I'm going out on a limb here. I have opened a small store in Hillsdale on December 1st 2012. As much as i would prefer to be purely aquatic in my small market I am forced to do everything in order to keep the doors open. Reptiles, small animal, birds and arachnids. Prior to opening I have been an auto mechanic for the past 20 years. My town has always been in need of a pet store and has had a few over the years. My good friend once owned one that he started from scratch and had a good run. His store was established and growing when he sold it after 6 years to move onto bigger and better things. The new owners tanked it in record time for several reasons. Since being in the hobby since i was 10 or 12 years old and had been haunting pet shops every since I decided with his help and advice that i would open my own.
I have been in a lot of stores over the years and am trying hard to make it what I think most people would like in a local mom and pop shop. It is however very hard to do in such a small market appealing to everybody. I have big ambitions and lots planned for growth but it will take time to expand safely. I hope people are not passing judgement on what they see currently in my store and can hopefully see the potential in what my wife and I are trying to create. We are doing this on a meager budget and it will take time and support to grow it out. Over the past few months we were able to greatly improve our selection and inventory but still have a long way to go. Now that the store is looking better and we have learned the ropes a bit it is now time to start doing more advertising to help us get the store some legs.
As it stands currently I am not getting many true hobbyists in. We hope to change that soon. I have put a few items in store that would only appeal to hobbyists as an indication that the store is interested and willing to carry the more hard to find stuff that we all like to see when we go into a store. But until then we are trying to keep the bread and butter things going and attract new customers and maybe even turn them to the plantside.
Thanks for taking time to read this.
Nature's Call Pet Shop
76 N. Howell st