Tell us about your business.
I own come.sit.stay pet boutique in Belle Meade Plaza. I started come.sit.stay almost 15 years ago, hoping to fill in a niche in the Nashville marketplace that didn’t exist at the time: A small specialized store which carried only the safest and highest quality items on the market for our dogs and cats. Yet at the same time, we’re functional and aesthetically pleasing.
My love for my own dogs led me to open the store. As they were getting older, I hated the idea of leaving them at home all day long. So, I threw caution, and savings, to the wind and started the boutique. I soon discovered how MANY people loved their dogs, and cats, and wanted to spoil them! Dogs and cats are no longer considered “just pets”, they are treated more like family.
At come.sit.stay I carry only human-grade treats, the most durable lines of toys made, hand-made collars, leashes and beds, bowls made in America with safe clays and glazes, and such. My best seller for the past 2 years has been CBD products from Colorado, which helps pets and humans, deal with anxiety, inflammation, pain, and much more. I did months and months of research before carrying CBD of any sort, to discern that which was the cleanest, safest on the market. I am cautious in everything I approach when dealing with our pets. CBD has changed my business model as it has changed lives. Human, canine and feline.
How did you get into this field, and why do you love it?
I guess the answer to this question was answered above for the most part. Being able to have my dogs with me, and loving dogs and cats in general, was my main impetus for starting the store. I also wanted to find items for them which were safer and cleaner than what I could find at big-box type stores.
What difficulties related to gender or sexuality have you had to overcome to be successful?
I had been out for over 22 years when I started come.sit.stay. My sexuality and gender had been issues in previous jobs, but by the time I opened the store, I can’t say that they presented many barriers. That being said, being a woman business owner means that you continuously have to prove yourself to others in ANY industry to be considered an “equal.”
The fact that I am gay doesn’t come into play too often, and if it does, I consider it an educational opportunity to teach those who may make insensitive or degrading remarks while in the store. I will not turn a blind eye, or ear, to discrimination. I have had jobs in the past where I was told, “We don’t hire gay people”, so I DO know how that feels. I set out to always have an open door to all. To welcome any and all equally. Love is love is love.