I feel like clove might be more appetizing to the dogs. Scooby licked his teeth a lot after we sprayed them, but he didn’t rush off to the water fountain, so he must not have hated the taste. He probably even felt soothed, since clove oil is supposed to help relieve tooth and gum pain.
Again — it’s too soon to tell what kind of overall effect this product will have on Scooby’s stank breath. But I can say this: Immediately after the application, and for a few hours following, the Rupert’s spray did mask the rotten mouth. We will keep using it.
On to the other issue!
Because it’s clear that Scooby’s ability to “hold it” is weakening all the time, we are facing an embarrassing fact. For the sake of our home and sanity, our dog is going to have to start wearing diapers. At least when he’s running loose without an attentive human in the house.
We’ll see if they help…
How do you handle old dog issues at your house? Do you have any awesome product or DIY recommendations for solving stank breath and piddling?
Petgasm: When someone has an overly emotional response to animals that includes loud pitched squealing, the voice rising 10 octaves, and lack of attention to anything else.
A lot of petgasming (as defined by Urban Dictionary) occured at the Overland Park International Trade Center during last weekend’s Great KC Pet Expo.
For instance, I let out a shriek of excitement upon seeing one of my dream dogs:
But all the petgasming at the Pet Expo didn’t pertain directly to puppies (although there were plenty in attendance).
The Pet Expo featured all kinds of critters.
Personally, I would expand the meaning of petgasm to also include reactions to really awesome pet products.
Emily from Our Waldo Bungie and I dropped by the Expo on Sunday, and we did a lot of high-pitched squealing about the cool things we wanted to buy for our dogs.
Here’s a sampling of some of the locally- and regionally-made items the excited us most:
Some of the vendors at the Pet Expo were kind enough to send Emily and me home with products for our pets to review, so stay tuned to both of our blogs for fun product features in the near future.
In the meantime, if you have tried any of the items featured in this post, please feel free to share your thoughts about them in the comments.