Store Offers Clothing, Toys, Accessories and Treats for Dogs
SARATOGA SPRINGS – Downtown Saratoga Springs is known for being dog friendly. From restaurants, shops and hotels, you can bring your four-legged friend just about anywhere; and with plenty of pet stores around, dogs can enjoy a shopping experience, too.
The newest pet store in Saratoga’s shopping district is Mini Me Pups Pet Boutique located at 454 Broadway in the Down Street Marketplace. The boutique opened in April and owner Jill Rodriguez says she couldn’t be happier with the success of the store’s first Saratoga summer.
“I’ve gotten a lot of good feedback,” said Rodriguez. “People love the products, the design of the store and the customer service. I’ve gotten positive feedback, so I’m really happy about that.”
Rodriguez describes the store as a lifestyle boutique – between apparel and home décor, there’s something for every dog lover; especially if pet owners like to coordinate with their furry companions.
“It’s playing on the idea that dogs look like their owners,” said Rodriguez. “It’s coming in to buy cutesy, frilly things for small dogs and big dogs.”
Combining her background in fashion merchandising with her love for dogs has been something Rodriguez has always dreamed of doing. She previously worked as a retail buyer in New York City.
“When my husband and I moved to Saratoga, it’s so dog friendly and there are a lot of pet stores, so I questioned if it was going to work out,” said Rodriguez. “But it fits because I offer a lot of things that people can’t find anywhere else. I travel a lot and the ‘I Love My Dog’ collection is all from Italy. So it’s stuff you’re not going to find in PetSmart or any of the other boutiques around here.”
From hand-knitted sweaters from Bolivia, Harry Barker brand toys and collars made out of recyclable materials to designer inspired “KoKo Chewnel” and “Chewy Vuitton,” the amount of unique products in Mini Me Pup Pet Boutique differentiates the store from its competitors.
Rodriguez also says she often tests products on her four rescue dogs before they hit the shelves. The hidden harness, a stylish dog coat with a built-in harness, is one of the most popular items in the store.
“I spend a lot of time researching items to bring in,” said Rodriguez. “Things can get pricey for pets, so I like to bring in a lot of good quality products. I like to bring in functional things too. With treats and products, I try them on my dogs first so when people come into the store, I can give them feedback.
Rodriguez’s goals for her store are to continue providing unique, quality pet items and to generate community support for animal rescue organizations. Rodriguez and her husband also host fundraisers and events at the store to raise money for local pet rescue groups. They’re currently planning their first “Scaredy Cats and Dogs Halloween Pet Costume Contest” on Saturday, Oct. 18 with proceeds being donated to the Benefit of Paws.
“I just hope everything works out and that we can continue to have events and bring in products people love,” said Rodriguez. “That’s all I hope for. If everything works, then I’m happy.”
Mini Me Pups Pet Boutique is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day of the week except for Tuesday. Visit their website at www.minimepups.com or check out www.Facebook.com/minimepups for more information.