Tell us a bit about Love My Human and inspiration behind the store?
As most good pet businesses LMH was inspired by the love of my two dogs Alfie and Belle - Tibetan terriers, sadly Alfie crossed the rainbow bridge last November and I’m still heart broken.
I felt that London was missing a retail concept store that housed well made and designed products for dogs and cats. With everything now being online you couldn’t touch, feel and try on which I felt was important. I wanted a one stop shop where dogs could also be groomed in a tailor made space with skilled groomers. As dogs are such sentient creatures, it was important that LMH was homely, clean and spacious so that some of the stress of the grooming room could be lessened.
What inspired you to open the new Love My Human Town House?
Throughout the three years of operating LMH I got to know the needs of my customers. I saw the opportunity for an elegant dog friendly cafe where dogs and their owners can enjoy good food, meet and hang out with other pet parents. People also loved our little crèche in the grooming area and often asked if we could create a larger day-care space so that was always in my future plans.
My dad was an acupuncturist and herbalist, so I’ve always been interested in alternative health practices. With dogs being such a big part of my life, it was only natural for me to take an interest in their wellbeing and nutrition too. When Alfie was diagnosed with liver disease, I began to research and learned a lot about other common canine ailments. I discovered many complementary dog therapies and how beneficial they are in helping a sick dog live better. I knew I wanted to offer these resources to other pet parents and create a well-being centre for dogs.
When 330 King’s Road, a three story commercial building became available I knew it would be perfect to house all three concepts. I didn’t know how I was going to afford it, but where there was a will there was a way and I have many people to thank who helped me make it a reality.
What’s your first memory of dogs being in your life?
I once visited the RSPCA in Hong Kong where I lived and worked in 1998, my dad’s friend worked there and asked if I’d like to come and see the dogs. As I walked past the kennels and made eye contact with each of the dogs who all looked at me as if to say, ‘please take me home’, I left broken hearted and couldn’t stop crying. That’s when I knew I would someday be a dog mum.
Tell us about your dogs and how they came into your life?
Once my husband and I moved into a house with a garden we where finally able to have dogs. My husband grew up with them and his family always had them in pairs, so we knew we were going to get two!
We researched the breeds of dogs that we felt would be suitable for a medium sized London home and garden. We also wanted dogs that were quite hardy (my husband loves walking the hills of Scotland and Dartmoor and needed dogs that could keep up).
Being Chinese I was interested in Chinese breeds as well (not that this was going to be the ultimate deciding factor) that’s when I came across Tibetan Terriers. I loved that they were cute medium mountain dogs who were the companions to the Tibetan monks (so husbands hardy dog box ticked). I was impressed to find out that they were very protective small and fierce … a little like me haha! We eventually found a breeder in Bray and the rest is history. Alfie and Belle became my first furry children and I’m sure they won’t be my last.
How does having a dog fit into your general working day?
Luckily, I’m able to work from home a lot. When I was in the shop and Alfie was still around, both dogs were very happy to stay at home with a dog walker popping in on them and taking them out for a stroll. Now it’s just Belle she either stays at home with my husband (who due to Covid has been working from home for the past 18 months) or she comes to work with me. She’s no trouble but she does suffer from separation anxiety since Alfie left, it’s heart breaking when we do leave her on her own as she howls and cries
If you could be a breed of dog for the day which breed would you be and why?
Gosh that’s a good question. Since starting LMH I have come across so many lovely breeds, I love how Pomeranians always seem so content and happy and people just love to cuddle them. I also love how bull terriers are so playful and don’t know their own strength or size! To be honest there are too many breeds that I love to be to be able to choose one.