ALEXANDRIA, VA — In 2007, Passionately Pets started as a solo business offering pet services. But since Alexandria and the surrounding area is such a pet-friendly community, the business started adding other staff after just six months.
Today, Del Ray-based Passionately Pets offers pet sitting and dog walking services tailored to each pet owners’ needs. When the COVID-19 pandemic reduced demand for pet services, the business adapted and created an online shop with products for pet owners. Now as some sense of normality returns, the business is seeking to grow its team of 20.
Patch is featuring small businesses like from Passionately Pets for a business spotlight series. If you’d like your business to be featured, fill out our Q&A form. Feel free to pass the form along to any businesses that should be spotlighted in our community.
Below is more information on Passionately Pets.
1 E Bellefonte Ave, Alexandria
Website and social media
in the field whenever the pets need us 24/7/365 Office hours 9 am-5 pm
When and how did the business get started?
I started in 2007 as a solo sitter because I wanted to provide excellent pet care in my community. Since this is such a pet friendly area, it took off rather quickly and I brought on my first Team member after just 6 months. We’ve been growing steadily ever since! Of course Covid created a rather large speed bump, but the reduced need for services presented an opportunity to develop our ecommerce shop. We created our own line of pet treats, and designed our own merch (shirts, totes, stickers, magnets, collars, leashes and glassware). Plus, the shop provided the opportunity to be able to give back to help pets in need which is something we were looking to do for quite a while. We donate $1 from every item to Project Second Chance. As people return to their offices and feel safe traveling again, we are looking to grow our Team (now 20 people strong) to keep up with increasing demand.
What does your business offer?
Pet Sitting, Dog Walking, Overnight Stays and House Sitting Services – all in the client’s home, tailored to their specific needs
What’s your most popular product or service?
For dog people: Easily Distracted By Dogs line of shirts is a hit, our Bottom’s Up glassware is super cute and our Peanut Butter & Banana Treats are a top seller. For cat people: Tuna & Cheese Treats and My Cat Is My Heart line of apparel
What’s your favorite thing about the community your business is located in?
Del Ray is the absolute best! There is no other place in Alexandria that actually feels like a community. The businesses and neighbors all come together and support one another. Luckily, it’s also filled with people who treat their pets like family and want what’s best for them. And Alexandria is one of the most dog friendly cities in the country.
What kind of impact has the COVID-19 pandemic had on business?
Two years ago, demand for our services dwindled to only 10 percent of what we were used to. It’s understandable since everyone started working from home and travel was put on hold. We took this as an opportunity to develop our own branded merchandise. We had fun designing glassware, apparel and more for people obsessed with their pets. And about 6 months later we developed our own line of treats. From the creation of our brand, we have always made sure to include all animals (our name and logo isn’t dogs only) and when we created our shop we wanted to keep this in mind. So we made sure to have apparel and treats for cats and their people too.
Do you have any favorite memories at the business over the years?
I love being a part of such an amazing animal loving community and bringing together our Team, customers, small local businesses and rescues each October at our annual event has been really special. What started as an appreciation event for our customers has grown to a celebration of our entire community and it is wonderful to see it grow each year.