In the less than three years since Geraldine O’Hagan purchased Rugg Road Paper Company, the shop has become a destination for dog owners in a neighborhood that sorely lacks a retail outpost devoted solely to pet care and supplies, and now she’s hoping to fill that void with her latest venture, Paws on Charles.
The boutique cat-and-dog store is tentatively set to open at 123 Charles St. in June, said O’Hagan, and it will offer services including grooming, DIY bathing and training classes, as well as stock a wide selection of leashes, collars, dog beds, toys and other pet items.
“We’ll try to source our products as locally as possible,” O’Hagan said, “and if they’re not made in New England, they’ll at least be made in America.”
The new shop will be offering made-to-order pet portraits by South End artist Emily Gallardo and has also commissioned Boston-based Sky Candle Co., which makes the candles that Rugg Road carries around the holidays, to produce a custom Paws on Charles candle exclusively for them.
Additionally, Megan Lloyd, the local artist who makes the Boston-themed stickers sold at Rugg Road, has been tapped to paint a pet-themed wall mural for the store.
“We’re making this a place for animals,” said O’Hagan, who herself owns Axel, a bull terrier she describes as Rugg Road’s “mascot,” as well as Brownie, a mix, and three cats.
Likewise, Rugg Road became a “place for animals,” O’Hagan said, when her daughter, Maureen, began bringing Axel to the store and word soon spread throughout the neighborhood that the shop was dog friendly.
Deb Wheeler, who has worked at Rugg Road for the past two years, will be the onsite manager of Paws On Charles.
“We hope the dog-and-cat community sees this as an open, welcoming place where they can meet one anther, come in and pick up what they need, or just hang out,” Wheeler said.
Keara Westover, a Providence College student who now works part time at Rugg Road, will also be a Paws on Charles staff member, dividing her time between both stores once the new business opens.
Paws on Charles now has a landing site at www.pawsoncharles.com, which is expected to go live soon, and you can follow them on Instagram at @pawsoncharles.