An early August parade marked the end of a unique store event for Linda Hagan and her staff at Jewelry Creations, in Dover, N.H. "A Celebration of Pets and Their People" was not only the first monthlong event in her 28 years as a jewelry store owner but also her first benefit for the Cocheco Valley Humane Society (CVHS).
The local Humane Society provided Hagan with a wish list of pet and office supplies needed to offset operational expenses. Literature with the supplies list and scheduled events were given out in the store and a bulletin board served as a master planner.
As an active member of her community, namely through Dover’s Chamber of Commerce, Hagan had some open mike time on local radio stations to promote the event. She even used some of her promotional budget to buy ads on four or five stations. Staff members also chatted up the event in the store whenever they could.
To maintain interest during the event, Hagan held smaller events throughout July. Perhaps the most successful was the in-store donations drive, which resulted in two carloads of office and pet supplies for CVHS. Hagan asked donors to complete a customer profile card for a chance to win a hand-painted, custom-made charm of the winner’s cat or dog from a Jewelry Creations vendor that provides this service.
People submitted pet portraits as part of a photo contest. The winner received a Kabana sterling silver charm bracelet, which featured links of dogs in various canine-inspired positions. A pet show was organized, and the event concluded Aug. 1 with a pet parade. The parade worked its way through town starting at the Cocheco Mills Courtyard and ending at the Rotary Pavilion at Henry Law Park.
Dogs and cats made up the majority of the 50 pets on parade, and they were joined by around 100 people.
Hagan is planning a second Celebration of Pets and Their People for 2010, but with a few changes. "I’d like to schedule the event earlier and give the event planning more consideration, to tweak things a bit," she says.
Hagan and her staff were able to update and bring in new customer cards and promote pet-related products, and they got a lot of face time with local business leaders and people in her market, inside and outside the store.