Single mum from Chester turns bunny love into a thriving business with customers around the world
A passion for rescuing unwanted pet rabbits has led to a thriving full-time business for a single mother from Blacon. Louise Hope has created a successful natural pet food business by making delicious treats for her seven rescue bunnies.
The busy mum from Chester, who also lives with a disability, started saving unwanted animals in January last year after seeing a post on social media about a bunny in need of a new home , and she went on to provide a home for six more little hops. rabbits. She said there was a problem at the moment with rescue centers overwhelmed with unwanted rabbits after many bought them as pets during lockdown, not realizing the amount of work and space required to take care of them.
She told Cheshire Live she was inspired to start the Natural Pet Food Company after discovering that some of the small animal food she bought for her rabbits contained certain nuts and seeds which could make them sick.
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She then started making her own natural rabbit food, only to realize that if she needed to find such natural food, others could seek it out as well. And she started the business a year ago and it turned out to be so successful that it’s now a full-time job for her.
Louise, who has a son, Michael, 10, has branched out into a range of pet foods, including guinea pigs, cats, dogs, rats, mice and even turtles. She said running her own business has proven very helpful in juggling work and family life and also living with fibromyalgia, which sometimes leaves her in great pain.
The busy mum, who lives on Treborth Road in Blacon, juggles running the business while raising her son and caring for seven rabbits, two guinea pigs and a rescue cat.
She said: “I started making my own food for the rabbits out of things like dried leaves from the garden and dried fruits like apples, pears and strawberries and they absolutely went crazy over it.
“A few months later, I figured that if I was struggling to find natural pet treats, others must be struggling too. I thought it was going to be a little side hustle at first, but it became something full-time. went pretty big, pretty fast.
“The rabbit support group I am a member of on Facebook allows businesses to share posts on Saturdays which has really helped the business grow. We offer natural food for a range of pets , which is handy if someone has multiple pets etc. they can shop in one go.”
She added that during busier times she was supported in the business by her sister Rachael Wright, who also lives in Blacon, and her partner had also contributed with an investment to keep the business running. The customer base for the products, which come in environmentally friendly packaging, ranges from America and Canada to Ireland and across the UK.
Louise explained that the business had proven to be a perfect fit for her busy life, saying, “Life is always hectic, but it’s nice that I can choose my own hours running my own business to keep myself busy. of my son and our pets.I used to work in an office and some days I had to leave at 7:30am and I missed running to school.
“I have several diseases, but the one that affects me the most is fibromyalgia. Some people do not realize how serious it can become and I am one of those who are affected in this way. It affects me a lot. It It’s hard to juggle business with family life, but if I have a day where I have a particularly high level of pain, I can take a break and work my hours later.”
Louise also wanted to raise awareness that rabbits need around 60 square meters of space, warning anyone thinking about getting one as a pet to do their research beforehand. She said: “Rabbits cannot be kept in small cages. There is a crisis now in terms of people who have had rabbits during lockdown, now realizing what it means to have a pet rabbit, not having a big enough space for them and then giving them away.
“Rescue centers are overwhelmed with this and many are released back into the wild where they will not survive due to predators or eating foods that are harmful to them.”
For more information on Louise’s business, which is also starting to have booths at pop-up events in the area, visit www.thenaturalpettreatcompany.co.ukwebsite.
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