Luverne welcomes Southern Pawz

Published 5:30 am Wednesday, May 29, 2024

After a year of work, Southern Pawz is open for business and was officially welcomed in Luverne with a May 21 ribbon cutting ceremony.

Southern Pawz is a local business, owned and operated by Tina Stirkens in the historic train district at 110 South LeGrande Avenue in Luverne. 

In the beginning, Stirkens noticed a lack of local all-natural items for dogs. Because of this, Stirkens began making homemade dog treats for her dogs and the pets of family and friends.

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From there, her efforts spiraled into what the business is today. 

“Everybody loves their [dogs], and everybody wants natural stuff that’s good for them,” Stirkens said. 

Stirkens worked for about a year to secure her location in the historic train district, and to remodel the building for the store. 

“Me and my husband Shawn did all the work on the inside,” Stirkens said. “He has been my backbone and biggest supporter from day one.”

Southern Pawz has been open since late January, selling items in the shop and at vendor events. 

“[Stirkens] had this idea and she’s really been fostering it for a while,” said Kathy Smith, president of the Crenshaw County Chamber of Commerce. 

In attendance at the ribbon cutting ceremony were chamber members, who helped Stirkens and friends celebrate the business’s grand opening. 

“Small town entrepreneurs are essential to our economy, and they provide a service and a product here at Southern Pawz that no one else in the area provides,” Smith said. “It’s essential that we come, encourage, support them starting up, and our pets love it.” 

Alongside homemade dog treats, Southern Pawz sells dog accessories such as leashes, collars and dog toys. 

“I have handmade dog blankets and pillows made by Sissy’s Home Goods and Nanny’s Quilts,” Stirkens said. “They are family and sew handmade merchandise for me.”

Additionally, Southern Pawz features products from local business, Silkie Scents. Silkie Scents is owned and operated by Stirkens’ daughter, Madison Lowery, with assistance from Madison’s best friend Allison Thomas, who makes the brands’ air fresheners.

Stirkens said that after all the work put into the effort, the opening of Southern Pawz is a “sigh of relief and excitement.” 

In the future, Stirkens hopes to sell dog food, as well as potentially adding a washing station and dog groomer to the store’s offerings.

Southern Pawz is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with special vendor events planned throughout the summer.

For more information follow Southern Pawz.