Get your dogs groomed for the summer with a new business in Cullompton.
Former policewoman Laura Beal opened Naturally Pawsome in Fore Street, offering a natural selection of pet foods and products.
Not only did the 37-year-old, who was in the police force for 13 years, have to deal with a pandemic when opening the new business, but she also has a five-month-old baby.
She explained, “After 13 years, I decided it was time for a change. I loved the job, but needed a happier job, so I decided to work with animals.
“I fell into dog grooming and loved it,” she said. “I’ve had a grooming business since I left for strength in 2017, and I’ve always wanted to go for natural products, that’s all I’ve been using since the start.
“Then we had the opportunity to take over a downtown store, so we took the plunge.”
She was supported by her family in starting the businesses and paid tribute to her stepfather Morris Davey, a builder and “man of all trades”.
“He came and completely revamped while using all recycled material where we can,” she said. “We have a huge grooming salon that we’re going to open in the back and an all-natural pet store.”
Laura, born in Exeter and having completed her police career in Cullompton, fell in love with the city and knew she wanted to spend the next chapter of her life there.
“We have had so much support and interest since we announced our opening,” she said.
“It’s something new and different from the city. We didn’t want this to be another generic pet store; we wanted to do it with all-natural products.
“We are looking forward to bringing different things to the whole community. We want this to be a hub for animal lovers so people can come here and chat and learn something new.
“We have all been so isolated over the past year that we thought it was a great opportunity to share our love of animals but to do everything in the healthiest way.
“With everything that has happened, I think health and well-being is important. We thought, why not also make sure that this is highlighted with our animals?”
She pays tribute to those who helped her start her business.
“It was a challenge, but an incredible journey,” she said. “I had the support of my friends and family. Everyone was lovely.”
She is now aiming to become qualified to train and teach and run a grooming school, as well as events in the store itself, including puppy parties, flea eradication talks and advice, discussions about behavior and first aid.