Spotlight On Business
Dogs Leave Salon With A Bounce In Their Step
With a life-changing choice of either working for someone else or sharing her love of animals by starting her own business, Nancy Sadler chose an option ensuring her new freedoms.
Community Futures South Fraser (CFSF) opened a window of possibilities for her with its comprehensive self-employment program seven years ago, and now Nancy’s Dog Grooming is a going concern with a rotating client list in the hundreds.
“I always dreamed of having my own business and Community Futures helped me gain the confidence and knowledge to be successful,” said Nancy. “They give you the tools and the know-how, and I would suggest to anyone starting a business to jump into the program with both feet.”
“One of my favourite Community Futures classes focussed on the importance of branding, and we were shown the uniqueness of Seattle Fish Market and how they interacted with customers. It inspired me on how to set apart my salon and what I wanted to bring to my customers.”
Nancy said she wanted and created an inviting and relaxing environment, a fun place for a dog to go for grooming . . . a spa-like experience.
CFSF taught Nancy about customer care, writing a business plan, business management, networking and marketing. “They helped me grow this beautiful business and I can’t emphasize more how thankful I am.”
Nancy has been a groomer for 19 years, 13 working for the now-closed TPS Pet Stop. Her business is now a family affair as she works with her artist/groomer daughter Ann-Marie Fiesel from Surrey and her teen grandson Keigan who helps with salon cleaning and dog bathing.
“I am getting older, and my neck and shoulder aren’t what they used to be, so having Ann-Marie and Keigan do some of the heavy lifting is helpful,” she said. Nancy’s husband is retired, and her father lives in her home, too.
“The best part of my job is watching the dogs leave with a bounce in their step and wagging their tail because I know they feel like a million bucks.”
Biggest challenge is not the business itself, she said, but dealing with dogs after they rolled in dead fish during October’s spawning season. “We get a surprising amount of emergency groom calls that time of the year.”
Nancy and Ann-Marie work on building good relationships with all the dogs that come in. They give cuddles and pets to help them settle in, talk to them during the grooming, and give many treats and ear scratches.
“We have music and salt lamps . . . an inviting atmosphere. We care about the dogs and the quality of our work. Ann even hand-makes all our bandanas we give away with each groom.”
“We try and accommodate everyone’s unique needs, whether it’s an extra bath, a deep conditioning treatment or an Epsom salt bath for sore feet. We enjoy doing the little extras.”