NORFOLK, Va. – With the snip of a ribbon Thursday, Pawsnickety Pets on 21st Street in Norfolk was officially opened.
Customers like Ainsley Hendon and her 3-year-old Husky, Ghost, lined up to get their paws on some tasty treats.
“These No-Hides are his absolute favorite,” Hendon said.
The pet supply boutique carries all-natural foods, supplements, accessories and other merchandise.
Owners and longtime friends Kaycee McCoy and Shizuka Benton bought the shop 10 days ago and got to work revamping the former Dog Bone boutique.
“We’ve always talked about running a business together someday and we’ve had all kinds of ideas, and I saw the potential in this place,” said McCoy.
“It all lined up, and here we are,” she said.
Ghent Business Association President Tom Cannone said Pawsnickety Pets is one of a handful of small businesses in the neighborhood that have opened since March.
It’s the first store for the entrepreneurs, and the COVID-19 crisis is only fueling their determination to succeed.
“Neither of us are scared of a challenge,” said McCoy. “We kind of thrive in that environment, actually, and just the combination of skill sets between the two of us, it was the right time as far as our past experience goes, as far as the opportunity went; it all just came together really beautifully.”
With more people spending time at home with their pets, the Pawsnickety Pets co-owners are hopeful sales will soar with customers spoiling their pooches or cats with anything from treats to toys.
“A lot of families have ended up adopting cats and dogs that didn’t have them previously, so the pet industry is actually booming right now in a lot of ways,” McCoy said. “We’re just really excited to be a part of that community now.”
Additionally, numerous pet parents like Hendon plan to show their companions some extra love this holiday season.
A recent survey by consulting firm Deloitte showed pet merchandise is expected to be one of the top gift-giving categories this year, with people planning to spend an average of $90 on their own pet or a family member’s pet.
“He will actually probably get more,” Hendon said. “His favorite bones are here, so we’ll stock up on them for him.”
Pawsnickety Pets is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. and on Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.