By Janee Law
On a typical day at Fetch in Huntington village, “the chief barking officer” CoCo, a small short-haired Chihuahua mix, runs to the front of the store to greet customers sporting a shirt that says “NOT For Sale.” In fact, no pets are sold at the boutique, which specializes in selling dog clothing and accessories.
“While this type of environment or some of this product might exist within a traditional pet store, it’s usually not their focus. But it’s our focus and it’s what Fetch is all about,” said Karen Durka, co-owner of the shop and CoCo’s pack leader.
Selling doggie apparel such as sweaters, leather jackets and tutus, Fetch also offers treats, toys, collars, carriers, doggie dishes, shampoo, conditioner and more.
Although the store specializes in items for small- to medium-size dogs, it carries accessories for larger breeds – up to size XXL in the winter because, Durka said, “even larger dogs get cold.”
Working alongside co-owner Susan Levine, the pair accommodates customers who own bigger breeds by ordering their sizes.
“One of the things that I wanted to do here is offer a luxury customer-service experience,” said Durka, of Centerport, adding that the company’s focus is to provide merchandise with superior design, quality material, and affordable prices.
“Quality doesn’t have to mean expensive in this store,” Durka said, with collars ranging from $20-$175. “I did not want this store to be exclusive of any one price points. We wanted to make this store affordable to all.”
Located at 44C Gerard St., the idea for opening the business came to Durka while shopping for CoCo.
“I’d have to go to three or four stores to find something very basic in this dog’s size,” she said. “It occurred to me that I’ve never been in a boutique that primarily focuses on clothing and apparel. So I thought that if this would amuse me and knowing that I have friends with small dogs and medium size dogs that would enjoy this as well, why not make a store that would service that customer?”
Opening its doors in July 2015, Fetch gets their merchandise from designers like B.B. Simon, Higgins and Lyla, Dog in the Closet, Oscar Newman, Chilly Dog and Harry Barker.
“Six months ago, no body in this industry really knew who we were but we have really developed a great relationship with some of the most exclusive manufactures and designers in this industry and they love what we’re doing,” Durka said.
Trending items within the store are collars, leashes, harnesses and locally sourced treats, such as Barkfield Road of East Northport, Talk Treats To Me of Hampton Bays, and Bocce’s Bakery of Brooklyn.
Along with nutritious snacks, the 750-square-foot shop adds a sense of humor to its environment by offering stuffed toys like a Chewy Vuitton bag, a Furrari, an iBone or the already sold out Sniffany Box.
“It’s a very whimsical store, it’s a fun store to work in,” said Levine, of Centerport. “People are constantly coming in with their dogs and it’s not an unhappy business. We love dogs.”
Expanding in its clothing lines for weddings and other special occasions, Fetch hopes to further develop its online website to reach customers at a larger demographic, having customers travel from Mount Sinai and Port Washington.
“In researching this business, I was convinced that I was on the right track with Fetch because I didn’t think that it existed and now it does and we’re going to continue to build upon this concept,” Durka said. “We take this business seriously but we have so much fun here.”