Shop Small Spotlight: Pussy & Pooch

Pussy and Pooch | photo by Timothy Norris
Pussy and Pooch | photo by Timothy Norris

This article is sponsored by American Express. Please remember to Shop Small this holiday season.

Pussy and Pooch, now a longtime pet supply pit stop, has helped define a lifestyle for Downtown L.A.'s cats and dogs, and their owners, most likely the new apartment or loft dwellers in the neighborhood.

A Dog and Cat Lifestyle

Janene Zakrajsek | photo by Timothy Norris
Janene Zakrajsek | photo by Timothy Norris

By hosting adoption events, educational seminars, and even cocktail happy hours, P&P works hard to create a sense of community. In tandem, many of the rehabbed warehouses, bank buildings and new developments cater to potential homeowners with pet-friendly perks like stylized dog parks, and relaxed HOA rules. Not to mention P&P’s selection of colorful handmade toys, premium dog beds, architectural cat trees, and an unprecedented selection of organic foods remains unmatched. Yet, the history and urban ebb and flow that draws people to Downtown L.A. in general these days are the same things Zakrajsek had her eye on in 2007.

L.A. Inspiration

Pussy and Pooch | photo by Timothy Norris
Pussy and Pooch | photo by Timothy Norris

“For more than 20 years, I've experienced L.A. from every perspective and I’m still inspired by it every single day,” exclaims Zakrajsek. “I fell in love with the architecture and always dreamed about how thriving and awesome it could be blending the historic with the modern, and years later I'm simply fascinated with watching the progress happen literally all around me.”

Pussy and Pooch | photo by Timothy Norris
Pussy and Pooch | photo by Timothy Norris

Celebrating its 10th year in 2017, and now with four locations, Pussy and Pooch Pethouse and Pawbar® took a chance on helping to rejuvenate Downtown L.A., then a still-transitional neighborhood. Janene Zakrajsek, founder and chief creative officer of P&P, didn't start the business purely out of a love for cats and dogs, but also for a passion for Downtown L.A. and its potential.

Cat Lady Cool

Pussy and Pooch | photo by Timothy Norris
Pussy and Pooch | photo by Timothy Norris

“Even now, and especially more than 10 years ago, stylish and modern cat products were difficult to find,” says Zakrajsek, a self-proclaimed ‘cat-lady’. “Integrating cats into the merchandising mix and educating people on cat nutrition, behavior, and wellness has been a top priority for us. Playful, edgy and fun is who we are — we've even created a series of in-store cat socials, host cat birthday parties, sell chic cat cakes from our bakery, hosted a leash training class for cats and offer a kitten kindergarten.”

Pussy and Pooch | photo by Timothy Norris
Pussy and Pooch | photo by Timothy Norris

Enjoying a cocktail while your pup gets a haircut, or discovering a new food that your finicky cat will finally eat is only part of the charm of Pussy and Pooch. Everyone is treated like a neighbor and the shelves may be stocked by them as well. Favoring locally made products, especially items that are handmade or from indie designers, ensure that product they carry has a story, fills a need, or solves a problem to ensure pets live an enriched life.

What’s the secret to success for a small business in L.A.? “Embrace diversity and be nimble enough to evolve your ideas to create value,” advises Zakrajsek. “Give people something to remember you for. It's more than just what's in the name.”

 

American Express® Card Members can earn BIG rewards from now through Dec. 31, 2016. Find out how you could earn 2X rewards when you Shop Small with an enrolled American Express® Card this holiday season. Prepaid and Corporate Cards, American Express Cards issued by other financial institutions, The Plum Card® and certain other Cards are not eligible. Reward cap and other terms apply.

Learn more and enroll in this offer at americanexpress.com/shopsmalloffer. With the addition of more than 90,000 Los Angeles-area locations to the American Express network over the past two years*, Card Members now have more places than ever before to Shop Small in Los Angeles.

*Based on internal comparison of American Express small merchant locations in December 2013 to American Express small merchant locations in December 2015.