Today discover Michigan's premier source for and purveyor of quality pet foods and supplies: JOEY'S PET OUTFITTERS
Can you tell me a little about you?
I’m 31 years old. I’m an only child. I adopted a deaf Australian Cattle Dog named Hush a little over four years ago when she was 7 months old. I love to play sports (indoor soccer, skiing, and golf lately, used to play tennis, hockey and baseball also) read, travel, keep up with fashion, politics, the economy, and my investments.
Where you were working before?
Actually I was a student at the College of Charleston; was going to major in History and Classics.
Why you decided you to create your company?
My father has actually owned Webberville Feed for almost 30 years. They specialize in custom feed mixes for dairy cattle to maximize and maintain their milk production, and they also sell a lot of horse feed and farm supplies.
He bought a building about 5 miles west of there, and he was set to essentially repeat the services of the original Webberville Feed. I was home for the summer from college and decided to drop out and take over the store instead. I really don’t know how else he would’ve done it.
We named the store after Joey, my parents’ golden retriever (who is now 10). Joey had already been such a special dog to my parents and I (even at age 2) that I suggested there was really no alternative. We already loved dogs, and I grew up with goldens, but Joey really changed everything for us. Our love for dogs really grew with her.
They’ve since acquired another golden named Tanner (age 5), and Joey, Tanner, and Hush are great ambassadors for what we do.
Was it difficult?
Definitely. I basically learned the business from scratch. I had no idea what I was doing when I got started.
What was your greatest challenges?
Probably battling the conventional “wisdom” put forth by veterinarians, pet food manufacturers, breeders, etc. about pet nutrition. What I call the “pet care establishment” really makes it difficult to spread our message sometimes, but it’s a fun challenge. And it’s very rewarding, because the truth is on our side.
What are your plans for the future?
The future is now (laughs). We just completed a major remodel of the exterior and main entryway, and now we’re working on the interior: lighting, paint, checkout area, etc. We recently switched to a Mac-based point of sale system, so we can now complete sales right on the sales floor with an iPhone or iPad. And we’re just about to launch a brand new e-commerce platform which will greatly expand our online presence including making our products available on Amazon and Google Shopping.
What is your favorite pet product?
Oh boy, too many to list: Champion Pet Foods (Orijen and Acana) makes wonderful food, and I feed a strictly raw diet to Hush so either their new freeze dried raw or Tucker’s Raw Frozen, Vital Essentials, Stella & Chewy’s, Answers, or any number of our other raw foods we sell. I absolutely love what they do for Hush’s health (and Joey’s too! she looks great for 10!).
As for stuff outside of food: West Paw Design (Zogoflex toys are the best, great beds and apparel among other things too) and Ruffwear (incredible apparel, backpacks, toys, etc.) are two of the coolest companies out there.
You can check out Joey's Pet Outfitters great website here and their Yummypets page here.
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