Sophie Phillips loves the diversity and small town feel of her Hyde Park neighborhood in Chicago. After working as a dog walker for several years, she identified the need for a decent neighborhood pet store to offer high quality products and services for pet lovers.
“I’m happy to offer our community
a place where they can find healthier
alternatives for their pets.”
~ Sophie Phillips
Although Sophie had a hard time finding funding for her new venture, she did not get discouraged. A banker eventually referred Sophie to Accion, and she received a $12,000 loan to help acquire the inventory she needed to open her store. Her loan from Accion was made possible with support from The Hartford as part of its Communities with HART program, which supports entrepreneurs who are having a positive impact in their communities. Sophie opened the doors to Sprocket & Stone in June 2015 and the store’s popularity continues to grow. She even hopes to hire three new staff members from the community in the near future.
Sophie sees her business as much more than a store carrying healthy food, toys and gear to keep pets happy and active. She also considers it a meeting spot for local pet owners to build community and learn about pet health and care. In addition to meeting these needs, the shop provides dog walking and cat sitting services as well.
Sophie also shares her passion for pets with the community through her customized pet art. Created from collages of brightly colored paper and magazine clippings, she designs these pieces resembling furry friends in an effort to celebrate the joy people find in their pets.
Sophie takes her commitment to helping people maintain the health and well-being of their pets seriously. She loves sharing the knowledge she has acquired about training and nutrition with others in the community and looks forward to Sprocket & Stone’s continued growth in the future.