Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Survived Turkey Day and on to Christmas!

Yes, after three petsitting jobs in a neighboring town and three different stops at families' houses, we survived Thanksgiving. Lots of great food, great talk, and great times, but I was completely exhausted! I should have kept better track of how many miles I put on my car!

I wanted to stop on reflect on how far I've come over the past year and look ahead to 2010 and beyond. Just over a year ago, I was giddy with excitement over the opening of my website. I had no idea what to expect...would I get tons of orders? would I get no orders? The latter was more correct, but they have steadily been coming in and just when I get down about a lack thereof, I get an order! Someone must be listening to my prayers!

I've learned so much over the past year (and the one before that in planning this crazy adventure). I'm still learning and growing and I hope I'm serving my customers well. I recently may a foray into the world of wholesaling my own items. I wholesale a wet dog food made locally, so I had the experience there, but my own products are another story. I have begun catnip pillows seemed reasonable enough. I took some to a friend's store in St. Louis and she bought some! Yippee! I also took some to our local natural foods store. She called yesterday and sold all of them! She also placed an order for 36 more! Get out the sewing machine! Woo hoo!

So, I have many blessings to be counted and I hope many more. As crazy and out-of-control as this adventure has been, I still love it and I hope I am doing some good for pets all over. Next time, I'll sit down and discuss how much I want an actual if everyone doesn't already know that! Ha!

Finally, I did want to show off a new toy...the Humunga Stache. I can't stop from laughing over this! Check it out!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Print catalog

So, after my ad ran in Star Magazine, I got several requests for a print catalog. Frankly, I hadn't considered a print catalog since I first decided to open the website. So...after getting several phone calls and finding out that everyone does NOT have internet, I'm putting together a catalog.

Let me tell you, this is a lost art! In today's world of computers and the internet, I'm struggling to get this thing done. I don't lack the know-how, "talent" or the software, but I want to be sure that this catalog is as good as the website! No easy task! I do have most of the write-ups ready to go, now on to the photos and then...duh duh dum...the printing. That will cost me some dough. I'm hoping I can find a local place who will help. Staples will gladly charge me 49 cents for color copies, one-sided, and I found a local printing company that will charge 39 cents for the same. I even thought about finding an online printing company. I just want it to look good, but be reasonable on my shrinking pocketbook! *Isn't that the way of the world?

I'm cautiously optimistic about a catalog. I think it may be a good way to reach a different audience. I also thought about leaving a copy at each of the vet's offices here in town, in hopes of tapping into my local customers.

We shall see!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Frustrations and not enough hours in the day

I have always been a person who wants something yesterday...that definitely holds true with my learning of how to use QuickBooks. I know, I know, "It's so easy!" they say, but I am having the darnedest time figuring the whole thing out. I'm sure I'll look back on all of it and think, "If I had only been patient..." but why should I be?

I also just joined the PIR...Pet Industry Retailers group. I was recommended to the group by Amy, who owns Pets in the City in STL ( I think it will be a good thing for me. I can ask questions and learn from established business owners.

I've been trying so hard to cultivate my Facebook fans, but it seems that since FB changed a couple things around, the lemings have revolted. FB has a way of doing that every so often and the fans and followers and what not all think it is so they form groups. I get it, I know, but I want my fans to stay with my page!

With the time change, I am hoping for some much needed time to work on the business. I was sick all last week with a nasty stomach bug and eve though mentally I was in pretty good shape, physically I had no energy to do all those things I want (and need) to do to keep my site in peoples' minds for the upcoming holiday season.

Definitely been a trying day. I'll take some deep breaths and see where that gets me. Until later!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Happy Anniversary BPP!

Well, it has officially been a year since my website went live...I'm still learning so much every day! I flew into this whole thing blind as a bat, and I won't say I have complete sight yet, but the images are not as blurry as they once were.

I'm heading into my first full holiday season and I'm already behind. I think once I open a retail store and take over the content management of my website, I'll be better equipped to handle how quickly the seasons change in retail. The year went by so didn't help that we got married this summer! *This is a good thing! We had a fabulous wedding on the beach and a great party with our family and friends when we returned, but it set me back a good couple months!

This website and my foray into the world of retail will be an ongoing learning experience for me I am quite sure. I began with lots of doggie clothes and now my focus is more on good quality food and supplies. Funny how that happens. I try to hand-select everything on my site. I look at it this way, if it isn't worthy of my animals having it, it isn't worthy of being on the site.

Enough of my mini-advertisement. I still see great things ahead for BPP and I'm glad I took the leap when I did. I should have done this years ago!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

So much to do, so little least it seems that way anymore

It seems as though everytime I say, "Things should be settling down after X event," it just gets busier and busier! I shouldn't complain...the increased lack of time has come to me in the form of new petsitting jobs. It seems as though the flood gates have opened up and given me more work. I a thrilled to pieces that my name is getting out there, without the use of newspaper or television advertising. Yippee!

On a related note...I broke down and bought a new iMac. I only got the 20" screen, but it is gi-normous! I love it! This is the beginning of a new path for me...I just put the 2010 version of QuickBooks for Mac on hold, just in time to set up a formal inventory program...I know, I know...I really can't remember all the items I've stocked or sold since I opened.

That also reminds me...I've been in business for an ENTIRE YEAR an survived! That makes me think it's time to put out another newsletter...ack! I better get off of Blogger and on to Constant Contact! Until later!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

So, I seem to be in a much better state of mind than I was in my last blog, as I've had activity on the website and a couple of orders! I am not trying to base my happiness on the almightly dollar, but business does pay the bills!

My hubby and I stopped by the bank just yesterday to open a joint checking account for bills and such. We've been married now almost two whole months and things like that have to be taken care's a long process to say the least. Anyway, we stopped off to say hello to the bank president and I got my courage up to ask for more money. Lo and behold he said yes! Again, happiness does not equal money, but it sure helps when you are at a standstill with your business! I now need to sit down and figure out how much of that green stuff I'm going to need...scary.

I've been stuck in the situation lately of running into crappy customer service. This just affirms the idea that I want to have the best customer service for my business. One problem I ran into was at the dry cleaners. They had my wedding dress for FIVE weeks before they called to tell me they didn't use the solution that had to be used to clean my particular dress! I was very unhappy about this, especially since I had called to check on it on several occasions AND had taken another item in! Seriously? I've been trying to get a hold of the owner to "discuss" this situation with him, but he has failed to return any of my calls...of course. What makes it even worse is that the dry cleaning business was originally started by my great-aunt and uncle and later sold when they retired. They built their entire business and reputation on customer service and this guy is pissing it away (pardon my French).

On a much lighter note, I went to the annual Bark in the Park event, held by our local humane society to raise funds ( It was so much fun and they had a great turnout! I was thrilled to be a part of it and hopefully I got my name out there. Several people came up and told me how much they loved my parents kennel and how they would never take their dogs anywhere to hear that kind of stuff! I gave out lots of free samples and tried to drum up business where I could. I wish we had more events like that in the area! A local bank is holding a similar event in a couple weeks...I hope I can make that one too!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Funky weather, funky attitude

At least pictures of the beach always make me happy.

Well I'm sure if you've ever read a blog, you've read a blog about someone who's in a funk about something. Hello folks, this is another one! I won't linger on this topic for long...I just have not been feeling myself as of late...whether it be the fact that I was sick for a week with a sore throat, laryngitis, coughing, the whole bit, or the fact that I'm bummed over the lack of money for my little pet business...I don't know. On top of it all, it's been raining all day...not storming, just raining...and that only intensifies my mood.

I'm leaning towards a combination of the two. I want this business to take off soon! I really do think Cape is ready and I KNOW I am ready. There's a cute little storefront for rent downtown, I have the products, I'm set up with all my licenses, etc. I only need two things...a new computer with Quick Books on it and the rest of the capital to make it all happen!

I feel like I'm spinning my wheels right now and not going anywhere. I have a back bedroom full of merchandise and no one is buying. I don't know how much is the economy and how much is the fact that not everyone knows about the businss yet...that's TBA.

I need some major positive reinforcement right now and I'm not getting it from home or anywhere else. I guess I want someone to tell me it's gonna happen.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Something on my mind

So, I've had this dilemma brewing in my brain for the last several weeks. Of course, it involves an animal...without a home at the time and I'm praying he has one now.

When we came home from our honeymoon a couple weeks back, there was a kitten running around our yard. Since the neighbor had moved, we knew it wasn't hers, and he was so tiny, can figure out that within a couple days, we had him in the kitchen sink, bathing the fleas off him. Some of them looked as big as he was.

He was totally comfortable around us and liked the attention. He didn't mind the rest of our brood, either. In fact, he really just ignored them. He meowed at the door to go out and he knew when feeding time was. Overall, he was pretty well-adjusted. Chris and I discussed it and the answer was clear: we had to find him a good home. I knew he was a cutie and too hard to pass up, but I had to get on the ball with finding him a new home.

In the meantime, the neighbor that had moved had stopped by and we were talking and I mentioned the cat. She said the neighbors up the street gave him to someone down the street because they, too, were moving. Of course, the people who took the kitten just turned him loose to fend for himself...that's how we up with our other two "kittens." *Now they are two-year-olds with a great home, spayed and neutered. I assumed we would have this little ball of energy neutered and then hopefully place him in a good home.

Well, one Sunday, that all changed. Some new folks moved in up the street and they were walking around the neighborhood. It was a pleasant day for early September and we even had our windows open. I had the kitten in the house, but he was meowing at the door to go out, so I gave in. A minute or so later, Chris comes up to me and says, "Those people have that kitten." I shrugged it off because he is so friendly. But, he never came back after that.

Now...what am I supposed to think? I have to assume that they took him, but since he wasn't mine any more than he was anyone else's, I can't exactly walk up to them and say, "Can I have that cat back?" The one thing we do know is that he is no longer in the neighborhood. I guess someone from the family took him with them when they left. I would never dream of doing something like that without asking or checking around...ugh! The worst part is, I had found a home for the little guy and had a vet appointment already scheduled for him.

I guess I have to chalk this one up to "I'll never know" and go on. I hope they are good cat-loving people and I hope the little guy lucked out. He sure was a cutie and I do have to say I miss him a lot.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Welcome to my newest adventure...a blog! I've tried blogging before, but I had always viewed them more as essays. So, I promise I'm not going to torture my readers with that kind of thing now! I going to strive, however, to inform and entertain pet lovers (and you non-pet folks out there) on all topics, but mostly about my first love, pets.

I love all animals...dogs, cats, horses, even the occasional guinea pig. I think our existence as humans on earth is better with pets in our lives. Animals have been known to keep people happier and healthier...I could have told you that years before researchers announced it to the world. All anyone had to do was ask!

Over the next days, weeks, months, maybe even years, I'll tell you more about my upbringing with was a bit unorthodox and a bit transitory, but I wouldn't have traded it for the world!

So, thanks for following my life's story and let the fun begin!