Our blunt instrument of love, Lola, is frequently mistaken for a Honda toaster. You can decide for yourself, but if you can tell us the difference, we'd love to hear from you.
We were passing through the small downtown of New Smyrna beach, Florida when we spotted a pet boutique. We also like to stop in and support mom&pop stores like this and we were pleasantly surprised by how many things this boutique got right. We understand that the appeal of a store is purely subjective, so we'll define how we're looking at it to give you some context. We tend to look at looks filtered through thirty plus years of working in the animal industry and our understanding of shoppers who have companion animals. Not lets take a look at what Silly Willie's is up to.
The products they carried were high quality, higher end, better made and sourced USA. For example, Lola can blow through toys like a highly-caffeinated Jack Russell Terrier, ripping them apart and removing the squeaky within minutes. However, if you look at the picture of Lola with her toy that we bought at Silly Willie's, two days later it's still intact! Amazing!
Food - We're not familiar with Life's Abundance animal products, but we've used their human products and they're solid and have a good reputation. Silly Willie's also carries Fromm - an excellent food, family owned and very high standards, good ingredients and they don't sell to everyone. They support the smaller business owners and don't sell to corporate owned businesses. They also carried a quality skin, coat and ear product line as well. In addition, they sold CBD oil from Pet Releaf, which supplies highly regarded CDB products.
The layout of the store is smart - U shaped, products in the middle and on the side. Busy, not cluttered. Nice assortment of products, treats, toys, leashes and collars. Where they really stand out from other pet Boutiques is that they sell stuff for humans that love animals.
Many boutiques drop the ball on this front and are leaving money on the table, so to speak. Silly Willie's had Tee shirts, magnets, mugs, and more. Companion animal lovers and people shopping for them don't always want to just buy gifts for the dog - they want to include the humans in the fun as well.
If you are a pet lover and are passing through New Syrna Beach, stop in at Silly-Willies (Silly-Willies.com) and do some shopping! You'll be glad you did.
Joie at the Humane Society's Mutt March
At the Humane Society's Mutt March, we had the pleasure of having our booth right beside The Stuart Fence company. We had a chance to chat with Chet Richmond, president of Stuart Fence and later, we had a chance to chat with Julie and meet Joie, their rescue dog.
Stuart Fence has been in business since 2003 and they install all types of fences and gates for both residential and commercial properties. But their is another layer to what they do and who they are. Turns out both Chet and Julie are passionate about dogs - and when people are really passionate about animals, it tells you a lot about their character and what kind of people they are. As Julie stated, "Not having animals in our lives would mean we'd be missing out of love without the animals to share it with."
Julie's favorite breed is "rescued Cocker Spaniel" and, as it turns out, she is also involved in rescue work. "After we adopted Jypsie from a rescue in 2016, I got involved with transporting furbabies for rescues. Transports take the animals from shelters or owner surrenders and bring them to rescue or fosters...or even sometimes approved adopters."
Now, we all know how fostering typically works. You foster an rescue with the intention of finding it a home, and before you know it, you have another family member. Julie also ended up fostering as well. "We also foster to help get them reay for "furever" homes, as some have no idea what it is like to be safe, loved, and in a home."
Dogs have also been in Julie and Chet's lives. In fact, when Julie showed up later, she had with her Joie, a rescue they adopted from Palm Beach County Animal Control in June of 2009. Joie couldn't have looked happier and I suspect, so are Chet and Julie. Chet and Julie can be reached at 772-288-1151 or you can visit stuartfence.com.
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