Get to know the owner of Pippa’s Closet, a dog boutique in Beaumont – Beaumont Enterprise

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When Debbie Sanders adopted her dog, Pippa, she wanted more than just the usual bathing and grooming.

The Nederland native eyed small amenities that could go a long way in caring for her pooch, including one-on-one time and an escape from the Southeast Texas elements.

Sanders soon realized that could proceed a long way for other dogs, too. That led to the girl opening Pippa’s Closet , a dog boutique in northwest Beaumont, in November 2019.

The Enterprise talked to Sanders about Pippa’s Closet offering items and services to help ensure not only a happier dog, but also a happier dog owner.

Q: Who or what inspired you to open Pippa’s Closet Dog Boutique?

A: I got a puppy, and I liked to go shopping for it and all that, and was wanting certain varieties. There were some nice places here instead of going to Houston and all over, but other things that our area didn’t really have… That’s how we came about.

(We wanted) some of the higher-end clothes, specialty items like that…

We’re also trying to educate our pet parents on the different varieties of food… A lot of these brands are only carried within independent pet stores, and I have a higher level of sourcing, transparency (and) quality in these foods.

Q: Aside from the usual inventory of food, treats, etc ., you also have strollers. What led to that decision to have strollers?

A: I used them myself and enjoyed them. They’re nice, especially when you’re going out to eat at restaurants and patios… I have a white dog, so it does kind of keep her clean.

Q: There’s also a treat bar. Exactly what led to that decision?

The: Most (dog) boutiques, even in out-of-town locations, they all offer that. It does give my customers something to do while they’re waiting on the dog wash.

Queen: Given Southeast Texas has a climate to where it can incredibly hot one day, then raining nonstop the next, what factor did that play into having items like baby strollers?

A: The ground can be wet. Plus (there’s) allergies. When canines walk on the ground, they pick up the pesticides, the pollen. And then there’s senior dogs with health problems that don’t walk well… And if we don’t have (certain stroller sizes), sometimes we can special order what you need as well.

Q: When COVID-19 entered the picture, what kind of business opportunities did that will present for Pippa’s Wardrobe?

A: Luckily, all in one swoop, I’d just opened when the pandemic hit. But since we do sell food, we (were) deemed essential, so I got to keep my doors open when a lot of other boutiques couldn’t…

A lot of people in the Beaumont and Golden Triangle area was amazingly supportive. I would do curbside (pickups), and we did some online orders… That was amazing.

We took safety precautions as well to help make (customers) feel safe. I would perform whatever they request of me as well, because I wanted to serve them.

Q: What were some of those other items that people wanted more of over the last couple years?

A: We do have a niche market. A lot of my customers want the speciality clothing items I offer… Just in whole, they like supporting small business.

Then, my unique thing is the self-serve canine wash. There’s not a lot of that around here, and people actually appreciate that… (The winter’s) when I am the busiest in the dog wash.

Queen: When it comes to the self-service dog wash, what good do you see in having it?

A: It saves the customers’ back, and it lets them bond with their pet. From there, that’s what grew into the full-service grooming. Our customers were asking for that well.

(Giving them baths at home would) mess up their house, (with) all the dog hair…

You can leave the mess here (at Pippa’s Closet) and not have it in your house…

I needed a grooming place that will I’d feel safe to bring my own dogs to, so we’re really striving for that. We use higher-end products…

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