Two small pet businesses have been named among the 100 small businesses in the UK to be celebrated by Small Business Saturday, the campaign for small businesses on December 3.
The businesses will be among those featured one per day for the 100 days leading up to Small Business Saturday itself.
The companies are:
The Pet Shed: A small pet shop set up by animal lover Hannah James, who gave up her job as an accountant to pursue her dream of opening a pet shop. The shop, has been open for nearly three years, doesn’t actually stock pets but concentrates instead on offering the best and most natural pet food, treats, toys and accessories. It offers a number of ranges of dog treat biscuits, small dog collars and leads and a range of dog harnesses that are all supplied by small businesses.
“When my local pet shop came up for sale I jokingly said that I should buy it,” explains Hannah.
“Then I seriously considered it, but at the time could not raise the funds. Some time later, rather than buy the existing pet shop, I opened a new shop from scratch. I decided to apply my personal philosophy of eating natural food and buying sustainable products to the shop, so I stock natural dog foods and eco friendly pet toys and accessories.”
The other is Pug4Pets, a small business from Stoke On Trent, which offers personalised gifts for pets.
Pug4Pets, which is the brainchild of Jo Ballantine and Leigh-Anne Arundel, offers a range of exclusive pet lockets that are hand stamped bespoke discs and floating charms to suit individual pets.
Because the discs are hand stamped to order they can carry whatever information the owner wants, from telephone numbers, medical alerts or simply a favourite saying.
The company also provides matching items for humans as well as an expanding range of human jewellery, cards, printed products, gifts and pet accessories.
Jo and Leigh-Anne have designed the business to be a community company, hosting a blog on its website to support local businesses and charities, and offering special donation codes that customers can use to donate 15 percent of their purchase to three chosen charities: Rain Rescue pet charity, Rogan’s Wish and Friends of Bramley Sunnyside Schools.
“We originally met online through a business support group three years ago and instantly hit it off,” explains Jo.
“Our business backgrounds were an ideal platform to launch the product from so once the original idea was formed we came together to create Pug4Pets.
“The human market was becoming saturated and it was time to progress the idea to other markets. Having researched dog collars, we found that lockets were not being used in this way.”
Small Business Saturday’s campaign director Michelle Ovens said: “The British public has a great affection for small businesses and we continue to see that grow year on year. Small Business Saturday is an exceptional example of collaboration and co-operation with small businesses teaming up in communities around the UK.”
“Although the campaign focuses on one day, the goal is to have a lasting impact on small businesses by changing mind-sets, so that people make it their mission to support small businesses all year round.
“Most people in this country own a small business, work for a small business or know somebody who does, so supporting a small business on Small Business Saturday is absolutely personal.”
More information on Small Business Saturday can also be found on the Small Business Saturday Facebook page (www.facebook.com/smallbusinesssaturdayuk)