Did you know that the fur of a chinchilla is so full of oil that you have to bathe the critter in dust to soak it all up? Kirsten Snyder found that out while stocking her new pet supply store Wags to Wiskers, which opened in Dexter Plaza in mid-August. That’s why she carries special chinchilla bathing dust—as well as enclosed, see-through chinchilla bathhouses—along with many other pet supplies and a wide variety of pet food, too, including all-natural organic foods and treats. Snyder, forty-seven, has been a recreational therapist, a project manager for software development at Ford, and, most recently, a real estate agent.
Dena Gilmore opened the first Wags to Wiskers in Saline in 2002 and another in Chelsea two years later. Then she started licensing the Wags to Wiskers name, concept, and mascots—the cartoon dog and cat on the front window. A third store opened in Gaylord in 2006, and Snyder is sole owner of the fourth. Gilmore says more stores are on the way.
Snyder says pet supplies hadn’t occurred to her when she decided to open her own business a couple of years ago and started researching franchise and licensing opportunities. But she liked what she saw at the Chelsea Wags to Wiskers. “I decided to do pet supplies because if people don’t have children, they have pets,” Snyder says. “And typically, people take very good care of their pets.”