Shannon Slayton recognized a need in the community and created a resource for the pets, and pet parents, of Pacific County.
When she moved to Pacific County in 2020, Shannon Slayton noticed a lack in the community: A pet supply store. With years of experience managing a pet store then working as a vet tech, while nurturing animals of her own, Shannon felt confident she could fill the gap. Romeo’s Pad opened in June of 2022.
Shannon’s vision is to be a resource for the community, offering quality products and expertise. In addition to healthy treats and a variety of toys, she offers tried-and-true training services. And with her own extensive background caring for animals, Shannon also encourages folks to bring any questions they may have about their furry friends to the shop. We asked Shannon to tell us more about her story and her mission:
Why did you choose to start a business in Pacific County?
I visited in 2019 and decided that this is
where I need to be. I went home to Vermont and told my wife, We’re moving.
And she said, Yeah, let’s go. So we loaded up
the car with two cats, a dog, and a fish and drove across the country.
When we first got here in 2020, we had no
plan–not a single idea of what we were going to do. We just said, We’ll figure
it out when we get there.
Where did the idea for your business come from?
When I got here, it blew my mind that there wasn’t anything on the peninsula for pets.
You have some stuff in the grocery stores and the hardware stores, but nowhere specific to pets. So it’s not always the best stuff that you can get.
I wanted to be able to bring healthy treats and items that can help people with their pets in this area.
What product and services do you offer?
We’re a small retail pet supply store. So we’re going to have everything for dogs, cats, reptiles, fish, and other small animals.
It’s the only one in the area so I’m trying to make it convenient for locals, so they don’t have to drive 45 minutes to get what they need.
We also have a trainer available for hire at our store. She’s actually been working with our dog, Romeo–the store’s namesake.
He was a rescue and has a hard time in public spaces. We’ve had him for eight years, and for six of those years he hasn’t been able to be in public. But after three sessions with our trainer he was in public with other dogs. She’s good!
How do you view your role in the community?
I want to educate people on how to better care for their pets–to help increase their pets’ longevity and help people understand that if you take care of them the right way you won’t have a ton of vet bills.
I think a lot of people just don’t do the research. Having worked in the pet industry before, I’ve retained a lot. So
hopefully I’ll be able to put that out there. Whether they take my advice or not, at least I’m doing my part and trying to get it out there.
If you had one piece of advise to anyone wanting to start a business in Pacific County, what would it be?
Get the word out as soon as possible and location really is everything, I think.
But I don’t know because I didn’t really ask anybody anything before I did it. I just kind of did it. That’s the way I am; I’ll try anything. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. At least I tried.
But this community is really tight-knit. The whole peninsula is really supportive of new businesses, so I’ve had a lot of support. So I guess the biggest thing is getting to know the community.
For any aspiring business owner in Pacific County, here are a few key takeaways from Shannon’s experience:
● Strategize your location
● Find a need in the community and
● It’s never too early to advertise
and get the word out there
● Get to know your community
● Jump in and do your best!