Hello, I am Bear, Head of Wellbeing at CFB&D and this is my first digital takeover! A few years ago something very exciting happened in Chelsea, a beautiful boutique of pet accessories called Love My Human opened on the Kings Road. LMH is the brainchild of Jenny (who graduated with a MA in fashion from Royal College of art and went on to work with many high-end luxury brands) then luckily for me and my four legged friends, Jenny was inspired to launch LMH! With an emphasis on well designed, well made and practical items for dogs and their owners, her design background is reflected throughout the aesthetics of the business, their grooming rooms echo a cosy country kitchen feel and all the groomers have signed up to an ethical code of conduct.
Two years ago, Jenny expanded her business and opened Love My Human Townhouse (a few doors up from the boutique), which has amazing dog day care (they even have a roof terrace!), holistic dog health treatment rooms (amazing therapists offering acupuncture, reiki, nutritional, massage and chiropractic sessions) plus a lovely dog friendly café with an entire menu just for dogs as well as for their owners. Jenny believes that Love My Human should care for every aspect of a dog and its owners, so the dog meals are just as considered as the human food. Take my word for it, everything is so yummy, they also serve dog icecream – like a pup-sicle but even better!
Jenny is really lovely and Mama and I go all the time, Mama thinks it is ‘heavenly’ – we love a bit of shopping and Mama knows how important self-care is for her family.
I love listening to Jenny story, she is paws-itively inspirational to me and I cannot wait to see what she comes up with next, I hope you have time to paws and read it too!
Tell us your story and what inspired you to set up your company?
The beauty of starting a business later in life is that I was so much braver and emotionally equipped to deal with anything that life (or a business) throws at you. I also thought it was time to put over 30 years of experience in design, retail and hospitality to good use. I called myself the 'the mid-life entrepreneur'
As soon as I became a dog mum to two amazing Tibetan Terriers in 2012, I noticed a gap in the market for a quality pet grooming company with kind and highly skilled groomers, at the same time there was a distinct lack of high-end dog boutiques, so I thought I would marry the two and created Love My Human.
The name of the company came from seeing how much Alfie and Belle adored me and I them, one day as the three of us gazed lovingly at each other I said, “you really do love your human don't you” and that was that! I also have to thank my neighbours (and dog parents) who without them LMH would not have happened, while the idea for this business was swimming in my head, my husband and I invited them over and all I did was obsess over my concept store and surprisingly they said how much do you need? After some intense number crunching, they agreed to assist in the funding. As experienced people in business, they provided me with business advice and showed me so much trust and confidence to go ahead and sign the first lease on our shop on the King's Road.
What do you love most about running your own business?
I love the freedom to create a business that started as a vision in my mind and watching it come alive. I enjoy seeing the happiness that the business gives to our customers and the trust that they place in us. I would be lying if I didn't mention that I like the control that I have in the business and I don't mean controlling people I mean controlling the way that the business has grown, the culture of the business, its aesthetics and its ethos, how we treat our customers, their pets, our suppliers, staff and anyone who is associated to the business. It has taught me so much about how to run a fair and ethical business and I am so proud of the jobs that I have been able to create.
What sets you and your business apart from competitors?
Our staff, our customer service and our aesthetics are the things that set us apart from the other pet businesses. We are a business with personality and we genuinely care about the people and the pets that come to us. Our motto is to treat each of them as if they were our own. We are here to support pet parents as well, help then chose the best things for their fur children and to provide them with the nicest environment to leave their pets. It takes time to cultivate a team of staff like this and this is one reason why we haven’t popped up all over London, for now quality is more important than quantity - but never say never as I would love to see another opening of Love My Human in another part of London, country or the world.
What is your vision for the future of your company?
To grow Love My Human at a steady pace and to maintain its quality, as a creative businessperson I would like to grow our own brand products. After being in the industry for six years, I know what discerning pet parents like and I am itching to create these products for them and myself. As Love My Human is a multifaceted business, I would like to apply our ethos around each sector and create a blueprint for future shops, ultimately, I would love to one day have a Love My Human department store.
What advice would you offer budding entrepreneurs?
You must love what you do and believe in what you do, follow your gut instinct about people and hire the right person for the right job and not just because you like them (of course liking them helps). Understand your numbers and get a good accountant, as much as you dislike small print and contracts find the time to read and digest them, it could save you a lot of money and angst in the future. Always give a little more than expected and pay attention to details. Finally, if things go wrong, acknowledge it, fix it, be humble about it, learn from it then move on and don't dwell on it.
Describe yourself in 3 words
Positives: Loyal, caring, creative
Negative: Impatient, unforgiving, still eats meat (working on this)
Who inspires you and why?
I think Richard Branson is a very brave, creative businessman with integrity, I admired him when I was younger and used to wonder what it took to accumulate such a businesses empire.
Amal Clooney for her intellect and elegance and the fact that she doesn't have an Instagram page.
My parents have been very inspiring, both immigrants that arrived in the UK in the 50's with very little and just got on with it, never complaining or blaming. My mother was the daughter of an industrialist and philanthropist from Malaysia and my father came from a family of humble Chinese doctors and nurses, he was a teacher in China then later in Hong Kong. Mum taught me to be brave and outspoken (although I've learned to reign that in a little) and Dad (a Taoist) taught me 'the art of being a good human' and his eternal optimism and cheery disposition - even though he is nearly blind and very hard of hearing - is an inspiration.
How do you unwind?
A walk in the country with my Belle (sadly Alfie crossed the rainbow bridge in 2020) or a spa day in a plush London hotel.
What makes you smile?
Dogs who catch my eye
Do you collect anything?
Stationery and ceramics
Image product copyright Love My Human