Opening a new pet store during lockdown restrictions was the job of a former police officer.
After spending 13 years in the police force, animal lover Laura Beal changed careers, first becoming a dog groomer and then a pet store owner.
The 37-year-old had detected that there was an opportunity for an all-natural pet store in her hometown of Cullompton in Devon and opened Naturally Pawsome earlier this year.
âI decided it was time for a career change,â Laura said. âI liked the police, but needed a nicer job, so I decided to work with animals. I fell into dog grooming and loved it. When the opportunity arose to take over this downtown boutique, I grabbed it with both hands.
And the move appears to have paid off, with the local community of pet owners flocking to the store as the country emerges from lockdown.
âI have always been very health conscious. I only use natural products at home for myself and my family and have reaped the rewards. Therefore, I thought this was an obvious step to take in the grooming salon and the pet store, âsaid Laura.
âThe use of chemicals and other harmful substances in our food becomes excessive and affects our health and that of our pets. We wanted to promote healthy food for our pets while making them affordable. “
It was a difficult time for the mother of two young boys, managing a busy family life, running the pet store and handling the dog grooming side of the business.
Laura runs the store with her fiance Russell and employs three groomers, but admits she can’t resist helping out in the salon.
The nicest aspect so far has been the reaction from local residents. âIt’s been so positive – everyone has been so nice,â Laura said. âNow people know we’re open and see what we’re delivering, we’ve been inundated with requests for stock. We were also asked to organize puppy lessons and pet first aid lectures.
âIt has been difficult, but an incredible journey so far,â she said.