How lucky is our latest Customer Highlight participant to live in gorgeous Mount Pleasant, a small southern town right outside of Charleston, SC? They are a hop, skip and a jump from Isle of Palms and Sullivan’s Island, where humans and pooches alike can romp in the waves and enjoy the surf. Learn more about Hairy Winston (isn’t that THE BEST name?!?) from owner Jennie Dudley below:
“I opened my store 10 years ago after moving back to the area after 14 years. I had 2 Cavalier puppies that I was obsessed with and loved shopping for them. I had been living in Richmond, VA and there were not a lot of pet stores or pet products in the area, so I would order items directly from companies or manufacturers. I toyed with the idea of opening my own pet boutique, as my parents have owned high-end women’s clothing stores my entire life so retail is in my blood. I left Richmond in 2007 and moved to Mount Pleasant. I was amazed at how pet-friendly the area was and knew that the town would be the perfect place to set up shop.
We began as more of a boutique, which attracted smaller dogs even though we had items for all-sized dogs. We have totally evolved over the past 10 years! We are now known for helping pets with allergies, food sensitivities and wellness, and for our collar wall. We have over 175 feet of collars, leashes and harnesses, which equates to 7500 of those items at any given time. If you can’t find a collar here, you probably aren’t going to anywhere.
When it comes to deciding which products to carry, I listen to customer feedback, my employees and my gut. I made a lot of mistakes in the early years but I have it down to a science now. When it comes to health and nutrition, I do a ton of research on the companies, ingredients, sourcing, etc. before I bring in a new product. All products must actually work and make a difference in the health of your pet. In terms of In Dog We Trust Collegiate products, they are perfect for this pet-friendly and team-spirited town – although it is divided team spirit! Everywhere you go you see South Carolina Gamecock and Clemson Tiger gear. People love dressing their dogs in their team’s logo, whether it’s collars, leashes, bandannas or t-shirts, our customers can’t get enough. We even have the potty-training bells in Clemson & Gamecock. We carry a few Georgia and North Carolina items for the tourists as well.
We are fortunate to have a very loyal customer following and most of them have shopped with us for years. We take the time to build friendships and relationships with our customers and they become part of the Hairy Winston family. Not only have we watched the 4-legged kids grow up over the years but the 2-legged ones as well. We feel so lucky to have been so well received when we opened and to still have a thriving business today. A lot has happened over the past 10 years with the economy and other pet stores opening and closing in the area. We are truly thankful for each and every one of our customers.
We have an expansion coming in 2018. As much as I love our quaint little store, we are moving to a much needed larger space in our same shopping center. We will finally be adding 3 self-serve dog tubs. If you are in the area, please stop by to say hello and see our new space this summer!”