Whiskers and Wags opens in Chelsea

CHELSEA – Whiskers and Wags Pet Boutique officially opened its doors to the public on this year’s Black Friday, Nov. 24. According to owner Kim McCulla, Whiskers and Wags is the only store in Chelsea that exclusively sells products for pets.

“We do natural, holistic foods and we have problem-solver toys,” McCulla said. “We like to do things a little bit differently.”

McCulla said Whiskers and Wags mainly specializes in products for dogs and cats, but they can special order supplies for any animal.

McCulla said she first wanted to own a pet supplies store after she got a job working with animals in another state, before she moved to Chelsea.

“I first got the bug when I worked at a pet store in Atlanta,” McCulla said. “Plus, it’s just plain fun.”

Before she was able to open whiskers and Wags, McCulla said she had to overcome numerous hurdles. Opening a business on Black Friday may seem like a stressful business move, but McCulla said a hectic first day was appropriate after a hectic opening process.

“The process of opening was crazy, so it was a perfect fit,” McCulla said. “There were a lot of false starts, and there was a lot of stress, but in the end, I think we are located where God intended us to be, when God intended us to be.”

As the owner of a dog with fear issues, a dog who has cancer and previously had heart worms and a cat with a chronic upper respiratory disease, McCulla said she understands that many pets have unique needs.

“Since most of my pets are special needs, I had to do a lot of research,” McCulla said. “It gives me an understanding of the different toys that help with behavior issues and the different diets that pets need. It’s also given me strong relationships with local vets.”

“Problem-solving toys work well with smart, high-energy dogs to keep them out of trouble,” McCulla added. “Dogs and cats are different. You have nutritional needs and I have nutritional needs, but they’re not identical.”

In the week that Whiskers and Wags has been open, McCulla said she is seeing new customers come in every day and is grateful for the support she’s received from people in the area.

“We’re continuing to have people find us from all kinds of different sources,” McCulla said. “We have had such a warm welcome, especially from the business community in Chelsea. We’re excited to be here.”

Whiskers and Wags recently affiliated with the South Shelby Chamber of Commerce, and a ribbon cutting ceremony is set for 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 13.  Whiskers and Wags is located at 16618, U.S. 280, Suite 100, and is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.