Cathie Anderson

How she went from college grad to employing 18 people in four years

In less than four years, Kim Brimer has gone from new business owner to operating two retail locations serving pets and their owners. She opened up Must Love Pets at the Roseville Galleria earlier this month with designer dog toys and carriers.

“What’s cool about this store is that there is nothing else like it in the Galleria, so if you come to the Galleria and you love dogs,...where are you going to go?” Brimer asked. “We’re filling a niche that the Galleria just doesn’t have.”

The store has colorful piggy banks in the shape of cats, dogs frogs and more. It has treat jars shaped like fire hydrants. And, there are slippers with paw prints and insulated cups for moms who want to stay at home moms with their dogs.

This columnist wrote about Brimer back in December 2013, shortly after she had opened her Pampered Pet Salon and Boutique in Folsom at 6610 Folsom-Auburn Road. Then known by her maiden name, Kim Haines, she had gotten a personal loan from her father and a micro-loan from Opening Doors to get her business off the ground.

This time around, she used her own savings and a line of credit she had from her bank to launch a boutique in Roseville. Sales have been brisk, Brimer said. She got the idea to open a retail-only outlet from the manager of another local shopping center, who asked if she would open a pet boutique at her site.

“I thought it would be a really cool idea, but it wasn’t quite the clientele we cater to,” Brimer said, “so I reached out to a couple of different shopping areas that were more in line with what our business model is, and I happened to find this space open at a great rate that we could afford in our budget for something that was untested for us.”

These days, Brimer employs 18 people, but in the beginning, there were only three. She said her Pampered Pet Salon has been so besieged by people seeking grooming services that she plans to stop accepting new clients for a while.

“We could probably use another two or three groomers, but we’re not finding the right ones,” she said. “It’s been a struggle we’ve had....We’re too picky.”

Cathie Anderson: 916-321-1193, @CathieA_SacBee