Paris has entered the chat. Will a POP of colour make a comeback in 2023? Here’s what a proud Parisian & pet boutique owner has to say about Paris, Pups and POPS of colour!
When it comes to romanticising a European city walk with a dog on a breezy spring afternoon, the city of Paris is pretty high on our list of walk-worthy locations. And as it turns out, France isn’t only the biggest exporter of croissants, champagne & Chanel it’s also where breeds such as the French Bulldog, Basset Hound and Poodle originated! With internationally popular breeds like these being native to this western European nation, it’s no wonder that it’s capital city is also leading the way with incredible retail offerings for dogs and their owners.
Barkers+Brothers is one such establishment. It’s a super chic pet boutique (and café) located in the trendy inner-city suburb of Montmarte. Novel designs are number one to this store, offering it’s furry customers brands from around the world that can be particularly tricky to source. We have been privileged to be showcased in this stunning pet boutique. We also had the privilege of interviewing Marie, founder and owner of B+B. We asked her some burning questions about owning a super-chic and successful pet store in Paris, as well as what life looks like for a pet owner (and her pup) in Paris. Let’s face it, sometimes you need a little Paris content to ease you into the working week, and, in lieu of a warm croissant, we can provide you at the very least with this article.
SA: Marie! Your boutique is BEAUTIFUL, what inspired you to start B&B?
M: I thought for a long time about a project revolving around dogs but it's really when I adopted Ralph, my Akita Inu, that I realized that the offer of stores in France and in Paris was insufficient. The stores were actually quite few and above all, we found the same products and brands absolutely everywhere. Even the recent boutiques did not have a real differentiating value with the big traditional brands. I wanted to kick-start the business by bringing a really novel concept. That's how Barkers was born, a dog concept store with 3 complementary spaces: a store with exclusive products, a café for humans and dogs, and a self-service dog wash space.
SA: Covid-19 impacted brick & mortar stores so significantly. What were the biggest challenges for your business during this difficult time?
M: I escaped COVID as I opened the store in April 2022. So I didn't suffer from the lockdowns, quarantines and other closures that weakened the market. It was however a challenge to convince banks to invest in the project with all the shops, restaurants and concepts that were closing down because of COVID.
SA: What trends are you predicting in the pet industry for 2023?
M: For accessories, I think that the colours come back in force for 2023 and especially with the future arrival of warmer days (for Europe). I think neutral colours will likely give way to bolder colours.
As for toys, the importance of mental stimulation for pets is more than ever prevalent. I hope that new toys of occupation will appear. These new concepts for dog mental stimulation is always super exciting and interesting to see!
In terms of food, the emphasis is clearly placed on the natural, homemade and more products with transparent ingredients.
SA: In your opinion, is Paris a pet-friendly city?
M: Paris is generally quite dog friendly. Parisians love dogs and many of them are pawrents! There are more and more dogs in the streets, from the smallest to the biggest. Restaurants, stores (except food stores), welcome dogs for the most part. The only negative point is the access to the green spaces which is almost non-existent (in Paris intra-muros). But Parisian dogs do not lack things to do for all that! Numerous dog parks are created, pack walks are organized, groupings of breeds...
SA: How do you transport your dog around Paris?
M: We do almost everything on foot! Paris seems big but everything is actually quite quick to reach. If needed, we also take the metro but it's not Ralph's favourite place!
FYI: All dogs can travel for free on the metro and suburban trains, but large dogs need to be muzzled, and small dogs need to be carried in a bag. Only small dogs in bags are permitted access on buses or trams.
SA: What are your favourite cafes in Paris to take your dog?
M: Barkers+Brothers of course! Otherwise, we love visiting Steeve at Blackbird Café, enjoying a chai latte at KB coffee roaster, or grabbing a bubble tea to go and walking around sunny Montmartre!
SA: And finally, what's your favourite ST ARGO product?
M: I love the sage set (collar + leash + poop bag dispenser) which I think is super chic! It looks perfect on my red haired dog.
Loved this blog post? Check out our next on entrepreneurship in a competitive industry like the pet business!