How we started ...
In 2007, I was employed as an Orthotist at a local Orthotics & Prosthetics clinic and Holly (my wife) was employed as a veterinary technician at a local Veterinary Clinic. We were both unhappy with the high-stress/long hours structure of our jobs ... so, I started looking for opportunities for Holly to use her passion (pets) for a small business.
I looked into a number of different franchise options within the pet industry (at this time I thought it was something Holly would do on her own, as I had a very strong, stable career ahead of me in the health care world). While looking at different pet businesses, I came to realize how stable the industry was, with very loyal customers and long-term successful small businesses. It seemed like the kind of "culture" we would like to create and we soon realized it would take both of us to pull off the type of start-up we wanted.
We started working on our business plan strategy (pirate-ing content from the franchise documents I had reviewed) for our dog store and looking at physical retail locations. After much national market research & local "observation" of a need for a friendly store like ours in Bozeman (and, a healthy dose of prayer and late-night discussions), we decided to "take the plunge"! We both quit our jobs in the spring of 2008 and Dee-O-Gee opened for business on August 11, 2008.
Why Dee-O-Gee exists ...
First, our "mission" is to help dog and cat owners take the best care of their "furry family members"~ including nutrition, grooming, supplements, gear, toys & treats. We feel called to "well steward" this planet that we've been created to inhabit, and part of that is taking good care of the animals we've been entrusted with. Holly and I work hard to make this a reality every day and we've been fortunate to attract staff members that share that same value.
Another, secondary, part of why Dee-O-Gee exists is to employ local folks and then have a positive influence on their lives. We feel so blessed to be able to competitively employ 8 wonderful gals and we are really excited when we get to sign their pay checks every other week.
Third, we view Dee-O-Gee as a way to leverage our resources for God's Kingdom here in this lifetime, on this Earth we have been given to live on. Before we take any bonuses or year-end gain, we give away 10% of all Dee-O-Gee corporate proceeds annually (on top of our personal giving and gifting) ... most of this goes to support our local church, but we also give healthily to numerous local non-profits and animal rescue organizations. This giving would not be possible if we had not followed the lead to start Dee-O-Gee and I feel really blessed to be able to give of our resources in this way.