Entrepreneur Spotlight, Jen Newhouse
Jen Newhouse of Two Pals & A Pup
For those of you who are awesome “puppy parents”, you know that there’s no better place than your local pet bakery and “bowtique” store. Say hello to one of my favorite stores where I get to take my “four-legged furry kid” and spoil them rotten, Two Pals & A Pup. Located in the Cherry Creek Denver area, truly one of the friendliest places I’ve ever stepped foot in, and Fido is not going to mind it either. Dogs can literally eat their hearts out from this awesome fresh bakery and pet store.
Jen, the owner, makes it a comfortable place for people to pop into when they’re just walking through the neighborhood of stores. When you need some fresh dog treats, or are in need of a new collar and leash, and with so many other great products that makes your dog a happy camper, Two Pals & A Pup can supply “the goods”, because honestly, it’s a dog’s life!
Meet Jen Newhouse. This is one cool “chick”. Jen always has a big smile on her face, and it’s likely because she said good-bye to corporate America, and hello to living out her passion. Jen gave up the steady job and steady paycheck to reinvent how she can connect with animals and dog-owners alike, and offer products and services that makes those fluffy animals happy and healthy, with peace of mind for a dog-owner who is conscious of their dogs health and nutrition. You won’t find unhealthy food products for animals at Two Pals & A Pup. Only the best quality, and it’s completely affordable at the same time. I can walk out of Two Pals & A Pup with a couple of bags of treats for around $10-$15 and with one happy “pup”. I’m trilled to call Jen a neighboring Denver-based business owner, living out her passion for animals and providing quality products for our beloved furry friends.
If you’re in Denver check them out. If you’re not, Two Pals & A Pup’s products are available online, just check out their website: www.twopalsandapup.com. Now let’s get to the interview!
“Our shop is like a main street coffee shop — people come in to visit and the pups come in for treats.”~Jen Newhouse
[EmSpot] What is your current project / business’ name?
[Jen] Two Pals & A Pup www.twopalsandapup.com
[EmSpot] When was your Business established?
[Jen] November 2009
[EmSpot] Briefly describe your Business
[Jen] Two Pals & A Pup is a local dog “bowtique” and bakery located in the Cherry Creek shopping district in Denver, Colorado. Our shop capitalizes on the ability to provide a quality experience for both pets and pet owners…from the conversation to the cookies! We carry a wide array of products to meet the needs of our four legged friends: baked goods, dog food (dry, canned, organic and raw), grooming products, herbal supplements, collars/leashes, toys (plush and non plush), harnesses and bedding. Although small, only 800 square feet, we buy a lot of product and we move a lot of product! We continue to rotate our inventory to keep our regulars coming in and to peak the interest of passerby’s.
[EmSpot] Where are you located?
[Jen] 231 Clayton Street Denver, CO 80206
[EmSpot] Are you a local, country-wide, or a Global business?
[Jen] Colorado based – local Denver store, and country wide – eCommerce website.
[EmSpot] Can people buy your product or service online?
[Jen] Yes. www.twopalsandapup.com
[EmSpot] Why Colorado?
[Jen] We decided to locate our store in Colorado, specifically Cherry Creek, because it not only fit our target demographic but because the culture encourages “four legged friendliness.”
[EmSpot] What’s your mission?
[Jen] Our mission is to provide the finest organic, all natural baked goods and pet products to our four legged friends and their two legged people!
[EmSpot] Would you / do you call yourself an Entrepreneur?
[Jen] Yes! In short; I took a huge risk leaving corporate America and the corporate income to pursue my passion. The initiative to try and truly impact animals and their two legged friends in a positive way every day. Our shop implements initiatives that not only create a growing profit center; but provide a place where quality products and discussions are available for everyone to take part in.
[EmSpot] What’s the best thing about being the boss?
[Jen] To quote the Lion King lyrics, “No one saying do this. No one saying be there. No one saying stop that. No one saying see here. Free to run around all day. Free to do it all my way.”
[EmSpot] What’s the toughest thing about being the boss?
[Jen] It’s on you…period.
[EmSpot] What device can you not live without on a daily basis?
[Jen] The computer…it’s crazy how dependent we’ve become on this piece of technology. It houses our POS system, social media, customer lists, vendors, email, etc.
[EmSpot] What product, solution, application can you not live or operate without?
[Jen] Our point of sale system. With over 2000 sku’s it is essential to our business operating efficiently. Sure we could do it by hand, but it is far from an effective use of time.
[EmSpot] Would you encourage others to start their own companies in Colorado?
[Jen] ABSOLUTELY! Wayne Gretzky once said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Sometimes you just gotta just pull trigger and go for it — that’s the best piece of advice my father gave me when we were waffling on venturing out on our own. Colorado encourages people to do business with people, not big box shops. The weather is great; find a location, open the door and trust yourself enough to succeed.
[EmSpot] What is your definition of success?
[Jen] I can’t say it any better than this… “Rely on your own strength of body and soul. Take for your star self-reliance, faith, honesty and industry. Don’t take too much advice — keep at the helm and steer your own ship.” ~ Noah Porter
[EmSpot] Who are some people who have inspired you to do the work that you do?
[Jen] My Father — he continues to be my inspiration for stepping outside of the box, valuing people because of what they bring to the table – not who they are or what they’re worth and simply living every day to it’s fullest.
Eleanor Roosevelt….sometimes you have to do things you don’t want to do in life, not because you want to, but because you can.
Every animal out there who wants to be loved and the humans who need the same.
[EmSpot] What is something unique and special about your business that you would love people to know about?
[Jen] We don’t care if you come in and spend $1 or $100, we want to know you and your pet. Our shop is like a main street coffee shop — people come in to visit and the pups come in for treats. Sometimes they just come in to have someplace to go — we don’t care, we just want them to leave a little bit better off than when you first came in.
[EmSpot] If you could give any other business some advice, what would it be?
[Jen] Listen to your customers…not just lip service; truly listen. Even the days when you really don’t have it in you to care; dig deep, find your humanity and LISTEN. The money is the easy part.
[EmSpot] Beyond your company
[Jen] Two Pals & A Pup endorses our mainstay foundation; The Wags & Menace Organization. Beyond our business donations, we personally strive to donate food and supplies to animals in need.
I also own M&M Speaking focusing on management and motivational key-note speaking engagements.
I want to sincerely thank Jen for taking the time to provide us with an interview, and we certainly think she deserves a moment in the Entrepreneur Spotlight.