The newest way to groom: on the go
Toss the muddy-pawed pup into the back seat of the car and deliver him to the groomer?
That’s so old school.
Mobile pet salon Groomin’ On The Go owner Jessie Bost has brought a new East Coast trend west, allowing dog owners to trade their typical doggy-care routine for a more convenient option.
Equipped with a 50-gallon heated water tank, full generator, air conditioner, high-velocity blow dryer and tub, Bost will arrive at her client’s door with her paw-print van ready to scrub, clip and trim any canine. Though she would prefer to remain in the Park City area, she says she’s willing to travel as far as it takes. Every seven weeks, she spends a day in Heber Valley and in the Oakley area.
"[Mobile grooming] is really popular in high-density areas like California, Florida and the East Coast and in Australia," she says. "I think society is going towards convenience."
Just a few months after graduating from the University of Utah with a degree in parks, recreation and tourism, Bost special ordered her van from the Illinois-based company Wag’n Tails last year: a large, white 2005 Ford E 350 with an extended top.
Park City Signs designed the logo and paw prints. The black and white face of Bost’s Australian Shepard, Sarah, is featured on both sides. "She’s my exploited child," jokes Bost.
But it was Sarah who inspired Bost to start her business. Bost was encouraged by family, friends and strangers to begin grooming, after she learned how to care for Sarah, she says.
"Sarah’s double-coated, so she sheds a lot," she explains. "So a few years ago, I asked a friend to teach me."
Bost then began training for her professional grooming certification with a local groomer in Heber City.
Above all else, Bost says her business is about pampering dogs. All shampoos and cologne sprays are biodegradable and tear-free, she says, and clients can custom-order a style cut they like.
The first visit with a dog might take a little longer, but she prefers to go at the dog’s pace. Bost favors developing a relationship with each client’s pet, she says, so that the dog looks forward to grooming. The job goes by a lot faster when a dog’s happy, she notes.
"Cleaning dogs is a lot about patience a very high level of patience," she says.
In order to run the business from her van, Bost not only has to know how to clip nails, de-matt hair, and clean ears, but she also has to be something of a mechanic, she says.
"I have backup extension cords [for the van] and if there’s a busted pipe, I have to be able to replace that," she confirms. "I’m a groomer, but I’m also a plumber, an electrician and a mechanic."
Bost has already begun to develop a local following, mostly for big, furry dogs that require regular visits, she says. It’s enough to keep her busy for part of the week, but she would love to expand her customer base.
"Starting my own business certainly has been a learning experience," she observes. "I definitely miss that regular pay check Right now, I’m really just paying off the starting costs. But I enjoy the challenge."
The payoff is the way a dog looks post-primp, according to Bost.
"I love what dogs look like when I’m done grooming and I put a bow behind their ears or a bandana around their necks. Dogs know when they’ve been groomed, and when they smell nice," she says.
To schedule an appointment for Groomin’ On The Go, call (435) 658-5205.
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