Top Dogs

May 2018 View more

From photos with Santa at wellness fairs to adoption events at local animal shelters, lifelong dog lovers AdreAnne and Andy Tesene, owners of Two Bostons, have established the type of pet boutique where they’ve always wanted to shop. The couple speaks with Naperville magazine about the importance of creating a community to improve the lives of customers and their beloved pets.

Why did you open Two Bostons?

We started the store out of the love for our two rescue Boston Terriers, Roscoe and Daisy. When looking for solutions to a number of issues Roscoe was facing, we were unable to find a single place that had the answers, somewhere that truly had our best interests in mind and wouldn’t just push the food that was on special.

You had no preconceived ideas of how Two Bostons should run. Did that work to your benefit? How long did it take you to hit your stride?

We started thinking from the customers’ point of view and then later, as we added team members, we included their points of view as well. We’ve always joked that without a lot of prior experience, we might not have had knowledge, but we also didn’t have a bunch of bad habits to break! Since opening our second location, on 75th Street in the Springbrook Prairie Pavilion, we have invested in business coaching to help us continue to grow and learn from others’ mistakes, without going through them ourselves. We are constantly reading, attending classes and trying new things to keep us fresh and growing.

What makes your stores different from other pet shops?

The industry has a wide variety of products, some of which we believe are actually harmful to animals and do not mesh with our mission. We don’t sell any products we wouldn’t give to our own pets. Anything that makes us uncomfortable with the direction a business is heading is a red flag that it might not belong in our stores. We are not in this just to sell anything that will make a buck. We are in this to make sure we are improving the lives of people and their pets.

Tell me about your philosophy of building customer relationships.

Customers (and their pets) are at the center of everything we do, and every decision made needs to be in their best interests. We also believe in becoming a part of the community wherever we serve our customers, which includes being active members in the chamber of commerce, providing donations to various groups’ silent auctions and donating more than 125,000 meals to local rescues each year. You can’t just expect customers will come to you because you happen to have a location near them. You need to take the first step and show everyone you are a member of the community and want to become part of something bigger.

Speaking of community, what
kinds of events are coming up
at Two Bostons?

May will be really fun this year. Our Customer Appreciation Celebration, May 4 through 13, will include events such as ice cream socials, paw paintings and a toy buy-back. We’ll also be having a Wellness Fair during the first week in June at our newest store in Danada West, Wheaton. There will be prizes, raffles and giveaways throughout the day. We have a few breed socials for dogs and owners to get together coming up—one for dachshunds and mixes in Naperville on May 6 and another on May 20 for Bernese mountain dogs in Wheaton.

What’s the best part of your job?

Our favorite aspect is when we’ve been working with a pet parent, and in the process of educating them about options with food and treats, you can see that they get it and feel empowered to make the best choices for their pet. To see that shift—and to know that we have improved not only their current pet’s life, but all of their future pets’ lives as they carry that knowledge forward—is awesome.