Never in our wildest dreams did we think we would open a pet boutique. After all, why would anyone expect a web designer and a pediatric critical care RN to leave corporate America to open a store so unrelated to either of their fields?
In the spirit of complete transparency, Nature Tails started as, well, kind of a joke. We love taking our dogs on hikes, and Darin loves photographing them. One day, driving home from Kevin's family's lake house, we started Nature Tails on Instagram to post a few of the pictures we took of The Girls. The Girls referring to our Black Lab rescue, Jessie James, and our Siberian Husky, Kyra Grace. So we did it. It took off and had more followers than either of us did in just one month.
We continued posting photos of the girls on hikes, and around our small Tennessee town. Our friends and family loved it! In 2018, we made the decision to breed Kyra. We had, and still have, no intention of doing it more that once with her. We just wanted a puppy from her, and one from that puppy, and so on. That way we always have one of Kyra. June 12, 2018 came, and Kyra welcomed seven puppies. We started doing weekly photo shoots, and set up a website to sell the puppies. The website was necessary because the vetting of potential owners was vigorous. All of the puppies found homes, and to the surprise of no one, we couldn't keep just one. We kept the two girls of the litter. Nature Tails Grew to add Kona Jade and Kali Rae. That same week, we welcomed our two garden cats, Josephine and Isabella.
In April of 2019, we were given the opportunity to go 25 miles on the Appalachian Trail. We, like the crazy people we are, decided to take all four dogs with us-- by the way, the puppies were 9 months old. We're not sure if it was the altitude, the exhaustion, the dehydration, or the combination of all three, but all of a sudden Kevin shouts, "A PET STORE and we will call it Nature Tails."
The vision of the store became pretty clear. There would be a treat bakery, a dog wash, and an obedience school: Nature Tails University. We wanted to provide nutritious, locally sourced treats for pets, and we wanted to have pet products that you actually wanted to have in your house. Products that fit your aesthetic, and were comfortable for your pets. More than that, this store is our way of doubling down on the incredible town in which we live. We want to be a part of the story, of the renaissance of Springfield, TN, and we are going to do it one pet at a time.
- Kevin and Darin