Connect with us

Benchmarks

Grab Attention — and Customers — with a Wall Mural

Look to and learn from these outstanding mural installations.

mm

Published

on

ART CATCHES THE EYE and evokes a feeling. Large-scale installations such as murals can also attract new customers to a business.

Exterior artwork at Michelson Found Animals Adopt & Shop in Culver City, CA, does exactly that.

“The murals really grab people’s attention, and they become curious as to who we are and what we do,” says Sarah Rueli, marketing associate with the nonprofit adoption center and store.

Interior artwork at Urban Pooch Training & Fitness Center in Chicago, IL, has the same effect, thanks to social media posts.

“We take training graduation photos and use the mural as the background,” says co-owner Ed Kaczmarek, who adds that special occasions are not required to pose with pups and share. “Our clients love the mural and are always taking photos in front of it.”

Is a mural the next step in your store’s visual evolution? If so, look to and learn from these outstanding installations.

Dog Krazy  RICHMOND, VA

Piglet the Bulldog inspired Nancy Guinn to open Dog Krazy, so it seemed only fitting that she be the star of the store’s fourth location. Chris Guinn surprised his wife with the mural.

“Nancy has had a tough time being at the stores since Piglet passed two years ago,” he says. “I wanted to have this done in her honor.”

To ensure the treasured work of art would never be left behind if the store moved, artist Debbie LaFrance painted it on a removable pallet.


 

Bark on ParkJACKSONVILLE, FL

Owner Jamee Yocum hired artist collective MILAGROS to transform the dull concrete walls of Bark on Park’s daycare yard.

“I wanted to give my staff, dogs and visitors something to look at,” she explains. “The mural brings such positivity to an area where we spend hours a day. And my social media posts always have an awesome background.”

The result: colorful dogs and text that pops. Yocum spent $2,500, but offers as an alternative finding a local dog-owning muralist open to trade.


Michelson Found Animals Adopt & Shop CULVER CITY, CA

Oversized shelter pets pose along the exterior of the adoption center and store. Painted by artist David Flores from photos by Maria Ruvalcaba, the murals were part of the original architectural plans and cost $10,000. In addition to serving as billboards, marketing associate Sarah Rueli says, “The murals brighten up the building and are welcoming.”


Fins and SkinsPINELLAS PARK, FL

Owner Joe Declet grew tired of telling new customers to look for the ugly orange building. When his lease came up for renewal, he negotiated the right to add a mural.

“Invasive Species” by local artist Derek Donnelly now spans the side of Fins and Skins, measuring 30 feet tall by 50 feet long. It’s colorful creatures beckon to passersby and represent the pets available inside. The mural has also greatly increased foot traffic, with a serious surge when it became a Pokéstop in 2016.

Declet purchased paint, rented equipment and paid Donnelly for the project. Total cost: $6,500. Pinellas Park reimbursed him $1,500.

“A lot of cities are willing to bring murals to an area,” he says, advising, “Look for beautification programs that provide funding.”


Urban Pooch Training & Fitness Center CHICAGO, IL

Urban Pooch has a go-to artist for murals and signs: Anne Leuck. Co-owner Ed Kaczmarek recommends that every pet business find such a partner.

He describes, “A local artist who gets your vibe — and can work with you to create artwork that not only adds to your decor and brightens your space, but that also reinforces your brand and all the things that make your business unique and fun.”

Leuck digitally created two murals in her vibrant, graphic style, which Signarama then printed on 3M vinyl and installed.

“It makes it so much easier to work through the creative process, versus having the artist paint,” Kaczmarek says, adding that “the colors pop more if digitally printed.”

The custom mural of dogs at play measures 10 feet tall by 14 feet long and cost $4,500. A smaller mural based on existing artwork cost $800. Printing and installation were $1,200.


My Buddy & Me Natural Pet Store CENTENNIAL, CO

A likeness of Buddy the Mastiff adorns this store’s wall. Owner Aimee Thompson says it starts conversations, gives “us a chance to not only talk about pet food, but something else to break the ice.”

Artist Bas Hollander created the airbrushed portrait of Buddy, the inspiration for the store along with another of Thompson’s pets, Stymie. The store actually operates as a non-profit to fund the Stymie Canine Cancer Foundation.

Thompson traded pet products for Hollander’s artistic services, and she recommends such a deal if it benefits everyone involved. Work by local artists regulary hangs in the store.

Pamela Mitchell is the senior editor at PETS+. She works from her home office in Houston, TX, with Spot the senior Boston Terrier as her assistant.

Advertisement

FEATURED VIDEO

hhhvideo
PETS+ Live with Candace D'Agnolo

This North Carolina Pet Business Thrives by Creating Unforgettable Customer Experiences

Catch the replay of this PETS+ Live! webinar hosted by Candace D’Agnolo of Pet Boss Nation. This episode featured Wendy Megyese of Muttigans in Emerald Isle, NC. Learn about ways to combat the big boxes and online — the key is to give your customers an experience they can’t get anywhere else — and learn why the business was honored in the 2018 PETS+ America’s Coolest Stores contest.

Promoted Headlines

Benchmarks

Haul Out the Holly — and Maybe Even Yoda — for Snappy, Happy Holiday Decor

For a snappy, happy ever after, get those decorations up now.

mm

Published

on

IT’S THE MOST wonderful time of the year. Customers are picking out gifts, and booking extra grooming appointments and boarding stays. Best of all, you get to deck the halls to further boost the holiday cheer and spending. These pet businesses shared how they do exactly that.

Southern Barker
LEXINGTON & LOUISVILLE, KY

On any given day, Southern Barker looks pulled from the pages of a decorating magazine. The holidays are no different. Special touches like the countdown calendar pickup truck and faux snowballs add festive charm to displays, those of holiday and non-holiday products alike.

Paddywack
MILL CREEK, WA

How sweet is this giving tree? Customers are able to purchase an item off the tree for a specific forever foster or adoptable pet, with the lineup changing each year with the organization. White tinsel and snowflakes also decorate this store, with Christmas and Hanukkah items adding pops of color throughout.

Advertisement

The Dog Store
ALEXANDRIA, VA

Forget the Grinch! The Dog Store favors another green creature, Yoda, in one of its holiday displays. Making an appearance in the front window are Santa Snoopy and seemingly every single holiday dog toy on the market. Passersby can’t help but stop to take it all in, and then head inside for more.

Wagging Tails
WEST HARTFORD & WOLCOTT, CT

Pet-centric holiday paintings are a running theme in the lobbies of these boarding facilities. Santa holds a puppy, giving him a candy cane to lick. A kitten plays with ribbon on a wrapped gift. And a Westie looks out a snow-dusted window, with a Christmas tree in the background. All creating a merry mood for clients dropping off their pets.

Advertisement

Bark On Mulford
ROCKFORD, IL

Festive items mix with year-round gifts to give both categories a boost during the holidays. Dog breed ornaments decorate Bark on Mulford’s Christmas tree, along with those representing other pets.

Paws on Main
COLUMBIANA, OH

This store took full advantage of last year’s town Christmas parade theme: ugly sweaters. It devoted the front window to holiday sweaters for pets, and threw a Snuggly Paws and Ugly Sweater Party. Not only did Paws on Main sell a slew of sweaters, it won the Best Dressed Animals Award at the parade!

Woof! Woof! Pet Boutique & Biscuit Bar
BRISTOL, RI

Treats remain a priority during the holidays at this store, with the famous biscuit bar and bakery cases getting a festive makeover. And look at the bone-shaped tree lights and garland with moose ears. Adorable.

Captivating Canines
WESTERVILLE, OH

This store takes part in its neighborhood’s annual storefront holiday decorating contest. White twinkle lights hang from the awning, helping to light the window displays that feature festive holiday decor. Good luck this year!

Continue Reading

Benchmarks

6 Pet Hotels That Will Make You Kind of Wish You Were a Dog

This is high-end boarding for dogs!

mm

Published

on

AT FIRST GLANCE, you might think some of these accommodations are for people. But look closely — at the size of furniture at Chateau Poochie, the water bowl at Yuppy Puppy and the video-chat camera at Bark Life Market. This is high-end boarding for dogs! Also, the pups in other pics give it away.

Wagging Tails
WOLCOTT & WEST HARTFORD, CT

Wagging Tails Pet Resort & Spaw has staffed cage-free boarding with toddler furniture as lounging and bedding options. Among the playful offerings are a pirate’s ship, racecar and train.
Krista Lofquist buys Little Tikes and Step2 beds new, but also finds them gently used on Facebook Marketplace.

NIGHTLY RATES: $50 (includes daycare)

Yuppy Puppy
O’FALLON, MO

Each of the Plaza Suites at Yuppy Puppy pet spa and resort features a tempered-glass door, garden-view window and outdoor fenced-in area for suite guests only, plus raised bed, couch and included amenities such as bacon-and-egg brekkies in bed.

Jessica Cooke expanded boarding options to include suites when moving to her current location. “I was quite nervous that I would end up upgrading dogs for free to utilize the space. But the suites are full every day, and I have clients booked in them into 2020. We are opening a second location, and the rooms will primarily be these.”

NIGHTLY RATES: $55

Advertisement

Barker’s Lane
DAVIE, FL

Grooming clients can also board at this salon, in one of four stylishly appointed rooms worthy of an Instagram-famous pup.
Julianna Reese offers this advice for those inspired to use similar decor. “You have to know the dogs to determine what can be left in the room. We do put down pee pee pads at night, but the rugs and bedding are washable and bought at places like Ross, Home Goods, Tuesday Morning.”

NIGHTLY RATES: $45 and higher

Bark Life Market
SEMINOLE, FL

The all-inclusive Penthouse at Bark Life Market’s newest resort measures 10 by 13 feet and includes sliding patio door, resort decor and music, a queen-size bed and flat screen with DogTV, as well as private web cameras and a Petchatz video chat and treat dispenser. Also included, egg and cheese omelet for breakfast, salmon or beef fillet for dinner, and tuck-in treat at bedtime.

NIGHTLY RATES: $99

Chateau Poochie
POMPANO BEACH, FL

This doggie day care, spa and pet hotel has multiple levels of accommodations, including its most luxurious: The Tea Suite. Measuring 14 by 14 feet, it has seating and sleeping options throughout, a crystal chandelier, flat-screen TV and webcam, plus additional included amenities.

NIGHTLY RATES: $250, and pet parents can pay an additional fee to have a staff member spend the night in the suite.

Advertisement

Wag Central
STRATFORD, CT

At Wag Central, staffed slumber parties are one of the higher-end boarding options. Pre-screened day-care regulars can stay together in a room that has four custom-made bunkhouses. Angela Pantalone says they cost about $800 each, including beds.

“It’s a great upsell for pups who are anxious or first-time boarders. The human-interaction aspect is a big draw for owners who are concerned about their pup as they travel, too.” She adds, “We are able to multitask the use of this room for dog families who insist on keeping their pups together when we are not opening it to sleepovers. It’s a nice puppy nursery, too, for daycare. Overall, it’s been a hit!”

NIGHTLY RATES: $68 (includes daycare)

Continue Reading

Benchmarks

Tout Your Own Brand with Custom Merchandise, Branded Freebies

Swag those tails!

mm

Published

on

WHO DOESN’T LOVE SWAG? Offer up a free button or ball or other small promotional item, and your customer will say, “Yes, please” and “Thank you.” Some even love your business so much they’ll pay to wear or use its branded products. Now that’s success — revenue and “free” advertising. These six businesses have achieved exactly that.

Fetch RI
RICHMOND, RI

Humans and dogs alike can show their love for this store — in a variety of T-shirts, sweatshirts, hats and bandanas. Johnna Devereaux offers this advice, “People love buying our shirts and sweatshirts because they are super-comfortable. Work with your local embroidery shop and have them order samples so you can decide which materials feel the best, and carry only those!” As to pricing, she says, “Because we are getting free advertising when people wear our branded items, we only charge a 25 percent markup.”

T-SHIRT COST: $13, SWEATSHIRT COST: $35, HAT COST: $12, BANDANA COST: $4.50, DOG T-SHIRT COST: $8 | SOURCE: Local embroidery and screen-printing shop

Advertisement

Crossbones Dog Academy
PROVIDENCE, RI

New training clients get their very own clicker to use, not only during class but when out and about practicing new skills. When hung from a wrist coil, they serve as walking advertisement for the business. Katherine Ostiguy says, “Branded clickers are worth the investment if your store offers positive dog training services.” She also sells them for $3.29.

COST: $1.15 | SOURCE: The Doggone Good Clicker Company

Cats Exclusive Veterinary Center
SHORELINE, WA

In their welcome packet, new patients get a three-step can lid with the clinic logo on it, and they also are available for $1.39 at the on-site store. Manager Amanda Bass says, “Carrying can lids when you sell dog and cat food is a must! Merchandise them near the canned foods as well as by the checkout stand.”

COST: $.049 | SOURCE: Pawprint Promotions

Animal Connection
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA

Branded merchandise at this store features its tag line, “Bark Local.” Patricia Boden sells T-shirts, toys and magnets, but also gives them away — along with “Bark Local” and “Purr Local” buttons — at certain events and to valued customers. She even rewards those who wear the gear: “If I see someone wearing a pin or shirt, or a car with a magnet, they get a prize on the spot!”

SHIRT COST: $14 SALES PRICE: $20 SOURCE: VistaPrint | TOY COST: $9.50 SALES PRICE: $16.99 SOURCE: Hugglehounds | MAGNET COST: $1.50 SALES PRICE: $3 BUTTON COST: $0.44 SALES PRICE: $0 SOURCE: Sticker Mule

Advertisement

Wishbone Pet Care
MISSOURI CITY, TX

Tammi Bui worked with an Etsy artist to create a custom, hand-painted dog collar with brand colors and logo. She sells them for $22.99, but also gives them as gifts to her most loyal customers.

COST: $11 | SOURCE: etsy.com/shop/merryjaneandthor

Yuppy Puppy
O’FALLON, MO

Jessica Cooke says, “I smack my logo on anything I can!” Some items she gives away, such as bandanas to new grooming clients, but uses others as incentives. Customers who book a 30-day play-camp package for $515 get a free towel they can use on Splash Days, and those who buy a filled treat jar for $6 can refill it for $3. “We also use these in our donation gift baskets, with a note telling them to keep the jar and come see us for a refill!”

TOWEL COST: $11, TREAT JAR COST: $2.50 | SOURCE: AnimalsINK

Continue Reading

Most Popular