Young Islanders launch Paw Treasures, pet sitting and supply business

December 12, 2016 | by Erin Sirianni

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Elissa during a pet care visit

We love learning about local entrepreneurial ventures, and even more so, when the business owners are our youngest islanders.

Elissa Clough, age 14, and her brother Matthew Clough, age 11, have just launched Paw Treasures, a pet sitting and supply business.

Though their business is new, Elissa and Matthew have been taking care of pets for years. They got their start watching a neighbor’s cat. Through word of mouth, they found more pet care jobs around their neighborhood.  They also offered their services through, where they earned 32 five-star reviews.

Eventually, they decided to branch out on their own. They were able to move away from after they researched and found a pet care client software that was easy enough for them to use.  The e-commerce side of their business originated when Elissa noticed that her family’s online party supply store, Alki Party Treasures, was receiving more and more requests for dog party supplies. That’s when she and Matthew realized selling pet supplies could be part of their business too.

Matthew during a pet care visit

“Matthew, like any kid, wanted to charge a high price for products,” said their mother, Jackie Clough. “But after doing a little research, he realized prices need to be competitive, and he was soon in charge of inventory and pricing.”

Their parents helped them set up a basic website. Elissa, being an artist, crafted a logo and is in charge of the graphics and artistic elements of their site and business. She asked her brother for help with a tagline, which became “celebrating your four-legged friends.”

Paw Treasures logo, designed by Elissa

So far, Elissa and Matthew are enjoying their entrepreneurial journey, which remains based on their mutual love for animals.

“I wanted to start our Paw Treasures business because it is scientifically proven that people are happier when they are around dogs,” she said.

“They are happy, and they make people happy too.  I like taking care of dogs more than babysitting. I really like pets and our business is really fun.”

Matthew is equally enthusiastic about the business and taking care of animals.  “I was inspired because I love dogs and spending time with them,” he said. “They are always happy pets. I like to sell good products to people who take care of their pets.”

Their mother Jackie attributes their success to providing above and beyond service and staying in touch with clients.

“Elissa and Matthew found their unique qualities were the little extras, like making sure to help with bringing in packages, mail, and small touches like extra clean-up,” she said. “They also provide excellent communication, like text updates and photos, and this really set them apart from their peers.”

Of course, since they are still in school, Elissa and Matthew have to be strategic in how they run their business. They focus their pet care services during school breaks, weekends, and summer break. During the school year they focus on the website selling unique dog gift baskets, local healthy pet treats, and durable USA made pet toys.

A portion of their sales goes to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Mikey’s Chance, a dog rescue organization in southern Washington.

If you are looking a little minute gift for your furry companion or pet sitting service over the holidays, you’ll find everything you need to know on Paw Treasure’s website: