Adjusting to Life with Covid-19: the story behind Eco Pet Parcel

Before the lockdown was announced I was a dog walker, pet sitter and home boarder. I set up Happy Waggers & Sleepy Whiskers in January 2019 and I loved my job. Once the schools closed, understandably, many of my customers didn’t need me anymore. I was left with a lot of spare time and no income. My business was unfortunately too young to qualify for the 80% scheme and I honestly didn’t know what I was going to do. Losing my small business was not an option; I had worked too hard to build it up.

Out with one of my regulars Willow in Biddulph Grange Country Park

After a few weeks of feeling very lost a loved one suggested I use my time to start an online pet shop. It was something I’d previously considered but never had the time to actually set up. If I am honest, at that point I was too all over the place to see this path for myself. This was a turning point for me, I had a new focus that would keep me constantly occupied. I’m often working on the shop from the moment I wake up until I fall asleep (or up until Sunday night family zoom). 

Once I’d decided I was going to start a shop, I began to research. Research insurance, products, websites, postage, packaging… It was all new to me. I thought it was really important to fully understand the products I was going to sell. I studied chemistry at university and this scientific background was very useful. I discovered that there are no standards for pet toys, many of them especially plastic toys release toxic chemicals. This means they are both harmful for you and your pet. I was stunned. How is this possible? Why aren’t these products being checked? At this point I decided I would only stock safe and healthy products. I check all of the products and suppliers carefully. I’m really excited about the products I stock and will be sharing more details in future blogs. As someone who usually spends most of their day outdoors I am passionate about the environment and I try to stock products that are as green as possible. These ideas are the basis of Eco Pet Parcel, to provide customers with a parcel full of safe and healthy products for their pet which is also reassuringly environmentally friendly.

One of the first pre-made parcels (before the new shop name)

The shop began. I used my savings (a risky strategy as I now had no income) to buy stock from two suppliers. I spent days getting the website just right, I launched it and I had some sales! All of the hours of work had paid off. But there was more hard work to come and the shop now needed a new name. The shop was originally called the Happy Waggers & Sleepy Whiskers Shop but this was causing too much confusion and was too long for people to remember. It took me a long time to come up with a name that represented my shop and in the end it was so simple – Eco Pet Parcel. I also had to move the website onto a better platform, proud as I was off my original shop website it didn’t look professional and needed an upgrade. As someone who had never created websites, this has been a steep learning curve but I am so happy with the new website, it is easier to navigate and has lots of helpful features (which I will tell you about another time).

The home page of the new website

I have had some messages from customers who were concerned I was stopping all of my services and just running the shop from now on. Don’t worry I will not be stopping the services side of my business as I would miss all of the Happy Waggers & Sleepy Whiskers too much. I hope that once life ‘returns to normal’ the shop will run alongside my normal services. So far I am very much enjoying running the shop and if I’m honest I think I’ve needed the shop, it has given me a purpose. The best part is receiving photos and videos of your pets enjoying their parcels and reading reviews from happy customers.

Despite all of the struggles I have faced since the lockdown began, I feel incredibly lucky to have been safe at home throughout. I feel luckier still that my friends and family have not caught the virus. I am so grateful to all of the key workers who have continued to work in order to keep us all safe. I’ll write another blog soon. Stay safe everyone.

The two sides of my business:
Services: Happy Waggers & Sleepy Whiskers.
Shop: Eco Pet Parcel

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2 thoughts on “Adjusting to Life with Covid-19: the story behind Eco Pet Parcel

  1. Diane says:

    Hi Lydia you’ve done an amazing job of starting your online shop alongside your walking/boarding etc. You should be proud of yourself and I know Willow can’t wait to have her walks with you again. Stay safe Diane and Willow ? x

    • Lydia says:

      Hi Diane, Thank you so much. I can’t wait to see Willow, I bet she’s grown loads. I will hopefully see you both soon x

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Customer Reviews

Eco Pet Parcel

Customer Reviews

Vera 21 September 2021

Lovely products, packaged really well. Definitely be ordering from EPP again!

Neil Griffiths 3 September 2021

Great service as normal!

Kim 30 August 2021

We've had a number of different treats and parcels now, and each time we have been impressed! Lots of care taken in packaging, and we love the little note cards that come with our order. Our dog loves the treats...I think she knows the box is for her! Make a brilliant gift for anyone with a four legged friend.

Ania 25 August 2021

Excellent quality and very quick delivery. Highly recommend

Emily Willis 23 August 2021

There are a great range of products on the site that are all lovely. I ordered some of the new cat products. They arrived really quickly with a cute note, and were brilliant. The cats love them!

Sharon 16 August 2021

Great products that are pet friendly. The room fragrances are as described and are beautiful. I especially like the Roses at the Grand Hotel. I always add some treats for the pup and they are gobbled up. Excellent customer service and I'll be buying more lovely products

ID 9 August 2021

Brilliant products, amazing customer service, and unbelievably fast delivery with safe and eco-friendly packaging. Will definitely buy again!

Neil Griffiths 19 July 2021

Great service in ensuring we receive pre holiday order on time!

Neil Griffiths 11 July 2021

Fabulous small business that deserved to do well due to friendly and efficient service. Thanks

Sandra 11 July 2021

Great customer service.quick delivery.cats love the treats