Nicole Bembry is the owner of Immortal Dog, located in Seattle. This unique pet supply store – featuring fresh baked dog biscuits that sound good enough for a human snack – opened in February 2009. For you Facebook types, there’s an Immortal Dog fan page. You can find the store online at immortaldogpetsupply.com.
What inspired you to start Immortal Dog?
After getting my new dog two years ago, I was immersed into the Seattle dog culture. So many exciting dog owners in this city. I frequented many local pet supply stores looking for the best food and newest items for my pets and, over time, I began to see myself in this role. It seemed like a perfect fit for me. I am an entrepreneur at heart. I thrive on making customer connections as well as the business side of it.
Why pet supplies and bakery, including those premium fresh baked biscuits?
I am a baker at heart. Cover me in flour! While working in my previous career I had a small side business baking for people’s events. When I got my dog, I started baking biscuits for her, then for friends’ dogs, then for clients. It just took off. Pets are such an important part of people’s lives. I felt if I was going to open a business I wanted to make a difference for people. I did not want to just open a business to make money, but to enrich people’s lives – and their pets.
What’s the best advice you received as you were starting your business?
Do your research. Make your business plan robust. Check your numbers over and over. Passion can only take you so far. You have to have the business to back you up.
What advice would you give to someone starting up his/her own business?
Make sure you are business savvy. You can have a great idea and concept, but need to know the nuts and bolts of managing the financial part of your business.
What do you know now that you’d wish you had known before?
I think going through the lease process with my landlord was difficult for me. I was not as confident as I could have been when it came to asking for things I wanted. Next time this won’t be a problem now that I have had the experience.
What do you enjoy most about owning your own business?
I used to run businesses for other people. I made them a lot of money and I stressed out like it was my own. Now if I stress, it is my very own stress. I may be more tired than ever, but it is different now that it is my own. I am so proud to have done this.
What should your customers know about Immortal Dog?
At Immortal Dog, you and your pet are the number one priority. We want to help your pet live their best life through great nutrition.