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This new downtown business gives pooches a place to rest their bones

Dayton’s newest business is going to literally be giving it up to the dogs. 

Project Warmth, 133 E. Third St. on the first floor of Oriel Studios, will celebrate its grand opening  10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, June 4.  

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The party will feature raffles, shopping and dog nail trimming for a donation.

The shop is part of the twelfth phase of the Pop-Up Project, an initiative to fill downtown storefronts lead by Activated Spaces.  

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Owned by Cedarville native Stephanie Ross, Project Warmth sells handmade pet beds, mats, leashes, collars, leash hangers, toys, bandannas, hammocks, harnesses, coats and other products.  

The business donates a pet bed or mat to a Dayton area animal shelter for every one purchased. 

Cedarville native Stephanie Ross is preparing for the grand opening party for her first storefront, Project Warmth.

Since launching the business six years ago, Ross says she has donated 500 beds and kennel mats.

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“I started out part-time, selling online, then I grew into the festival and fair market,” Ross said in a Facebook message to this news organization. “Two years ago I quit my full-time job to pursue this full time. I participate in about 60 shows a year, plus an Etsy presence.”

Pet toys start at $1. Pet beds and mats are about $30. Handcrafted pet hammocks are $75 to $150. 

Ross graduated Bowling Green University with a degree in graphic design. The certified activity director last worked at Dunbar Rehabilitation in Dayton. 

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“I started the business after spending all four years of college doing volunteer work, moving back home and feeling like I wasn't contributing to the community as I had in college,” Ross said. “I had picked up sewing as a hobby and decided to take that more seriously and start making dog beds and mats.”

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Customers help determine which shelters receives one of Ross’ beds or pads.  

“One thing I'm also very excited about is pairing up with other Dayton businesses to also sell some of their inventory in my store, including food, treats, and an entire pet people section,” Ross said.

The Activated Spaces Pop-Up Project is spearheaded by the young professional organizations UpDayton and Generation Dayton.

It is supported by the Downtown Dayton Partnership, the City of Dayton, the City of Dayton Neighborhood Mini-Grant program and community volunteers.

The Pop-Up Project provides the opportunity for shorter leases at below-market rates. 

Past Pop-Up Shops include Beaute Box, Vintage Barber Shop, Peace on Fifth, Spice Paradise, Hicks’ Barber Shop & Shave ParlorTwist Cupcakery, Fronana, Baker SalvageMitosis, Buckeye LaptopsSoccer Shots, and Catapult Creative. 

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