Owners miss their two (and four) legged patronsQuebec · Jun 2, 2020
Paul Goodship & Katrina Sargent, owners of Pawse Boutique in Montreal
Most entrepreneurs didn’t start a business so they could end up behind a computer all day. And with the necessary pivot to online sales, retail owners are missing the in-store culture they worked so hard to create. For Paul Goodship and Katrina Sargent, who own Pawse Boutique in Montreal, they adjusted quickly to selling pet supplies by delivery when the pandemic began. But they’re worried this may not be a temporary change, which is tough for a business trying to grow a community with their customers and furry friends.
“The biggest perks of running a small pet store is being visited by dogs who are out on a walk, coming in to say hello, along with the relationships you forge with customers. We miss both our four and two legged patrons dearly.” – Paul Goodship, co-owner of Pawse Boutique.
Every owner has their own path to starting a business. For Paul Goodship and Katrina Sargent, it was inspired by wanting to help like-minded people. The couple was struggling to find quality food for their new dog, Arrow. None of the stores they visited met their standards, and it led them to open up Pawse Boutique in Montreal. They rifled through a copious amount of studies and endless trial runs of different foods, before finally settling on a menu that was truly nutritious.
Once the pandemic struck, they closed their doors but offered their clients the same customer service online. This kept the business operational. Online retail has become more and more of a necessary convenience for people over the past decade, and even more so now. Goodship and Sargent rushed to put together a transactional website, and so far it’s been very well received. The website is here to stay, and they foresee it taking up a significant chunk of daily transactions ahead.
Their business has managed to sustain the change, but they miss the fantastic community that once came into their store. So they’re now reaching out to customers on social media to keep in touch, and are actively posting on their Instagram page. And when they drop off deliveries or bump into customers on dog walks, they always take the time to catch up with them from a safe distance.
Moving your sales online while maintaining your business’ culture can be challenging. However, if you put the effort in and remain genuine and caring, your community will stay alive. Goodship says, “We’re not going anywhere, and we’re working as hard as we can to be there for everyone. We’re very much looking forward to having you back in our store for a chat.” Or for all of their furry friends, a pat and maybe even a treat.
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