Kim Reece opened the local pet retail store Barkstown Road six years ago, and not only are things going well for the entrepreneur, she now manages two locations. On Saturday, May 12, Reece will celebrate her accomplishments at the boutique’s annual street party, “Barkin’ On Bonnycastle,” from noon-5 p.m.
The free event, which is held outside in front of her Highlands store at 2005 Bonnycastle Ave., features live music by Southern Sirens, Dave Hobbs & Dan Nitzken and Smoke & Ash, plus food from 502 Café, Fresh Out of the Box and Steel City Pops. And, of course, there will be adoptable pets from local rescue groups like The Arrow Fund and Saving Sunny.
Reece tells Insider the event is fun for everyone, including dogs, which are encouraged to attend.
She says starting the business six years ago was a leap of faith, but her commitment to providing quality products and food for Louisville’s pets is something she believed wholeheartedly in.
“Owning a small business is so challenging and unpredictable, so I had no idea where it could go,” says Reece. “I wanted to provide Louisvillians with the best products on the market for dogs and cats, which I’m still continually perfecting with research and trials with my own dogs and cats.”
Before she opened Barkstown, Reece hopped around after college, working for a political consulting firm in Covington, Ky., and then attended graduate school for mental health counseling in Chicago. But she could never quell the passion she felt for her pets — and everyone else’s fur babies as well.
“It was a very winding road, but I finally found my calling as an entrepreneur when I decided to leave Chicago and move back to Kentucky to start my own business — a retail store for dogs and cats,” she explains.
Reece believes Louisville is a great example of a dog-friendly city, with so many local retail stores and restaurant patios that allow dogs.
She also likes that a lot of businesses, especially up and down a retail corridor like Bardstown Road or Frankfort Avenue, leave water bowls out front for thirsty dogs on a walk around the neighborhood.
She also points out our dog-friendly park system, as well as events like the Douglass Loop Farmers Market, where dogs are welcome and owners can shop for locally made dog biscuits, food and even get info on things like dog flu and vaccinations.
“Most importantly to me, Louisville has provided me a venue to have a successful business that’s all about dogs (and cats) for the past six years,” she says.
Before Reece gets busy setting up for “Barkin’ On Bonnycastle” on Saturday, we asked her some very important questions …
What’s the most surprising thing on your Bucket List?
Studying with animal communicator Sharon Loy in Sedona (Ariz). I’ve recently more deeply discovered the ability to have communication and connections with the other side after my beloved dog Otto died from lung cancer last year. I’m really wanting to learn from the best how to hone this ability.
What poster was on your wall in junior high?
If you were mayor, to whom would you give the key to the city?
The folks at Saving Sunny Inc. They’ve done so much work to educate Louisvillians on pit bull-type dogs, provided assistance to lower-income Louisvillians to help them keep their dogs instead of surrendering them to local shelters, and have statistically reduced the amount of dogs coming to our shelters from those areas of town.
What are your preferred pizza toppings?
Hot sauce and onions.
If you could be any age for a week, what would it be?
19 — back when my husband and I first met and started dating. I feel like a totally different person from then to now and would love to go back and rediscover what life was like back then.
What famous person do people say you resemble the most?
Reese Witherspoon. My friends, including Lauren Hendricks, are insisting I say Reese Witherspoon AND Grace Kelly (they’re too nice but are my friends for a reason).
Who would you most like to be stuck with in an elevator?