I felt like writing a more personal blog today. Maybe giving our readers some insight to what goes on behind the scenes at a new dog grooming shop.
When we decided to open Dharma Dog Daycare and Grooming, it was merely a pipe dream.
I had a successful dog training business and Joanne was working full-time in the business development center at a car dealership and teaching piano on the side. We were busy. Very busy.
We then found out we were expecting a baby! That was definitely the best news! After much thought and soul-searching we decided that it would be best to sell my dog training business and start anew. I wanted a job/business that allowed me to leave my work at home, and as most dog trainers will tell you that cell phone doesn’t stop ringing just because you’re not training. There are constant emails, and phone calls, some very happy, some very unhappy, and that ultimately leads to a lot of stress.Believe me when I say this, dog training is up to the owner! However, many people could not seem to grasp this concept and seemed to only practice while I was with them. I found this to be rather frustrating and given my medical history I needed a less stressful career.
We sat down and really began conceptualizing our business. So we would work full-time, come home and work on our business. Day in and day out. Now remember, Joanne was pregnant at this point. She has the greatest work ethic, and at times had to be reminded to slow down.
After finishing our planning we began the process of looking for a location. It was a frustrating experience as we felt that property managers or building owners didn’t take us as seriously due to our age. We finally found a building that we really liked and made a very serious bid for it. First week went by. Two weeks went by. Three weeks went by. Finally, a counter offer! Ouch, it was not what were hoping for.
I was really disheartened and felt like this was going to continue to be an uphill climb.
Meanwhile, Joanne continued to tell me how smelly Vegas (see pic below) was getting. I continued to balk at her and deny it completely. “He smells like a dog, silly ” was often my reply… or “he smells like roses” … this went on for a few weeks during the location search process. Eventually, I came home to what smelled like a mix of wet dog, rotten vegetables, and dirt…It was time for Vegas to see the groomer.
We went to a local hole in the wall groom shop. Nothing fancy, in fact I disliked taking Vegas to most shops as I found them to be unorganized, loud and smelly. I preferred giving him baths at home. However, I needed to call in the big guns for this smelly dog.
While at the groomers to pick up my stressed out and tired dog, the groomer and I started to chat about the difficulties I was having finding a location. She nudged me with her elbow playfully and mentioned, “I have a second location….”
“What?! Where? How? Really?” Was my response. She began to tell me how she wasn’t able to run the second location and it ultimately was falling apart.
I was introduced to a smelly, run down little grooming shop. Now most people would have ran away. Not me. I saw the beauty and potential in the space. I shook some hands, signed a cheque, and got to renovating the very next day! This was around February 2013. One month later, we opened on the most progressive day of the year, March 4th! We turned a rundown smelly little shop into our pride and joy: Dharma Dog Daycare & Grooming!
There is still some stress, but I think that comes with opening a new business, having a baby, getting married, and buying a house all in the same year.. but I wouldn’t change it for the world 🙂