New canine boutique opens
Dog owners now have a new place to pamper their pets.
Doggy Stylez Couture opened June 29 on a popular downtown Patterson Avenue block near Krankies Coffee.
It carries an array of gourmet dog food, colorful treats, chew toys, collars, beds, grooming supplies and pet apparel. Though dogs are king at the shop, a limited stock of cat food is sold there as well.
Monica Hooper said she decided to open the shop after noticing that downtown had become a popular dog-walking locale.
“Every time I’m downtown, there’s not a time I don’t see someone walking their dog,” she said. “So one day, four years ago, I saw someone who had a really big, tall dog and I said ‘Oh my God, it would be so nice to have a dog boutique downtown.’”
The store is dog and people friendly. The walls are painted in warm, bright colors and the floors are designed to accommodate four-legged visitors. Hooper’s own new dog, a chihuahua named Cosita she plans to pick up from the Humane Society this week, will likely be a familiar presence at the shop, like her mother Vendetta and daughter Modesti, who help Hooper run the place.
Hooper still maintains her full-time job as a wireless sales representative, but entrepreneurship has long been an interest of Hooper’s. She previously started a now defunct car wash and a clothing boutique that still exists, but is run by a former business partner. She’s also helped friends launch businesses of their own.
“I don’t want to work for anyone,” Hooper said. “I want to be able to start my company and work for myself and be able to hire people that are in need of jobs, people that can’t find jobs.”
Modesti said she admires her mother’s drive.
“I think it’s a cool idea. I’m glad that she pursued her dreams and it makes me want to pursue mine,” said Modesti, a recent Parkland High School graduate who is heading to Johnson C. Smith University this fall to major in psychology.
Hooper also sees her newest venture as a way to help with downtown Winston-Salem’s reemergence. She remembers when the area was at its prime, with retail shops galore.
“I just remember that every Saturday morning we were coming downtown,” she said. “Being brought up and raised in Winston, I saw downtown go from live to nothing.”
Hooper is using social media and old fashioned fliers to tout Doggy Stylez Couture. The word is getting out.
“A lot of people just come in curious as to what we have,” said Modesti. “I always try to give them a sample or treat or something just so their dog will want to come back to the store.”
Hooper said business has been decent during the shop’s first weeks. The peanut butter and barbecue doggy treats have been bestsellers. She soon plans to offer one-on-one in-store dog trainer sessions with a local professional trainer.
Doggy Style Couture (336-293-3492) is located at 362 Patterson Ave. and is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.