Shout Your Best Friend a Beer

Elise Schumacher is the owner of Paws Point, a dog accessory store located in Potts Point. She shares how she started out in the business, learning all facets of the business from scratch - from importing dog accesories to brewing her own Dog beer!

She shows us around her store, her products and chats us about the challenges of her business.

About Elise:

Elise used to be an advisor for government ministers but she took a dramatic career change: she opened a shop for dog's accessories and even started making Dog beer!

Elise is a mother of two children (the youngest one just 3 months old). She has two dogs herself and started this business as a result of trying to find something interesting to do that is easier to combine with being a mother.

She had the idea of starting a dog's accessory shop for a couple of years, and also knew where she wanted to start it, before she found her dream spot in Potts Point end of January, 2008.

She started selling Dog beer from the beginning and has had amazing publicity with that here in Australia, but also overseas in, for example, Japan. She started making the beer at home at first - she investigated the whole brewing process online and then just started experimenting.

It's now commercially brewed here in Sydney. It took her a long time to find someone who was willing to take the Dog beer in production.

The shop now has two more casual employees and Priscilla (whose doing an interior design course) who customizes the doghouses on commission. In the beginning Elise customized the doghouses herself.

She was looking for a doghouse for her own dogs and could only find ugly plastic ones, so she bought a plain wooden one and painted it. She got so many compliments on it that it gave her enough confidence to put it in production. But she handed it over to someone else who is better at it - and Priscilla now designs and paints them for the shop.

Her advice to other people would be to have confidence in yourself and perseverance. Don't let things frighten you: just give anything you want a go and that way you can pick up any skill you want.

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VJ Rodney Meier