Browse Tag


6 mins read

Black Owned Pet Daycare Now Run By Former Employee Who Has Revived and Expanded The Business

Paws and Tales Puppy Playgroup is a Black owned pet daycare business that provides daycare for the furry members of families in the New York metro area.

The company is owned by certified dog handler, Curtis Giddings, whose mission is to provide a safe and healthy space daycare and for pups to learn to socialize with other dogs as well as humans. 

According to the American Pet Products Association (APPA), pet ownership rose to an all-time high of 70% due to people seeking companionship while sheltering in place as a result of the pandemic. As a result of the company’s growth, Curtis recently added grooming services.

We caught up with Curtis to find out more about his business.

black owned pet daycare

What inspired you to get into the dog training business?

I grew up in a New York apartment that didn’t allow pets but once my family and I moved to New Jersey, I was able to finally get a dog.

My love for dogs grew into a passion for learning about how to support a happy pup, as well as all the different attributes of an effective dog trainer.

When I was older, I went through a dog training program in Queens, NY, and was eventually hired as a dog trainer at a local pet sitter Paws & Tales, which I took over as owner in 2017.

black owned pet daycare

When you took over the business in 2017, it wasn’t doing well. Explain what was done to bring it back to life?

The business was in a rut, and I made it my mission to bring it back. I was perfectly qualified to run the dog training aspect of it, but not so much the business side. That’s when I discovered Rising Tide Capital where Cynthia Pullen, an RTC mentor, guided me through the process of registering the business and expanding its reach.

Unfortunately, she has since passed, a loss I wasn’t prepared for. But Cynthia, along with the Rising Tide family, was an integral part of my success as an entrepreneur and my growth as a person.

She provided much needed guidance to me, and it is of the utmost importance to ensure that I continue to make her proud. The business itself has been around since 2009 but I’ve been expanding over the years. My two locations are in Jersey City, where I have ample space for neighborhood pups to run around and socialize safely.

They are located in McGinley Square for small dogs up to 30 lbs and Downtown Jersey City for pups 30 lbs and over, serving Jersey City and the surrounding areas.

black owned pet daycare

How has the pandemic affected your business?

During the pandemic, I recognized the importance and worth of my work. While the world was in limbo, dog owners stayed home with their dogs and many families adopted new dogs.

But due to COVID-19 restrictions, many were unable to socialize their dogs or develop a healthy regimen for when they returned to work.

We’re in the process of implementing new services such as pick-ups and drop-offs, which follow coronavirus guidelines. Many of the businesses that provide similar services aren’t as comprehensive as what we offer.

Our mission is to be a leader in the pet care and socialization industry and place a priority on the mental and physical needs of pets.

Where do you see the business 5 years from now?

We are currently doing market research for an upcoming rebrand that I’m really excited about. And in 5 years, my team and I see ourselves as a micro-franchise that provides a myriad of high-quality services.

We want to support the dog owner’s lifestyle and are looking to offer products and services that cater to this demographic in the form of educational services where dog owners can consult with me for personalized advice on dog ownership, as well as branded apparel.

Additionally, we will be moving towards more of a structured daily routine for the dogs. Based on the feedback from clients, I want to ensure their dogs go home with the benefit of emotional, physical, and mental stimulation from a hands-on approach.

We’re also adapting our approach to a more customized method so that, in addition to free roam and play, each pup gets individualized, focused attention.

We have been working to improve our internal processes so that every client’s needs are met with grace and consideration, particularly being that we have hired more experienced staff to assist in this transition.

Tony O. Lawson

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1 min read

Black Owned Pet Businesses You Should Know

According to the American Pet Products Association (APPA), 67% of US households have a pet, up from 56% in 1988.

Because people view their pets as part of the family, they want to give them all the healthy food and cool gear they would give themselves or their children. When you’re looking for products for your pet, consider these Black owned pet product businesses.

Black Owned Pet Businesses

Dog Food & Treats

Pet Plate

black owned pet

Cool Canines

black owned pet

Ava’s Pet Palace (cat & dog)

Little L’s

Pet Grooming

Gerrard Larriett Aromatherapy

The Barke Shoppe



Nova West Supplies

black owned pet

Pet Accessories

Sir Dogwood

Black Owned Pet

Bark and Tumble


Black Owned Pet


Black Owned Pet

Trill Paws

Black Owned Pet

Tony O. Lawson

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5 mins read

This Black Owned Pet Apparel Business Creates Dapper Dogs

According to the American Pet Products Association, estimated pet-related spending totaled $95.7 billion in 2019. Sir Dogwood is a Black owned pet apparel line playing in this booming industry.
We caught up with the Founder, Chaz Olajide. This is what she had to say:
Black Owned Pet Apparel
Chaz Olajide

I’m going to take a wild guess and say that you must be a dog owner. What’s your dog’s name, breed, and age?

You are correct! I have one dog, a 3-year-old miniature schnauzer named Winston Churchill.
Black Owned Pet Apparel

What inspired you to start Sir Dogwood?

I started Sir Dogwood out of a need that I didn’t feel was being addressed in the market for a clean, chic, non-gender-normative modern collection of dog wear and accessories. 
Black Owned Pet Apparel

You offer a curated selection of products. How do you decide what suppliers to partner with?

I look for brands that offer an aesthetic that matches Sir Dogwood’s clean modern style. I also partner with local makers to create exclusive pieces only available on our site.
For instance, we partnered with Chicago-based Peter Gaona of Reformed School to create a line of upcycled African print bowties for dogs this past year.

What is your response to people who look at pet apparel as unnecessary or as a novelty?

Pet apparel is not for everyone, but we cater to those who consider themselves pet parents rather than pet owners.
For them, they’re happy to spoil their dog with something a bit more unique than what one might find at a big box store, like a kitschy hand knit toy or luxe cashmere sweater.
Black Owned Pet Apparel
For those who aren’t into dog wear, we also offer basics like a selection of chic collars with beautiful brass hardware from See Scout Sleep out of Amsterdam. 

SMany of the dog owners that I know, consider their dogs their children. For the non-dog owner, explain the bond that can exist between a canine and its owner.

I’m obviously biased, but dogs are the best: they’re always happy to see you, are expert snugglers and possess unending patience and poise when dressed in a seemingly endless array of clothing and accessories. Well, the latter is true of my pup, anyway.
Black Owned Pet Apparel

Right now you sell clothing, toys, and accessories for dogs only. Do you plan on extending your offering to include other animals?

CO: Yes! I am considering offering clothing, accessories and toys for cats in the near future as well. 

The pet clothing market has a lot more players than I expected. What do you feel separates you from the others?

When I initially showed the website to one of my close friends, her first reaction was to note that it looked as though I curated the dog version of my own wardrobe, which was brilliant to hear because that was very intentional on my part.
I tend to gravitate toward wearing minimal, modern clothing in neutral tones myself, and I choose dog wear and accessories for Sir Dogwood that mirror this aesthetic.

sir dogwood

I also want Sir Dogwood to be an inclusive space for dog owners of color – to that end I am also launching a series that will feature pet parents of color in various creative industries and their relationships with their dogs, which will debut in 2017.

Where do you see your company in 5 years?

In five years I’d love to see Sir Dogwood opening our first brick and mortar in Chicago (hopefully the first of many!).


sir dogwood

What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned as an entrepreneur?

The most valuable lesson I’ve learned is to trust your instincts and to not hesitate to say “no” if something doesn’t feel authentic to your brand.

Tony O. Lawson

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