Raising the Woof: Appleton’s New Pet Boutique

DePawsitory_Much_2BY Jennifer Much

Nestled in the heart of downtown Appleton is a vivacious boutique that offers all the treats, toys and merchandise your furry friend could possibly desire. The boutique first opened its doors in March 2015 within another local business downtown before outgrowing that space, and opening their own free-standing boutique in August of 2015.

Family owned and operated by Ali Koestner and her mother Laurie, DePawsitory strives to offer uniquely-crafted pet goods and gifts that are made here in Wisconsin.

“If we’re able to offer our customers a high-quality product that’s also Wisconsin based, it’s a win-win” said Koestner. “We feel very strongly about supporting our independent Wisconsin based companies as well as handcrafted items.”

The store also features a wide variety of products from around the Fox Valley, including beautifully handcrafted collars, leashes and harnesses that are guaranteed to make your pup stand out from the crowd. Locally made by Spiffy Pups of Neenah and Roka Pet Wear of Appleton, there are a variety of adorable designs, colors and sizes to choose from. Additionally, there is quite a selection of pet jackets, sweaters, costumes, and snow boots to deck out your pet.

The shop also features a large selection of natural pet treats, bones and chews, as well as Fromm Pet Food, which is made in Mequon, Wisconsin. From a large assorted treat buffet display down to dog-friendly peanut butter, there is something for every pet.

“If a dog or cat has allergies, we have a variety of grain-free treats and food to help with that issue” Koestner said, “there are even treats made from homegrown vegetables – they are healthy and very popular.”

DePawsitory_Much_1Along with treats and other goods, are walls neatly stocked with high-quality play things including balls, tug ropes, plushes, and things that squeak, squawk and crunch.

“Our focus is on providing pet parents with solutions for all their pet needs” Koestner said. “Maybe they have a pooch who destroys all their toys – we have a variety of nearly-indestructible options, or an anxious pup who could benefit from something calming.”

Move over dogs, this is a cat’s world, too! Step into the “Kitty Korner” to a variety of scratchers, toys, food, bowls, beds and more.
“We carry handmade items to help raise funds for Valley Cats & Kitten Rescue,” Koestner said.

Along with catering to specialized needs of pets and their owners, DePawsitory aims to help support local animal shelters.

“We try to have special events monthly to help benefit local rescues,” said Koestner said. Like Paw’casso Painting Night and the Dog-Gone Scavenger Hunt have been entertaining and interactive. We just wrapped up our big Howl’oween Family and Pet fest, which benefitted Saving Paws Animal Rescue.”

On December 6, DePawsitory will be hosting “Santa Paws” at the boutique. Hot cocoa and snacks will be served and specials will be available throughout the store. Bring your pet to get their picture taken with Santa Claus! Proceeds from the Santa Paws event will be donated to Unforgettable Underdogs.

The Koestner’s were inspired to open the store and aimed to focus on the specialized needs of pet owners beyond what one can find in a typical pet store, and it is clear when walking into the boutique that the focus comes to life.

“We have several big box stores,” Koestner said “but they can be overwhelming and very impersonal. Our goal is to provide excellent customer service to treat each four-legged family member as a part of our DePawsitory Friends.”

Four legged friends are also welcome in the store. “All friendly pets are welcome on a leash” quipped Koestner. Customers may also be greeted by an extra special worker, Frank, Koestner’s Great Dane.

DePawsitory_Much_3DePawsitory has so much to offer for both pets and their humans alike. Koestner is optimistic for the future and is excited for new additions in the coming months.

“Soon we will be carrying handmade Cat Towers, made in Milwaukee,” Koestner said “Be the Good Organic Soap Company products from Pardeeville, and hemp toys by Honest Pet Products out of Green Bay.”

The boutique also is getting its paws wet with a new adventure – grooming. Starting in spring they hope to expand their services for their furry customers.

“Customers will be able to drop off their dog while they are at the Farmer’s Market and pick them up after” said Koestner.

In addition to a fun shopping experience and access to a variety of unique products and gifts, you can sign your pet up for the DeBirthday club. During the month of your pet’s birthday, you can stop in for a free treat and 10% off your in-store purchase. For those looking to shop online, the DePawsitory offers free in-store pickup and free shipping on orders over $75.

Whether you are a pet parent or a pampered pooch the DePawsitory Pet boutique has something for everyone and embraces small businesses within our state.

“Our goal is to find fun and unique items that you won’t be able to find anywhere else,” Koestner said, “all the while helping non-profits to connect and share their message with the community.”

That sounds paw-sitively purrfect.

For more information on the boutique, visit their website at

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