Published: 06:00, 15 March 2021
| Updated: 12:29, 18 March 2021
A woman forced to leave her job as a PA in London due to chronic fatigue syndrome who now runs a pet accessories business inspired by her two rescue terriers is promoting a national day devoted to the breed.
Whitstable resident Michelle Burgess had to give up her role as an executive PA in banking in the capital in 2013 after developing ME or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
To cope, she started a blog writing about her pet border terrier Barney, who she had got from Battersea Dogs Home at Brands Hatch.
She said: "I felt terribly lonely and lost having worked since I was 19 and suddenly unable to do anything. Writing has always been something I enjoy and the blog gave me a voice and something to concentrate on other than all the awful symptoms.
"I started writing about dogs, but my dream was always to have an online shop. We then rescued our terrier mix girl in 2016, she had a terrible start in life in Cyprus and came to us at one-year-old, a very anxious and scared of everything dog."
The pair became her inspiration for her own online business, Scruffy Little Terrier, selling gifts for dog lovers,from mugs and clothing to cards and homewares.
Michelle said of her two terriers: "They are both very much the inspiration for Scruffy Little Terrier. My vision is to help dog owners make eco-conscious choices for their dogs and themselves because I believe lots of small changes help to make a big difference."
Her clothing line features unique slogan designs such as Eat, Sleep, Walkies, Repeat and Mother of Terriers, homeware also featuring her own designs and dog products from small British artisan dog businesses.
Michelle also has ethical aims for the business, with clothing either 100% GOT organic cotton or organic cotton/recycled polyester and printed using vegan-friendly, non toxic inks, plus natural products for dogs and she uses non-plastic, recyclable or compostable packaging.
She is also promoting the upcoming National Terrier Day on Saturday, March 27.
"Our love for terriers runs deep. How better to celebrate our favourite breed than with a whole day dedicated to terrier love and appreciation?" she said.
"Let’s make March 27 a special day, where we can thoroughly spoil our terriers and talk about them all day long. Give your terrier a stuffed toy to tear to shreds, take him for a walk somewhere he can roll and dig until his heart’s content, or simply share your terrier adoration on social media, and let’s get terriers trending."
Find out more about the business at scruffylittleterrier.com
See Michelle on KMTV here: