Pets in Chapin are about to get a lot of stylish options. Modern Companion, a pet boutique owned by Maddie St. Gelais, is scheduled to open on Lexington Avenue in early March.
According to St. Gelais, who is 25-years-old, Modern Companion is a community-driven lifestyle brand for pets and their humans. January will mark two years the company has been in business, but St. Gelais has been operating out of her home. After accumulating about 10,000 products, she decided it was time to move her company to a brick-and-mortar location.
“We realized we were looking for a warehouse to move all our products out of my home,” she said. “Then we came across this in Chapin.” Modern Companion will be moving into the former Southern Stitches location, which is moving a couple buildings down to the former Dance Station spot.
St. Gelais sells her products at Columbia’s Soda City Market, but said about 90% of her sales have come through Instagram. Modern Companion’s Chapin store will be able to cater to the local community and allow a new audience to discover the products. The store offers items for pets including toys, treats, collars, bow ties, scarves, and pet-parent gifts like signs and apparel. Once the store is established, St. Gelais said they will likely begin doing more “launch boxes,” which began over the summer. The boxes are filled with goodies for pet parents that include products from other local businesses.
“We’re unique products that are reusable, support small businesses, and are something you’re going to want and have out to show people,” she said.
St. Gelais has been able to use her full time job as a web designer to create product designs and graphics for Modern Companion. She also uses work by different illustrators to create the patterns on many of her pet bandanas, scarves, etc.
Modern Companion will be located at 508 Lexington Ave. St. Gelais, who is a resident of Chapin along with her fiancé, will be hiring a small staff to work in her store so she can continue her web design career while owning the pet boutique.