It was a tough year, but lockdown sure had its perks too. Especially for entrepreneurs Shannon Sweetman and Kyne Lupini who combined their love for their pets and their passion for the pet industry and created an app dedicated to modern pet parents all around South Africa.
During lockdown, entrepreneurs Shannon (based in Cape Town) and Kyne (based in Durban) worked tirelessly to create the TAME Pet App, an app that makes life with pets and the admin that comes with it, super easy. Kyne realised that treats are a crucial part of bonding with pets while she was working with wild animals a couple of years ago. She then launched Wolf & Woman (which just turned 4 years on 25 November 2020), an online store that sells preservative free treats, grooming products and the now very popular cake boxes for pets. Shannon has a passion for photography – specifically capturing moments with your pets. Her Dog Meets Girl platform is very lifestyle focused (something that is very visible on the app too). Her brand has became an ambassador for a healthy lifestyle with your pets (as did Wolf & Woman). Dog Meets Girl, also has a subscription box business, which has grown very well.
TAME is an app that came from Shannon and Kyne’s passion for pets. “We both just saw a need to simplify being a pet parent,” says Shannon. They realised in lockdown that things were going to have to go digital and saw a gap in the market. It started with the ID book you need to take to the vet with each appointment. “We needed to make it digital.” Furthermore, they are also very passionate about supporting local and therefore you’ll also see only South African suppliers on the app.
Being unique was important to Kyne and Shannon from the beginning. They wanted the app to stand out from the crowd. Their pets are part of who they are and they wanted that to shine through. With Shannon’s photography being very lifestyle-orientated, it was only natural that the app would also be. All images that have been used on the app are hers.
The app is based on geolocation, which means anyone in South Africa can use it. They have partnered with brilliant local brands, many of which are smaller, artisanal brands with a lot of handmade products that are created in small batches. They have also partnered with Absolute Pets, where you can shop anything pet-related. They currently stand on 25 stores and would love to have at least 50 stores on the app.
In addition to the shop, the app also offers pet sitters, walkers, groomers and more. They even have a “find me a pet” section on the app. Province by province, they promote the app and invite local pet brands to join the back-end of the app.
When you upgrade to TAME’s premium option, you also get access to pet-friendly hot spots and advice from trainers, nutritionists and groomers. It also offers you the option of getting a vet or behaviourist’s opinion without having to pay a consultation fee for something minor. They have partnered with a few vets and behaviourists who offer their consultation services between 9AM and 11AM daily (which will hopefully soon be from 7AM to 7PM). This will bring peace of mind to many pet parents. It only includes advice, though. They won’t be able to prescribe anything. The team is vetted and professional and include people from all over the country.
I always find it inspiring to see what people can do when life gives them lemons. Shannon and Kyne may not have made any lemonade, but the TAME Pet App might be even better!
*With the app being very new, Shannon and Kyne are asking the public to be patient with them and to give them feedback (kindly) as to how they can improve the app. They are working on fixing the glitches every day and can assure app users that their hearts are in supporting the community 100%. They therefore appreciate any support in return.