Usually here on CRAFT, we like to interview crafters about their crafty businesses. I know you are thinking I must have lost it, because it looks like I’m profiling a pet store. Yes, I am. But this pet store is a special one. To finish off our We <3 Pets theme this month, I have a profile of two crafters who started out with an idea to open up a custom clothing boutique and instead created an organic, healthy, and fun haven for dogs and cats.
Meet Shireen Nyden (right) and Suzie Yannes (left), owners of South Paw, the local pet store which opened in 2005 near where I live. It’s an offshoot of their very successful pet store, Pawtrero, located in Potrero Hill, which started back in 2002. Shireen loves to sew and had the idea to move back to San Francisco from New York to start a clothing boutique. Suzie was a freelance graphic designer (she’s worked layouts for Taunton craft books), and the two of them became friends after meeting at a local dog park. The were both set to start their new crafty business, that is until the health of their dogs came into the forefront of their lives. Suzie’s dog Jackson had an allergic reaction to canned dog food, with bumps that wouldn’t go away. Her vet continued to tell her it was allergies. Suzie ended up switching his food to natural food, and later raw foods. The bumps disappeared, and Jackson has been healthy ever since. Shireen’s dog, Cheyenne, was sick and similarly became healthy with raw food.
The duo switched gears and decided to focus the business on the mission of helping people learn how to keep their pets healthy with natural and raw foods. They don’t sell commercial pet foods or supplies. Think organic, eco-friendly, and handmade — for pets. Both their shops carry foods, mostly from local producers. They also feature a lot of indie goods for pets from toys to bags to handmade treats. (Contact them if you are interested in showcasing your pet goods.)
What’s next for the ladies? Coming up this fall is their new e-commerce website, along with a delivery service for San Francisco. They are also in the works of developing custom raw food for dogs with special diets. And their annual Halloween event, set for October 25th, is promised to be even bigger this year! (That’s where the Star Wars dogs made their debut.)
It’s always a treat to go in the store when both of them are working. We can talk dogs, crafts, and usually always end up laughing. It’s like a second home for Lulu, who can now “shake” and “high-five,” thanks to the warmth and hospitality of Shireen and Suzie. Of course, Lulu wouldn’t even let me take a picture of them without being in the photo herself!
View more photos in the slideshow below or view my Flickr set:
South Paw Bathhouse & Feed Co.
199 Brannan St
San Francisco, Calif. 94107-2004
Pawtrero Bathhouse & Feed Co.
199 Mississippi St
San Francisco, Calif. 94107
South Paw & Pawtrero in San Francisco