By Cathie Anderson
The Sacramento Bee.
Entrepreneur Jennifer Kirk recently completed the fifth expansion of her Posh Puppy Boutique in seven years, converting her old space in Rocklin’s Plaza at Stanford Ranch into a grooming salon and opening a 3,000-square-foot shop next door.
“I can hold more of my inventory and show more of it than what’s online,” Kirk said. “People like to touch and feel, and it sparks a spur-of-the-moment buy.”
Since relocating the boutique last February to its new space, 6040 Stanford Ranch Rd., she has hired five people.
But, after opening the adjacent grooming salon a week ago, she’s had so many bookings that she’s hiring two additional employees.
The store has more than 15,000 items for sale, including Chewy Vuiton pillow beds with matching squeak toys, the Barkingham Palace bed that retails for $3,000, Duck Dynasty caps and beards, Halloween and Christmas outfits that sell for $20 or so, Sniffany & Co. tutus and PetHead bath products.
Kirk never expected her business to grow so much. She founded Posh Puppy at home in 2007 as an e-commerce business, something to keep her busy while her daughters were in school, she said. They all loved buying outfits for their dog, Kirk said, and she figured other people would, too.
The pet industry has now grown to a $57 billion-a-year market.
Kirk cemented her status as a canine fashion maven by helping the producers of the “Beverly Hills Chihuahua” movie sequels find the right designer outfits and accoutrement for their canine stars, but she maintains by visiting other trendsetting pet boutiques and attending the annual SuperZoo trade show in Las Vegas.
While the movies boosted her online orders, Kirk said, her brick-and-mortar sales have grown because of community outreach, customer votes in the KCRA A-List competition and foot traffic to other businesses in the Stanford Ranch plaza.