Via the Associated Press
Feb. 22, 2007 04:47 PM
SEATTLE - A newly opened store catering to very pampered dogs, especially female dogs, is getting more than questioning looks for its name, High Maintenance Bitch.
The third word in the sign is widely visible at North 45th Street and Wallingford Avenue North, one of the main intersections in the Wallingford neighborhood business west of Interstate 5 and north of the Lake Washington Ship Canal.
"I am probably the most progressive liberal person in the world and I am personally offended by the sign," said Janet Stillman, executive director of the Wallingford Neighborhood Office. "It's so blatant and so in your face."
The sign is the issue more than products such as Gel-ous Bitch bath gel and Street Walker paw cleanser, said Kara Ceriello, co-president of the Wallingford Chamber of Commerce.
Ceriello said she supports the store but has heard complaints from about a dozen people.
"It is going to be a hot issue again when we get to our Wallingford Kiddie Parade and Street Fair," she said.
Stillman said the sign could wreck family photographs of the parade, scheduled for July 7.
"Walk by there with your 5-year-old and try to explain why that sign is there. Half of the sign is made up of the word 'bitch.'"
Making no apologies, co-founder Lori Pacchiano, 36, said she planned to meet with the chamber Thursday. Meanwhile, she and her brother, Ryan Pacchiano, 27, hope to made the business name as commonplace in shopping areas as Victoria's Secret.
Over the next three years they hope to open 10 stores at a cost of about $200,000 each.
"Our company is probably the most high-end pet brand in the world," Pacchiano said. "We want to be known for growing from Seattle."
In the process, she said, one of her goals is to reclaim the word in its original meaning, a female dog, as opposed to a derogatory term for a woman.
"Our store is a dog store, but the concept and philosophy is directed specifically toward women," she said.