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Lowcountry Local First’s Business Academy guides dog lovers into Park Circle pet shop owners

Lowcountry Local First’s Business Academy guides dog lovers into Park Circle pet shop owners
August 2020

Couple jumps at chance to take over a holistic pet shop in North Charleston

Kristine and Tyewhan with Wolverine and Bentley outside their shop

Kristine and Tyewhan Luke never expected that their love of dogs would turn into a full-time business. But when Park Pets owner Carmella Orsini decided to move away in 2019 and offered the Lukes the chance to take over the Park Circle pet shop where they both worked and volunteered, they jumped at the opportunity.

To learn how to better manage the store, Kristine enrolled in the new 12-week Community Business Academy with Lowcountry Local First, which provides hands-on training for entrepreneurs. “After the first class, we immediately spent a couple hours refining our vision,” she says.

The training has proven to be especially helpful as the Lukes navigate trying to grow their business, which specializes in holistic food and treats for dogs and cats, during the coronavirus pandemic. The shop, known for its customer service, pet-friendly CBD oil, local business collaborations, and popular in-store pet photo booth, provides free home delivery within five miles. The retail store is also open with minimized capacity as well as curbside pickup. They’ll celebrate National Dog Day on August 26 by offering all good dogs free treats and an outdoor photo booth.

The Lukes envision the boutique becoming a home for learning about pet safety and wellness. They plan to host clinics on pet CPR, work with local trainers, and host workshops to educate people about holistic pet food. Eventually, the couple can see Park Pets franchising.

“We’re primarily Black and female owned,” Tyewhan says. “We love being who we are and living where we do and servicing our community.”