Maggie Villeneuve, Maggie's Grooming

Tell us about yourself.

From a young age, I always knew I wanted to work with animals. I struggled a bit at school so that automatically ruled out anything vet related. But then, I decided to give grooming dogs a try! I wrote my last exam in high school and the very next day, I was at Pets Beautiful Grooming School where I picked up on the tasks at hand fast and loved it from the start. 

Tell us about your business.

After giving birth to my son in 2011, I decided to open the salon in my house and was officially operating my business in March of 2012. Running as a low stress grooming salon and doing one dog at a time, my clientele grew to a point where I couldn't keep up! In the middle of 2016 my husband and I were contemplating in expanding the business. We found the perfect location, became a partnership and opened our shop in February 2017. As well as being able to do more dogs in a day, we now sell a small amount of merchandise and do holiday themed photos that can be purchased and printed at the shop while you wait.

What led you to start this business?

As much as I enjoyed grooming, working at chain business was very stressful and I felt that it was an unsafe environment for the dogs and for myself. The environment was so hard to work in I almost quit grooming all together as I lost the passion. I thought working from home would bring it back and it did!

Was there something that drew you into being an entrepreneur?

The big push was the idea of being able to operate the business the way I wanted. Dogs are a lot happier and playful in a low stress environment and greatly decreased how often dogs would be aggressive.  

What were some of the challenges you faced getting started and how did you over come them?

The biggest challenges when I first started was getting the house ready to be able to work in and having enough clients to help provide for the family.  We took a risk and bought a booth at Ribfest and Fallfest in 2012, and it worked out very well and we met some other entrepreneurs that we still have relationships with. As we moved in to the Salon in 2017 we faced more challenges. Getting the renovations done to the shop did not go as planned, but we were only a week off the date we wanted to open.  Having a much larger overhead was a challenge as we needed to get more clients and hope that the current clients followed us to the new location. The first thing we did was put the sign on the shop, this generated many calls and excitement from people living in the area. 

To learn more about Maggie's Grooming visit http://www.maggiesgrooming.ca.

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