Little Friends had the chance to chat with the owner of The Dog Salon, Jessica– for a super cool interview…find out why we recommend using The Dog Salon for your pet families grooming needs! (and much more)
When did you open and why?
The Dog Salon opened in 2005. It has come along way in the past decade. It took over 5 (almost 6) years. We’ve since, completely re-branded the business, added mobile grooming and expanded. We have more staff than ever & plan to continue to dominate the grooming world 🙂
How did you come up with the idea of “funky fresh, non mainstream” grooming?
I felt re-branding was important because I wanted to breathe new life into a very old industry. You will not find your typical cutesy bubbles & puppy dog tails on our walls! I visited all the grooming salons in CLT while researching my re-brand. I posed as a potential client and learned A LOT about what not to do. I knew I wanted to create a fun environment for my employees to grow in their careers & enjoy coming to work. I also felt it was really important for our clients to feel this vibe when they visited.
Groomers are creative people. I created a creative environment..
What kind of soaps do you use? If a pet has a skin condition, do you have something to help soothe that?
We have a ton of different shampoos and conditioners. This is why we have a groomer check in, each and every dog. There are a lot of weird skin issues and things happening with our dogs these days. We try to pair the best possible shampoo & conditioner to each pup. The brand we like the most is called Envirogroom. We sell it in our shop as well. I am currently working on an all natural essential oil shampoo to offer aromatherapy to our friends who may experience anxiety during grooming! I’m pretty excited with the results so far and look forward to offering this soon!
Does everyone you work with go home smelling like wet dogs daily?
Haha! I hope so! That means it was a good day!
How did the hair dying come into effect?
Pet color has actually been around for a long time! My grandmother-in-law once told me about a poodle they dyed purple at the hair salon she worked at back in the day. Its come such a long way! They are many vegan dyes made specifically for pets as well as chalks and sprays. We are definitely one of, if not the very first, salon in Charlotte to offer this. My groomers have been trained by experts in the field & really have a lot of fun with it! We have people that travel from all over for this service. The most popular requests we get are for colored mohawks!
What are some special requests that clients have made in order for their dogs to be “cool?”
This is another reason why the consultation with the groomer is so important. When clients request a ‘cool’ dog they are usually referring to a special haircut that will require a lot of maintenance & trips to the groomer or color that many don’t realize will take time to fade out. We like to thoroughly explain to people exactly what they are asking us to do and then make a decision together based on the level of commitment they are willing to give us!
We’ve had clients ask for their doodle to look like a lion. Which requires a lot of time and maintenance. More recently, we had a lady want her dog to look like Sully from Monsters INC. to surprise her kids for Halloween. We’ve transformed poodles into pandas and even a giraffe for a child’s birthday party.
Color is fun but it’s not for everyone. We appreciate when people ask us questions about it because many are quick to judge without knowing all the information.
On average, how many dogs are washed a day at The Dog Salon?
Someone just asked me this yesterday! It’s a hard question! It sort of depends on the day of the week, time of year, and the weather. Id say on average on a slow day…30. On a busy day…easily double, if not more. We also have a self-serve area for clients to do it themselves, there is usually a line for that on weekends!
What is your favorite aspect of owning a business?
Creating. Let me clarify on that! I love not only expanding my business and brand but creating opportunity for people to love what they do for a living. I love cultivating a supportive environment. I love when people want more for themselves and have goals. I want to do what I can to help them get there.
It may seem like just a grooming salon, but for myself and my staff of 15, and maybe even some clients, it’s a second home & family.
Mobile grooming is a great idea, how did that come about for The Dog Salon?
My husband and I visit the world’s largest grooming trade show every year in Las Vegas, called Superzoo. We go to learn about all the new things in the grooming world and to get our hands on new products for the shop. About three years ago it was love at first sight when I laid eyes on Rita, our mobile grooming van. Its a great option for clients who have older dogs or pets with anxiety. It just seemed like a natural addition to our services!
Have you ever done any free grooming for rescue organizations?
We have! We work closely with the Greater Charlotte SPCA.
If the pup is stressed out, what do you do to calm them?
Take our time. Some pups just need a hug and some reassurance. My groomers are great at helping dogs keep their cool on the table!
The Dog Salon has a pretty good size retail store. What edible products do you offer?
We carry a few lines of food including Taste of the Wild, Hills Science Diet & Canidae. We also have a wide variety of treats to suite every dogs diet needs.
What non edible products do you offer for clients?
Oh boy, lets see..Leashes, collars, toys, bling, tags, tutus, clothing, grooming supplies, shampoos, colognes, essential oil sprays…we are constantly expanding our retail and testing out products to see what works. I am currently focused on upping our retail game to offer some really unique products you won’t find just anywhere! So check in periodically!
If someone is interested in getting their home-made pet products into your retail store, what should they do?
EMAIL ME! I love having local goods on our shelves! Our current local retailers include high end leather leashes & collars, tutus & treats! I am all about supporting local & would love to hear ideas! JessicaTDS.firstname.lastname@example.org
I am currently looking for bowls, bedding & toys in particular!
What makes you different than other grooming facilities?
Everything. Like I said, I built my business by learning what not to do! We’ve made plenty of mistakes along the way but have always learned something new along the way! The Dog Salon offers excellent customer service and really focuses on building a trusting relationship with our clients (both human and furry). It is so important to feel okay with leaving your loved ones in our care. Also, the level of talent. My groomers all specialize in different areas and breeds. If one is unsure about the best way to do something, another one is there to help and add suggestions! It’s quite an amazing machine we have here!
Little Friends Pet Sitting and Dog Walking loves The Dog Salon. In fact, many of our clients,e The Dog Salon for their services. What makes a pet service company reputable, in your opinion?
We love you too! Great question! Great people, great service & a positive vibe. I’m a firm believer that people should love what they do. It will reflect in everything you do!
Hours T-F: 8-6p, Sat: 8-5p, Sun: Noon-5p, M: closed
mobile grooming: 704.965.2711
1318 Central ave suite E1
Charlotte NC 28205