By Kirsten Gunsberg
Tim and Kathy Hyland love Lake Michigan, its bays lapping against the gritty shoreline, a relief from the summer heat before it curls into frigid spectacles as the seasons turn. Originally from big cities, Tim from Chicago and Kathy from Detroit, neither takes for granted the natural year-round beauty that northern Michigan offers. That’s why in 2011 the Hyland’s made their way back up north to open Bay View Flooring and Design Center and Pets Naturally after seven years spent flipping houses and managing rental properties in Florida.
When they first met in the late 80’s, Tim was a former installer’s-helper turned small business owner, having launched Floor Covering Brokers in 1986. Smitten, the couple combined their families and embarked on building Floor Covering Brokers to success while raising their five kids. By 2004 the brood was growing up and out of their home and Tim and Kathy decided to make the move to The Sunshine State, selling their flooring company and settling into a warmer climate.
There’s many things Florida lacks that Michigan makes up for in abundance though – vibrant autumns, old friends and the Hyland’s grandchildren. Thus, the 2011 move back to where they started. Upon their return they went straight back to their roots, using their know-how to open Cash n Carry Flooring, an admittedly risky move as the Grand Traverse region was in the midst of recovering from The Great Recession. But as Tim and Kathy believe, money only becomes part of the equation when you add in grit, dedication and teamwork – qualities the two have never shied away from.
For the first couple years of their second take in the industry things were growing, albeit slowly. Undeterred, however, they continued to forge connections and develop their clientele. Along with their perseverance, and that of their employees, who they credit with much of their achievement, the risk paid off. Within a couple of years Cash n Carry was thriving, outgrowing itself until they added Bay View Flooring to their repertoire, the two stores working in tandem to provide services to both residential and commercial projects.
Right around the time that Bay View came into the picture, the Hyland’s were deciding what to do with a building they owned off South Airport. Tim suggested to Kathy that she might use it to open a specialty pet store where pets and their owners could shop together, a dream she’d buried in the back of her mind for “someday.” That day came right around Christmastime, 2013, when Pets Naturally first opened its doors just around the corner from the Cherryland Center. Unlike big-box pet supply stores, this one exclusively carried healthy alternatives to typical kibble brands along with nutritional supplements, toys and accessories for furry friends.
Business boomed for both companies and while Tim focused on the Chums Corners construction of Bay View Flooring’s brand new 12,000 square foot showroom and offices, Traverse City quickly embraced the pet boutique. In 2017 Kathy purchased and intertwined the beloved Dog Bakery (formerly housed on West Front Street) into Pets Naturally’s product line. The bakery brand offers colorful, decorated biscuits, birthday themed desserts and more fun treats made especially for pups. Like their other ventures, this one quickly outgrew its original location and recently moved across the street to a bigger space.
The pair have come a long way in only eight years but are quick to say how grateful they are to be part of such a kind and loyal community, who they maintain they couldn’t have done any of this without. They recognize the support that comes from those dedicated to shopping locally and it’s important to the Hyland’s to channel that gratitude by giving back. One of the ways they do that is by volunteering with the northern Michigan chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters and another is by spearheading fundraisers for Traverse City’s Cherryland Humane Society.
This past spring, Pets Naturally sponsored the Fundraiser for Fido event at Visions Banquet and Weddings overlooking West Bay. Event-goers enjoyed live music while noshing food and drinks from local restaurants, breweries, wineries and cider houses as they took part in auctions to raise money to install glass doors on the shelter’s kennels.
Their eyes always on the horizon, Kathy’s recently added local delivery to Pets Naturally’s list of services. She also ships Dog Bakery’s yumminess to canines nationwide and is organizing to take the shop from a local favorite to a franchise while Tim pursues real estate development and works to patent a unique product display, designed with his decades of sales experience as inspiration.
Even when it comes to winding down, Tim and Kathy, who consider themselves the best of friends, aren’t sitting still. They enjoy their days off travelling together, spending time with their grandchildren and tending to their 40 acre farm near Buckley where they’re growing apple trees and garlic.
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