Photo by Sarah Finnegan.
Hillary Kent and Beverly Ruff
For regular shoppers at the Village Poodle, the poodle trotting around inside the store is as familiar as the one painted on the window.
Standard poodles have been a longtime love for store owner Beverly Ruff and assistant Hillary Kent, who regularly bring their dogs to work. Though their pets might be iconic, they aren’t the reason that Village Poodle has amassed customer loyalty since opening in August 2015. “We feel blessed enough to have a following and have just opened,” Ruff said.
Village Poodle is a second business for Ruff, who owns Beverly Ruff Antiques across the street. Village Poodle sells clothes, shoes, jewelry and the antiques used to display their other products in the store, including several chandeliers. Ruff said customers, neighboring business staff and friends sometimes come in just to chat, and the friendly vibe is one they try to encourage.
“We like having the atmosphere where you feel good when you go in,” Ruff said.
Ruff and Kent shop together for products, and Kent said that her short stature paired with Ruff’s taller frame means they find clothes suitable for every body type. That results in racks full of clothes their customers can feel good about wearing.
“Her eye will sometimes go to a different thing than what I’m looking at,” Kent said. “It’s kind of nice to bounce it off each other.”
Ruff said her store — and their poodles — want “to keep knowing what our customers want and get better and better at it.”
Village Poodle is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Saturday.