Erin Haggerty opened maxiBOWdaxi dog grooming salon in Frederick in November. She wanted to provide a cage-free, personal environment for dogs she was grooming and recently spoke with the News-Post about how she got into the business.
What made you want to open a dog grooming salon in Frederick?
I have a mobile [dog grooming] salon in Arlington and the concept is individual care for dogs, which I think is very important. I wanted to open a brick and mortar site and wanted to incorporate the individual care concept into a store front. A lot of grooming salons get lots of dogs at one time and the dogs wait in kennels before and after their appointment. I just felt that there was a need to be filled for dogs where that type of situation isn’t the best for them. So when this space at 502 East Church Street came open I was so happy because it’s a very small, cottage-style building and it’s just perfect to do that type of grooming.
So there’s no cages? Can you describe your facility?
There are two points of entry. Theres’ the reception and the grooming area and it’s separated by an elongated puppy gate that we put up. Every grooming salon should have two points of entry for safety so that dogs can’t get onto the street. Also, i’m just personally with the dog until their puppy parent picks them up. It’s individual care, so for your appointment you bring your dog and your dog is the only dog with me the entire time, they don’t wait in a kennel at all. I have one kennel on site just for emergency services.
How long does a typical service take?
Any where from 30 minutes to two hours depending on what service you’re getting.
You also make bowties for dogs, how did you get into that?
I started that about five years ago. Before I was a groomer I worked in the natural pet nutrition industry. I worked for a store called Wylie Wagg in Arlington, Virginia and the owners of the store were really wonderful about if an employee had an idea for something that they wanted to do. If it was a good product than they encouraged you to be creative and they would often sell your product in the store. I have always been interested in creative concepts and design that incorporated my two loves which are design and dogs. I came up with an artisanal bowtie for dogs and I sold the first batch of them during the holiday season about four or five years ago.
So how did you transition into the dog grooming business?
I was working at Wylie Wagg and some of the customers there liked my way with their dogs when they would bring them in and they asked me if I would petsit for them. From there I started a part-time petsitting business and went on to make it full time. One of my clients said, ‘wow you just have a great way with these dogs. You can be a groomer or a trainer.’ I decided to go to grooming school and the school shows you the different options you have for the types of grooming environments that you want to work in or if you’re going to be an owner of a salon. I wanted to be a mobile groomer so I went down that path. With mobile grooming you can do product development and sales and things like that, but I had this dream of individual care in a home-like environment.
What are the price ranges for your Frederick salon?
I offer something called an express wash that’s at the lower end of the range and starts at $10 for tiny and small dogs and goes up to about $15. There are two types of services that most people want. One is the bath and brush, that’s for dogs like labs, beagles, french bulldogs—short-haired breeds that shed, and that starts at $40 and goes up to $70. For that the dog gets a bath, blow dry, deshedding brushing, nail trim and filing and ear cleaning. The other service that I offer is a full grooming. That’s good for dogs like shih tzus, maltese, yorkies, poodles—what I like to call groomable dogs that are curly-coated wavy-coated breeds. For smaller dogs that starts at $65, and then going up to doodles would be $75 to $85. That includes everything in the bath and brush and a full haircut.
What’s your favorite part about being a dog groomer?
I have always, always loved dogs and I think the thing I enjoy most about it is that i’m helping people take care of a valued member of their family.