Known for its extensive pet department, Sebastopol Hardware in Sebastopol, California, doesn’t just sell pet products, but also offers pet services. Sebastopol Hardware has also partnered with Waggin Smiles, a local mobile teeth cleaning service for dogs and cats.
Waggin Smiles started out working out of a back room in the store and eventually expanded to a motorhome in a cordoned off corner of the store’s parking lot. Angela Nielsen, pet department manager at Sebastopol Hardware, says the company uses a special procedure for cleaning the teeth that makes it less stressful for the dogs.
Waggin Smiles has their premise permit through the California Veterinary Medical Board, says Dawn Leiske, owner of Waggin Smiles. All the technicians work under the supervision of California Veterinary Medical Board licensed veterinarians at every clinic location.
Sebastopol Hardware started its pet product business on a large scale. Around 10 years ago, a local pet store next to the hardware store was going out of business, and the owners of Sebastopol Hardware bought the building. They completely remodeled the space before reopening to the public as the Pet Center of Sebastopol Hardware.
During the remodel, Nielsen says they put a note in the window near the mail slot, asking customers for suggestions on what products the store should carry.
“We put this note up asking what people to share with us what they wanted to see in the store,” she says. “That’s how we determined a lot of the products we were going to carry and it’s how we found Waggin Smiles.”
The partnership with Waggin Smiles has been a positive one, offering customers a valuable service and leading to add-on sales. Nielsen says Waggin Smiles will recommend products to their customers and the customers will purchase through Sebastopol. The store also stocks several of the items Waggin Smiles recommends to clients for pet dental care.
“The cleaning takes about 45 minutes and during that time, customers will wander through the store,” Nielsen says. “As an Ace Hardware, we have a lot to browse, including shoes and clothing, so there’s a possibility of add-on sales. For us, it’s more about being able to offer customers this convenient service.”
Sebastopol Hardware also serves as a site for VIP PetCare, a low-cost pet vaccination clinic.
“Every other Sunday, the VIP PetCare clinic uses our store as a location, giving us the chance to offer another helpful service to our customers,” says Nielsen.