Footage by TB Pictures
Canine groomer and salon proprietor Colleen Voegtli was nervous about opening Bark and Tub Pet Salon. But, seven months later, she has three workers and over 1,000 purchasers.
“I don’t wish to say it’s easier than I assumed it might be, however when you’re keen about it, it’s attainable. I want I’d finished it sooner,” she shares about her journey to turning into a salon proprietor.
In the summertime of 2021, Voegtli began searching for the correct location, and she or he discovered it! Bark and Tub Pet Salon is positioned in Lusby, Maryland, about 20 minutes away from the salon in Prince Frederick the place she’d gotten her begin and labored for fourteen years.
“I needed to be respectful of my mentor. Plus, I assumed there was a requirement in Lusby. There was no different pet groomer there,” she continues. “I began taking a look at purchasing facilities. Some landlords don’t need canines of their area, however City Sq. in Lusby labored out. The owner was very accommodating and nice with canines.”
With a constructive landlord on board, Voegtli felt good in regards to the area, however there was an impediment…It was massive! “It was over 2,500 sq. ft. It was intimidating. However my husband was optimistic. He helped me see that it was an area I might develop into it,” she shares.
The placement had different issues going for it apart from the constructive landlord, together with being a former hair salon, which labored in Voegtli’s favor: “This saved me cash on the build-out as a result of the plumbing, electrical energy, lighting, and format have been already in place.”
The licensing and paperwork for the canine grooming salon went easily, too. “Calvert County helps small-business development inside the county,” she continues. “In addition they have help workers in place to encourage companies to begin, develop, and flourish.”
Voegtli shared that her largest impediment was leaving her previous job: “I began at Rita’s Grooming in Prince Frederick, MD as a bather after I was 14 years previous. I began out prepping the canines for the proprietor, Rita. She then taught me how one can carry out shave-downs on the canines, and later she taught me breed normal haircuts together with scissoring expertise. I couldn’t have finished any of this with out her. I’d wish to thank Rita for being my mentor and introducing me to the world of grooming.”
Nevertheless, after 14 years of working for Rita, Voegtli was able to department out.
“She was pleased for me and wished me nicely,” she added.
Although Voegtli initially deliberate to function as a one-woman salon, she expanded earlier than she even opened: “A pal and fellow groomer needed to come back and work with me. We opened on October 5, 2021; myself and Victoria, the opposite groomer.”
At her earlier salon, folks tended to drop off their canines within the mornings and decide them up later. That allowed the groomers to work on them all through the day, however Voegtli seen that not everybody favored that, and a few needed to select up their canines sooner. At Bark and Tub, she is ready to accommodate that.
“We work straight by means of on our purchasers. After all, if clients must drop off their canine earlier than work and decide it up later, we will accommodate that too, however 90% of my purchasers desire to select up their canine as quickly as attainable,” she shares.
For the pups who’ll keep longer, Voegtli got here up with a artistic solution to supply a protected, but kennel-free expertise: “I created Doggie Suites. They’re round 6 ft. x 8 ft. for canines with anxiousness and house owners preferring a cage-free expertise. It’s an upsell for $10.”
She’s added two extra staff members, too. Now a staff of 4, every groomer works one on one with their canine.
“We don’t have a separate bather or dryer. Every of us works on one canine at a time. I like having the one on one with the canine, and plenty of of our purchasers recognize that too. They like understanding who’s engaged on their canine from begin to end,” Voegtli says.
As well as, the one-on-one strategy permits every groomer to do what they assume is greatest for his or her consumer. “Each groomer is specific about their canines,” she continues. “We will take our time and use the merchandise we really feel are the very best for our consumer on that day.”
With issues falling in place for the Bark and Tub Pet Salon, Voegtli is happy. And to be able to present the best-quality grooming expertise, the close-knit staff continues to study collectively: “We’re doing month-to-month persevering with training coaching streaming webinars. We may also be attending expos yearly. This ensures we’re offering the very best providers and merchandise to our purchasers,” she says.
To conclude, Voegtli shares this parting recommendation to groomers contemplating going out on their very own:
“Do it. I used to be actually scared and nervous at first. I used to be questioning if I used to be making the correct choice not just for my profession, however my household as nicely. It has all paid off. It’s an astounding feeling to run your personal salon and supply clients and pets the expertise you wish to present.” ✂️