Pet supply store opens its doors

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Oct 16, 2013 in Rat Answers | Subscribe

The customer—and their pets—come first at “4 Your Pets.”
That’s the philosophy Pam Williams, who opened the new downtown business on Oct. 1, plans to live by.

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When Williams, who originally hails from Fort Frances, moved back here in February, 2012, she couldn’t find the products she wanted for her pets.
Then when she was laid off from her job later that year, she turned to her husband and said, “I’m opening a pet supply.”
Earlier this month, she opened the door at 214 Scott St. (formerly Mario’s Jewellers) and is offering products for pets of every stripe.
“You can get your cat toys, dog toys, collars, leashes,” noted Williams, who owns two dogs—a Jack Russell cross and a Springer Spaniel.
“I bringing in stuff for rabbits hamsters, rats, fish, reptiles,” she added.
“Once I know exactly what’s out there, and people come in and I find out exactly what everybody wants, I will probably take about a year to rotate so that I am carrying what Fort Frances needs.
“Right now, it’s hit-and-miss,” Williams admitted. “People come in and tell me what they want and what they’re looking for.
“If I get enough people that want that, then I will carry it.
“One person—no, but they can special order it,” she added.
“I’m keeping track of what people are looking for,” she stressed. “If I find five people want it, then I’ll carry it on a regular basis.”
Williams made it clear she wants to get whatever the pets—and not just dogs and cats—need.
“If I don’t carry it, I can try and find out where it is and locate it,” she pledged.
“If I can’t, then I’ll let them know.”
Williams is a bookkeeper by trade, and she has worked retail (shipping/receiving and sales) before, so she isn’t completely new to the game.
“Some of it is a new learning experience,” she conceded.
“I never had to purchase the inventory—that’s a little bit new,” she chuckled.
Williams also said she’s sticking strictly to pet supplies and not live animals.
“When you get into that, there’s so many different rules and regulations, and it’s very costly,” she explained.
“If you’re bringing in 100 fish, you might get 80 that are alive,” she noted.
“The week after, you may lose half of that.”
While she doesn’t sell animals, Williams said customers are more than welcome to bring their pets into “4 Your Pets.”
“The first time somebody brings in a lizard, I may have to grit my teeth and grin,” she laughed. “They’re the ones I am going to have to get used to.
“But people out there love ’em.”
Williams, meanwhile, has received a warm welcome from fellow downtown businesses, many of whom seemed to know about her business before she opened her doors.
“They all knew before I opened,” she remarked. “A lot of people, and soon as I said anything, said, ‘Oh yeah, you’re the one.’
“A lot of people knew it was coming.
“I did send out surveys in April and stuff so people have been kind of watching for it,” added Williams.
“I’ve been working at it for almost a year now,” she noted. “Doing the surveys and finding out what everybody wanted, finding vendors, and the proper place to be located.
“I do like the downtown,” Williams stressed. “When I was younger, you only shopped downtown—and everybody got to know everybody.
“It’s a nice area,” she remarked. “I like the downtown area.”
Williams said getting the business up and running has been a family affair, noting her husband, Pat Fowler, renovated the business’ interior, and her son and daughter also helped her out.
Looking ahead, Williams said she also will be taking appointments for pet portraits, which her daughter will take.
“4 Your Pets” is open Monday-Saturday from 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Pets welcome.

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