A Brief History:
After having a year of success with PamperingPickle.com, I decided that it would be better to actually talk with customers face to face & see the pampered pups in real life. So, in January 2010 I opened up a 400 sq ft boutique on Main Street in Placerville.
Although we were tucked away in the Fountain Courtyard (now called the Foundation Courtyard), we were met with great enthusiasm from our wonderful dog loving community. Carol Patton, then owner of Placerville Clothing & popular little Jack Russel Shaka, provided us with our first dollar that is proudly displayed in a frame to this day. Members of local dog focused organizations reached out (Hangtown Kennel Club & PAWED), as well as fellow dog related business owners (Jess of GibsonVisuals Photography, Eden of Sierra Dogs Boarding, Cherie of Our Furry Friends & Jennifer of Canines on Main). They helped spread the word that there was a new dog shop in town. First time customers became regulars (Rose, Toby, Mickey, Rocky, Ursa & Dot, Jake, Jacques, Freckles, Max, Ollie, Goliath & many more). Click here for slideshow of our canine customers.
By the end of the year, I knew that for as supportive as our regulars were, we were still just too hard to find. I would go to events & find myself making people cross eyed by trying to give them directions. I’d say, “Are you familiar with where the Cary House or the gelato shop is? Well, there’s a walkway right next to the gelato shop. You’ll see the cheese shop with the cow out front. If you keep walking passed that, it’ll open up into a beautiful courtyard & that’s where we are.” They would smile, nod & never make their way to us. I went so far as to have a map printed on the back of our business cards. So when Anniberries decided to move down the street to a smaller location, I jumped at the chance to move out onto Main Street. The space had laminate floors (perfect for dog nails & accidents), a photo booth, built in display racks, a big front window & plenty of space. So in February 2012 we opened up our new 1850 sq ft expanded location.
Now we were able to offer services like walk-in pet portraits from GibsonVisuals Photography,…
…educational workshops with professionals in their field, like Dr. Sophia Yin,…
…and even small group dog training with Melissa Morris, CPDT-KA (click here for our list of recommended local trainers).
Sadly, it was all just not enough.
A Hard Decision:
There was so much enthusiasm for the business. Sadly, enthusiasm is not valid currency. More & more people come down to Main Street to go to get a cup or coffee or have a glass of wine & then window shop. The reality is that without robust sales at the end of the year (August – December) it is very difficult to support the slow months (January – July). The brick & mortar had to close.
December 31st, 2012 will be our last day…at least in the way you’ve come to know it.
A Tail Waggin’ Future:
Pampering Pickle is not going out of business. What inventory isn’t sold in-store will just go into boxes to be sold online. The rent will go away. The liability insurance costs will decrease significantly (it’s pricey insuring a place where dogs can bite people and/or each other). You will still be able to call (530.344.7451) or email us (firstname.lastname@example.org). Pickle will gladly inspect every shipment that goes out the door.
She’ll probably be wearing some silly little outfit during the inspection. It just wouldn’t be fun any other way.
In addition, I will focus on assisting dog related businesses with their marketing & design. Dog Geek Design & Marketing is in the works. If you see us sitting in the courtyard with a cup of Zia’s coffee working on a laptop, please stop to say hello. My love for this community is not diminished. My love for dogs & the people who share their lives with them will never lessen. My time on Main Street has taught me many lessons, created some lifelong friendships & will always hold a special place in my heart.
A Tear to my Eye:
While sad, I must focus on the future & the positive without forgetting this leg of my journey. Here are a few heartwarming snapshots from the last two years that highlight my bond with the canine community & some of the accomplishments I am most proud of.
We’ve watched Jake go from a goofy little puppy…
…to a calendar model…
Rose first came to us as a fuzzy little pup…
…and has grown into a polite & gorgeous adult…
We have proudly played a part in making the Wiener Dog Races a Main Street staple with the help of the Placerville Downtown Association, Hangtown Kennel Club, The Wine Smith & Canines on Main. In its first two years it raised $2500 for the Safe Pet Program of The Center for Violence Free Relationships.
We have helped to reunite many lost dogs with their owners (this one all the way from Coloma) utilizing just our Facebook page.
We have supported many local artists by providing them with a spot in our shop to display & sell their work (4 Paws Embroidery, Yates Garden Art, Divine Lasting Impressions, Simply Purrfect, Sheri Hoeger, Cathy Keil, Branching Out Pottery, Rick Paulline Jewelry & More).
Our partnership with Hangtown Kennel Club brought our community poo bag dispensers on Main St & the Meet the Breed series where the public could speak with breed experts.
Ever notice the ‘Dog Friendly Spot’ stickers on businesses up & down Main Street? We worked with the El Dorado Chamber of Commerce Tourism Department to get them implemented in 2011.
…but, mostly I have loved hearing your stories and getting to know you as more than customers, but as people.
One Last Thing:
PLEASE CONTINUE TO SHOP LOCAL. Trust me, it makes a big difference in your community. Some things might cost a little more, but those dollars STAY in your community through wages, taxes & donations. The next time you think about driving down the hill take a trip down to Main Street. Shop mostly online? Well, before going to Amazon check to see if your local businesses offer online shopping.