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Business Spotlight: bad dog frida

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

bad dog frida, located in the popular Atwood shopping neighborhood, is a truly unique pet care store. Full of bright colors and whimsy, bad dog frida is everything you'd hope for in a Madison pet boutique. Mad About Pets was very happy to learn more about this fun business through an interview with the owner of bad dog frida:

What animal(s) does/do your store cater to, and what kinds of products/services do you offer?

We cater to dogs primarily but also to cats. While our cat selection is smaller the items we choose are favorites among many! Some of the products that we offer for both dogs & cats are:

* high quality healthy food and treats
* health supplements
* durable toys including "smart toys"
* eco-friendly beds
* unique collars/leashes
* whimsical t-shirts, sweatshirts and hats for humans
* artwork - much of it local
* books on health and training

Services that we offer are referrals and reference materials for people looking to provide holistic care for their animals. For example, we have had a lot of experience and success with treating our own animals through acupuncture and herbs and can provide lots of information. We also hold monthly educational workshops on a variety of topics.

What made you decide to start up your business (how did your business come about?)

I have had a vision of starting a store like this for years. My passion has always been animals - I've worked at a Humane Society in Seattle for years and then managed a vet clinic in Madison before opening the store. Our goal in opening our store was to provide unique items for people who feel about their animals the way that we do - but also to be a community resource. Supporting rescue groups and humane societies is also a part of our mission.

How is your business unique/different from others in the Madison area?

I believe we are different because of the experiences and knowledge we have had and can share with people. From behavior to health we have learned so much in our own lives and continue to educate ourselves both for the benefit of our own animals and for our customers. Our customers continuously tell us they appreciate that when they come to the store they know they can talk to us (the owners) and that we care...and remember their situation. That continuity is important and valued with our customers.

We also hold many events, including a monthly (usually free) educational workshop. We have had some great topics and speakers, including Patricia McConnell.

Our support of rescue groups and humane societies is also somewhat unique. In addition to holding Meet & Greet events in our store to promote adoptable animals, we also feature a different group each quarter. During that quarter the group is featured on our website and in our store, we have a collection jar out for customers to contribute to, and then at the end of the quarter we provide a check from bad dog frida. The donation is typically around $850. Fifty dollars or so is usually from the collection jar and the remaining amount is from us.

We have recently started Re-Dog, a resale store-within-a-store! We purchase gently used, clean items from people and then put them out for sale the 1st and 3rd Sunday of each month. Items are priced very low - a great way for people to get a deal on items and for things to be recycled and kept out of landfills!

In regards to our products we carefully screen everything before we will carry it. We won't sell anything that we would not give to our own animals - whether to eat or to play with. We look for local and eco-friendly items and are proud to support local artists and give them another venue to show off their work.

What kinds of special events, classes, etc (if any) do you host at your business?

In addition to the workshops and meet & greet events listed above we also hold a fun monthly social event called Coffee Hound Hour. It is held the 1st Saturday of every month from 9:30-10:30 am. We provide coffee, dog treats and people treats and it's a fun activity for dogs to meet other dogs (on leash), and for people to meet other dog loving people! In addition all treats are 10% off during the hour. We also are proud to participate in MMOCA's Gallery Night event as another way to support artists.

For more info: Visit bad dog frida at 2094 Atwood Ave, Madison WI 53704 or on the web, call (608) 442-6868, or email bark@baddogfrida.com

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