“Do the right thing for the animals, the right thing for the customer follows.” That’s the philosophy Connie Kamedulski – owner of Animal Fair Pet Shop – follows, and that’s what helped make them the winner of our first Small Business VIP Contest.
With Small Business Saturday® coming up the Saturday after Thanksgiving, we wanted to put the spotlight on the local shops, stores and services created by entrepreneurs with the idea and drive to follow their own path. That’s where our contest idea sprang from, and we had a lot of great entries from businesses across the country. It was a tough choice to pick just one, but Animal Fair won our judges over with their commitment not only to the customer, but the animals as well.
With a degree in animal science and being a lifelong pet owner, Ms. Kamedulski knew that even without a retail background, owning a pet store would be the right business for her. “The pet industry is about relationships, especially the human-animal bond.” she says. But she also knows that the relationship between customers and pet shops makes a huge difference in the life of the pet. She and her staff always want to get to know all they can about the customer and the pet. As she put it, “If the dog is barking too much, don’t just sell a bark collar. Figure out why the dog is barking and offer a solution that addresses the real problem the dog is facing.”
As our winners, we treated Ms. Kamedulski and three of her team to a trip to our Dodgeville, WI headquarters. There, we gave them a tour of our campus, outfitted them in a selection of new logo’d clothing and set up a special afternoon photo shoot. The photos featured here are from that day, and to hear more about Animal Fair along with some thoughts on Small Business Saturday® straight from Ms. Kamedulski, check out our video from the day.
To help small business owners get ready for Small Business Saturday®, American Express – the creators of the day – offer some great ideas along with kits you can use in your business. You can get all that at their special Shop Small® site right here.
And whatever size your business is, remember we’re always ready to help you grow with the branded clothing and promotional products you need to make your name known. (And be sure to watch next year for our Small Business VIP Contest and get your entry in.)