• Desley Souter, owner of Aussie Pet Collective in Slacks Creek

Supporting small businesses and furry friends

Supporting small businesses and furry friends

We Aussies love our pets.

According to Aussie Pet Collective owner Desley Souter, we spend $13 billion on our furry or feathered friends annually – and just 40 per cent of that is on vet bills.

That leaves lots of money left for pampering, gourmet food and novelty pet gifts, with small businesses across Australia coming up with creative and sweet ways to pamper and celebrate our pets. That’s where Aussie Pet Collective comes in.

The huge space in Slacks Creeks which Desley runs with husband Jeff stocks items from a range of small businesses across Logan and Australia, creating a permanent indoor marketplace for animal lovers – and their animals – to browse.

‘Small businesses that might operate usually at markets – which can be so mixed in terms of how effective they are for businesses – hire our space and have their stock here,’ Desley says.

From pet portraits, pet-friendly candles, gourmet food, toys, clothing and more – it’s a pet lovers’ paradise.

Desley, who breeds and shows beagles, has always wanted to work in the pet industry.

After retiring from a career as a teacher, she started making enrichment tools, or snuffle mats, for her dogs. Soon after, when she saw how it could be a struggle for small businesses producing pet products to sell at markets, she opened Aussie Pet Collective. She now sells her snuffle mats there.

Starting with 14 small businesses signed up, she opened in November 2020 – ‘possibly the worst time to open a business in history,’ she says now.  After battling through a raft of COVID-19 related challenges, now has 70 businesses on board providing her marketplace with stock.

‘I love it,’ she says.

‘I am very passionate about it; I don’t think you can survive as a small business owner without that passion for what you do.’

Desley Souter, owner of Aussie Pet Collective in Slacks Creek

“I am very passionate about it; I don’t think you can survive as a small business owner without that passion for what you do.”

— Desley

Aussie Pet Collective treats the businesses on board as a team, with regular catch-ups, advice and training.

On weekends, the shop provides open space designated for puppy school, animal showings, groomers, or animal experts sharing information about specific breeds.

‘It’s a real buzz on the weekend. I’s awesome,’ Desley says.

‘We have a coffee van, as well as lots of activities and people here with their pets. I’m also planning on starting a farmers’ market out the front as well at some stage this year. Something for all the family – pets included.’

Aussie Pet Collective’s website is here.

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