CRAZY ABOUT DOGS: MAIN STREET SHOP CATERS TO CANINE LOVERS
Source: Stoughton News (Extract)
Posted: June 15, 2023
From clothing stores to coffee shops, Stoughton’s downtown has a lot to offer for people of all ages and interests. However, what about our four-legged friends?
The Crazy Dog Mom, located at 161 W Main St., offers a solution to this through a store-front boutique dedicated entirely to dogs and, as the name suggests, their owners as well.
The owner and founder of The Crazy Dog Mom, Amanda Ballweg, is a self-proclaimed ‘crazy dog mom’ herself, a title she hopes to use to attract other dog owners who feel as passionate about their dogs as she does.
“Customers seeing the name (Crazy Dog Mom) helps them to know that this is the place for them,” Ballweg says. However, according to Ballweg, her store is not only for crazy dog moms, but for dog lovers of all types. “It is more specific (than) being a crazy dog mom. We’re also here for crazy dog dads or even just crazy dog lovers.”
Ballweg’s love for animals and enjoyment in making things led to the creation of her business, The Crazy Dog Mom.
“I’ve just kind of found myself always making things. I used to make candles and I used to just do arts and crafts all the time. And then I found myself kind of trying to sell them and so it’s just kind of grown and progressed over time,” Ballweg says. “And then eventually, yeah, combine the two – animals and making things – that started the shop.”
Ballweg began her entrepreneurial interests through selling dog leashes on Facebook. She used this as a jumping point to eventually start selling a wider variety of products on many different online platforms, such as Etsy and her own website, thecrazydogmom.com. A dog blog of the same name can also be found on her website, one with many different articles on advice for dog care and general dog lifestyle.
Another motivation to open the store for Ballweg came from her desire to give her dogs the best life she possibly could. However, she grew frustrated with many pet supply shops. She explains that a lot of dog products are not made of a single ingredient and actually contain toxins dog owners may not be aware of. An example Ballweg cites is white pig ears, a common treat for dogs that are actually bleached, which can be harmful for animals.
“It was just what can you actually trust?” Ballweg says. This frustration led to Ballweg’s creativity and interest in entrepreneurship. Additionally, Ballweg’s dedication to dog health is part of the reason that she believes her store is unique, calling it a dog lifestyle boutique instead of just a regular pet store. “I don’t sell dog food or anything like that, it’s more of a healthy lifestyle boutique. All the products here are more natural-based, so they’re made with clean ingredients made within the U.S. and safe for dogs. Obviously everyone thinks when going to a pet store, (all the products) are going to be safe for dogs, but there are products where, well, it’s a little more questionable.”
Shopping at The Crazy Dog Mom not only benefits one local business, but many other small businesses as well, Ballweg explains, “(Our products) are made with ingredients from other small businesses …. I’m supporting other small businesses, not just more big brands.”
Besides helping other small businesses, Ballweg also likes to give back through donations.
“I like to donate a portion of my profits to local rescues and to be able to help dogs in need. I want to be able to use this as a way to get more recognition to local rescues and the dogs that need to be helped,” Ballweg says. “We need more and more awareness.”
One attribute Ballweg prides herself on is her ability to connect with dog owners, whether that be through exchanging stories or through answering questions on her products, something she claims makes her store more personable compared to other pet supply companies.
“I personally make the dog treats here, and whatever the name of the dog treat is, that’s the only ingredient that is in it,” Ballweg says. “[At The Crazy Dog Mom], you are actually talking to the person who made the treat versus going to Amazon and just trying to take their word for it.”
As suggested in the name, the store is dog friendly, with Ballweg occasionally bringing in her dog, Koa, as well.
“I want (the store) to be more of a destination place for you to bring your dog,” Ballweg says. “Seeing all the dogs is probably the best part (of owning the store). It’s just a really good feeling to be able to connect with others who see dogs the same way that I do.”
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