Paws Up Pet Supplies allows Waukon native Tracey Tepesch to share her love for animals

First Dollar Visit for Paws Up Pet Supplies... Paws Up Pet Supplies, a newly-opened pet supply store located at 11 Allamakee Street in Waukon, recently received a First Dollar Visit from the Waukon Chamber of Commerce. Pictured above at that First Dollar presentation (left to right) are Waukon Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Leddia Tallman and Paws Up Pet Supplies owner Tracey Tepesch. Photo courtesy of the Waukon Chamber of Commerce.

A lifelong love of animals for Waukon native Tracey Tepesch is now something she can share with customers - both human and fur-bearing - in her new business venture, Paws Up Pet Supplies, located at 11 Allamakee Street in Waukon.

First opening for business November 6 in the long-time Cotécolor Photography building, Paws Up Pet Supplies accomplishes three aspirations for the 1989 graduate of Waukon High School. “Number one, my love/passion for animals; number two, I’ve always wanted to be a part of the business community; and number three, I’ve always wanted to restore a building back to its original state,” Tepesch explained.

Having been born and raised in Waukon, Tepesch’s career path in Human Resources and Management has taken her to the Quad Cities area and Green Bay, WI as she served as a manager for Kohl’s department stores for nearly 15 years. Her career experience has helped her wade through what she sees as the most challenging aspect of starting her own business.

“Managing inventory,” Tepesch replied to that inquiry regarding challenges. “Buying correct quantities and picking items that would appeal to large and small dogs and cats.”

Drawn back to her hometown in recent years, her new involvement in its business community is fueled by her belief that “this small town is just waiting to be rediscovered.”

Along the way, Tepesch says her pets have been her children, both kitties and a pup. Her love for those children and all animals, in general, is what drives her to make all “fur kids” the focus of her new venture with unique items, a fun store atmosphere and a location open to all pets.

“Paws Up honors the life of our fur kids,” Tepesch shared. “We are pet friendly. Paws Up will also help to save animal lives, and this will be in several different forms, so stay tuned, as that is up next.”

With a definite future for the business in focus, Tepesch says she is currently keeping those ideas and plans confidential, until it’s time for them to be announced. For right now, she’s just very thankful for the warm welcome she’s received, which has included the support of many fellow local businesses and a strong initial outpouring of customers since she first opened.

“I want to thank every customer we’ve had, both the human and pet customers,” she said. “Everyone has been so welcoming and positive. In the first four days, we had over 100 customers.”

Paws Up Pet Supplies is open Mondays-Wednesdays each week from 9 a.m.-6 p.m., as well as from 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Thursdays, and from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays. The business’ Facebook page can be found at Paws Up Pet Supplies.