News Career Change Leads To New Retail Store

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Career change leads to new retail store
30th November 2021

By Justine Thompson



Two animal-loving friends, who quit well-paid jobs to launch a dog walking business three years ago, have now opened their first retail store specialising in pet care, grooming and apparel.

Danni Liddiard and Lottie Burden unveiled Two Ps in a Pod in Bursledon, near Southampton, in early November and the response from local pet owners has been very positive.

But it has taken a lot of hard work to make it all happen with the pair having to take on part-time jobs alongside the dog walking bookings to balance the books.
“We’re both workaholics who don’t shy away from long hours,” said 30-year-old Lottie. “But we wanted those long hours to be for something of our own and something that brought with it happier times.”

Danni and Lottie met through working at the Osborne View pub in Hill Head, Fareham, and quickly became friends. While chatting about their careers over coffee one day, Lottie mentioned an idea about opening a dog walking business, and Danni agreed it would be a great idea.

Danni worked in marketing and Lottie in business management but neither of them were happy working for other people, and felt they could utilise their skills better in running their own company.
“We always knew we weren't going to be ‘just dog walkers’ – though it was a great starting point. We’re continually thinking up ideas on how we can expand and build a doggy empire,” said Lottie.
“Having run businesses for other people we knew a fair bit on how to get going but it was important for us that we equipped ourselves to become professionals within the specific pet care industry.
“We’ve done 400-plus hours of professional training each, with Danni now holding a Level 3 diploma in dog grooming while I’ve reached a Level 3 diploma in canine behaviour, welfare and care. We've also both completed various First Aid courses for canines, small animals and humans, as well as other certificates which supported our license with the local council.”

It was during the pandemic lockdowns that Danni and Lottie decided to expand into other avenues to protect and future-proof ourselves. They came up with the idea of producing their own accessories range of harnesses, collars and leads, bow ties and bandanas.
“We started playing around with our own drawings and designs and realised we were quite good at it,” said 28-year-old Danni. “It was really important the designs and prints were our own work rather than copying what was already out there.”

The next stage in the building of the Two Ps in a Pod empire – named after Danni’s two French Bulldogs Pudding and Panda – was opening a multi-functioning store containing a retail space at the front, a large grooming salon at the rear, and a small office.

Financing the move proved tricky as it cost a lot more than anticipated. “We didn't receive any financial help from the government or banks but were lucky to have family to support us on this journey,” said Lottie.
“The building needed a lot of TLC and took a while to renovate in order to make it the bright pink space that it is now. There was a lot of local interest throughout the renovation process and we’ve been so lucky to have lots of people come in since we officially moved in. We’re really excited to grow this interest both from a local and online perspective.”
The pair have a team of four freelance helpers – Leanne, Sam, Dilly and Tashie – and are hopeful they can soon offer them permanent employment.

“It’s important for us that our team are loved, valued and feel a part of our Two P’s family,” said Lottie. “We want to be able to offer them the very best that we can.
“Our future plans include growing our apparel and retail lines, eventually opening up another store or two, so that we can continue spreading the pink cheer.
“We’ve worked hard to build up our business within our local area, and it's important for us that pet care stays at the heart of Two Ps and grows as we grow.”