Pet Inspirations: Leel Michelle of Bow Wow Bakery
We originally featured Leel's story in December 2019 to explain how her pint sized Chihuahua named Frida inspired her to start her first pet business, Bow Wow Beauty Shoppe in 2006. Since then Leel has added many pets too her family while expanding her business repertoire.
Bow Wow Dog Bakery which encompasses the original Bow Wow Beauty Shoppe is an award-winning retro dog bakery and pet boutique with exceptional onsite pet grooming that is provided by Gabriel Feitosa Grooming Salon. The Bow Wow Dog Bakery family is also home to the award-winning international grooming apparel brand, Retro Stylist Wear.
Following a career in women's fashion corporate retail management and corporate amusement park management, Leel was inspired by her pint sized Chihuahua Frida (2003-2016), Standard Poodle Mumsie, and Bichon Sugar to create brands that utilized her skills, creativity, and passion to build memorable businesses catering to dogs. Her company has won several awards, including:
As Leel explains, "I also enjoy giving back to the pet industry with trade show speaking engagements such as SuperZoo, Barkleigh Productions, and Global Pet Expo. I contribute to published print and online content to add or improve pet store design, retail merchandising, client experience, and grooming salons. You can follow me at “The Art of Pet Retailing for Groomers” and Face Book Group "Pet Boutiques." I love sharing my passion for pets and the pet industry and looks forward to sharing my passion with you!"
When did you get into this line of work or how long have you been in this position?
In 2006, for nearly 14 years!
What is unique or special about your brand?
We have a fun, retro vibe that make people very happy!
Did you have a pet that inspired you to start your business/product/service? Or that encouraged you to be in the field that you are in? If not, what inspired you?
Yes, a Chihuahua named Frida (rest her soul) and now a Standard Poodle named Mumsi, and a Bichon named Sugar!
Do you have a pet or pets that join you at work, what are their names and roles?
Those three I just mentioned are our Greeters and Taste Testers!
How does your product or service help pets and pet parents?
In our bakery we marry health with aesthetic, meaning that we have beautiful "Insta-worthy" treats that are also healthy to eat!
What challenges have you faced in running your company or growing your brand? How did you overcome them?
Not having enough time is ALWAYS a challenge! I'm very ambitious and hard on myself so I never feel I'm "done" or have done well enough!
What are the top 3 pieces of advice/recommendations concerning your field of expertise that could benefit a pet’s and/or pet parent’s life?
Where can someone get information or access the products or services discussed?
Any parting words or thoughts in general?
Join me and my team on Instagram to get a glimpse into the life of a doggy bakery and our adorable Muses!