An entrepreneurial couple have opened their first pet shop - just three years after launching the business in their hallway cupboard.
Lauren Knight-Carroll and her husband Ryan set up Ro and Friends Pet Boutique in 2020 after each investing £250.
The business has gone from strength to strength since, and the pair have now opened their first walk-in store on Henwood Industrial Estate in Ashford.
Mrs Knight-Carroll, who sells a variety of pet products including dog clothes, says she was ready to move the company out of her house on the Repton Park estate within just eight months of trading.
“We had the idea to transform the cupboard in our flat into a stockroom," the 22-year-old said.
"We then made a group on Facebook where we would go live once a week and sell dog clothes from our cupboard.
“We started by selling clothes like dog sweaters, jackets and hoodies. The average price of the clothing was £22.99 and it was going really well but my home didn’t feel like home."
The couple, who made six figures in their first year of trading, moved to an office space before switching to a small unit where customers could book appointments.
They have now opened their walk-in store in Javelin Way after their products proved such a hit online.
“My goal within 10 years was to have our own pet store so to have done it in three years is crazy to us,” Mrs Knight-Carroll said.
“We wanted to make sure we had the customers before we started selling and I think that really helped us when we launched.
“We were nervous about the opening as 95% of our customers are online and live miles away so there was a high chance that we wouldn’t get many in-store customers.
"But thanks to the amazing community of Ashford, we gained so many new local customers."
Mrs Knight-Carroll says she is now looking at employing permanent members of staff and opening more stores.
"Customers say we are very well priced, as some of the leading pet stores in Ashford are selling our products for double," she added.