THE EVOLUTION OF
Lorin Grow did not set out to be the hub for pet health that she is today, with trade publications quoting her on a regular basis.
She set out to sell dresses for Chihuahuas.
“When I opened this store, for a year and a half we had been a pop-up on State Street. We were doing cute little doggie clothes at Market Night," Grow said.
But the more she learned about how pets respond to commercial pet foods and conventional antibiotics, the stronger an expert -- and advocate -- she became for nutrition, homeopathy and holistic, preventive care to ensure animals are thriving.
"If I had known then, or when I was in college, what I would think of this and how I would feel about this, I would have completely changed the direction I was going, because this is where my heart is,” she said.
And so Furry Face morphed into a center with food (but only food that Grow has researched and endorsed), collars, beds, carriers, treats, toys, essential oils and herbal drops. Oh, and cute doggie clothes.
"One of the things I recognized early on was I need to let the store be what it wants to be. The puppy thing was cute but one day I looked at my husband and said, ‘I don’t want to do that anymore,'" Grow said. “We evolved more and more into nutrition as I looked into it. I learned about the physiology of carnivores and from there into general wellness.”
She has two degrees but is taking classes continually because she’s “devouring this information." And passing it on.
“I’m racing a clock against extermination for people’s pets. I want them to live long, healthy lives.”
She says every person in an animal’s life must view their job as a partnership with the pet’s owner -- the groomer, the veterinarian, the nutrition supplier. She can often identify medical issues when a dog comes into her store, and especially if a dog is being groomed in-house.
“We want to really help people get on a better track with their animals,” Grow said.
She said people are getting messages from some companies dominating the pet industry that are revenue driven and not necessarily acting in the best interest of pets.
“There is so much misinformation and manipulation out there. This is a $60 billion a year industry. That surpasses the candy industry and adult porn.”
Today she is sought after for her expertise on nutrition and the impacts of environmental factors and owner behaviors. Local veterinarians often send people to Grow for diet correction. She asks for the diagnosis and can recommend nutritional options.
She continues to research foods and is attentive to changes in ingredients and ingredient sources. She will alert customers when a product has changed.
“Nutrition and health for animals has become an obsession for me," she said. "I am constantly taking courses on raw nutrition, processed (food), homeopathy, herbalism, holistic wellness, essential oils….”
Furry Face partners with the Redlands Animal Shelter, arranging large donations of food from manufacturers. And supports all of the rescue dogs employed by Redlands.
"We are aligned with the Police Department and their K9s. As long as the dogs are working -- drug dogs, fire dogs, any capacity -- we will feed them for free and supply whatever else we can," Grow said. "We will support anything animal related the city is involved it, period."
And of course dogs (as long as they're leashed) are welcome in the shop, which for now, at least, seems to have settled into what it will be.
That works for Grow.
“I’ve never looked back and I’ve never been sorry.”
Photos by Amia Tadjalli
Furry Face is at 419 E State St, Redlands.
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