ORLANDO, Fla. – Many pet parents love to get special collars and bandanas for their furry family members, but this Orlando-based pet accessory store offers designs specific to Central Florida.
Monro Pets—a shop specializing in collars and leashes with cute, comfortable Central Florida designs—first got its start in July 2019.
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Ricardo Kendrick, the company’s multi-hyphenate known for driving sales, finding and attending events and getting new retail partners, said his parents inspired him to start the business with his friends, Christen Romero and Jose Monsalve.
“They worked for over 35 years and did very well, but didn’t own the company. They encouraged me to work hard in life and work toward owning a business,” Kendrick said.
He also said he’s always had a desire to be creative.
“Growing up, I would tear things apart, imagine new gadgets, build, draw and be creative. I felt I could do the same in business,” said Kendrick, who also handles product research and customer service.
Kendrick first moved to Central Florida in 2006 from Tampa to attend the University of Central Florida. He said among his admiration for the area, work with creative friends, and love for animals, Monro Pets was born.
The business noticed a need for soft padding in collars, especially for the dogs that pull during walks, as well as for soft padding in the leash handle for the pet owners.
But the company’s not just functional. It’s fashionable, representing different Orlando communities with its accessories.
“Our City Beautiful bandanas represent a few of the local areas: Lake Eola, The Milk District, Mills 50. We even put the famed I-4 eyesore in our bandana, which makes everyone laugh. Central Florida is an amazing area. You can find it all here: Diversity, community and creativity. We want to represent the Orlando area because we love it,” Kendrick said.
While the community rallied behind the local store at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Monro Pets did feel its impact.
Events and wholesale are the main drivers of sales, and during the pandemic, the business dealt with many event cancelations and pet shops unable to place orders.
Kendrick said some shops still placed orders, though, and the community continues to show its support.
When it comes to other young, Black entrepreneurs, he shared this advice:
“Ideas and dreams may look small, but they aren’t. A seed has the potential to become something big. Water it and cultivate it every day. You’ll see it bear fruit for others to enjoy. Be courageous.”
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