After nearly two decades of pet grooming experience, Sarah Jennings now knows how it feels for something old to feel new again. In the past year and a half, she launched her own business, bought land, got building permits, and last month opened 1,200 square feet of sparkling pet paradise.
“Nobody has to get me up in the morning. I just get up and go to work,” she said of how inspiring she finds her new space and the world of business ownership. “It feels great. It’s actually just when you do something for so long and you do it and love it, and this is a whole new spark of freshness for me. It’s mine, and I have something I can retire off of one day.”
Ms. Sarah’s Pet Salon, located on Woodlyn Drive, held a celebratory open house April 8 following its official opening March 23.
Clients Ken and Joyce Fenstermaker of Yadkinville said their Peekapoo dog George is on a regular grooming schedule for bathing, nails and a haircut.
“It’s the whole deal,” said Joyce Fenstermaker as she celebrated Jennings’ achievement at the open house last week. “He loves her and he loves coming for his grooming.”
Jennings’ new location boasts state-of-the-art bathing tubs and grooming stations, complete with hydraulic lifting tables so pets can simply step onto the lowered table top, rather than be manually lifted by Jennings or her assistant. The expansive 1,200-foot space has Jennings unable to calculate just how many dogs could be groomed there per week, but she knows there is plenty of room to grow from her salon’s last digs.
Her previous, temporary location of the past 14 months was a leased 8×14 storage room in the back of Cartwright Automotive Repair.
“So it was tiny,” said Jennings, who managed to groom about 60 dogs per week in the space alongside her assistant groomer, Cheyenne Callaway.
An East Bend native, Jennings attended Forbush High School and began grooming at her mother-in-law’s grooming business. Since then, she has accumulated 18 years of experience as a professional groomer, including time honing her skills on the dog show circuit. Growing up, she practiced on her pet Golden Retriever.
She has also expanded her services into painting pet portraits, which have seen increasing demand.
“I was really successful in art in high school and art helped me become a groomer,” Jennings explained. “The art helped me become a groomer because I could see it and create it.”
Lisa Michals may be reached at 336-448-4968 or follow her on Twitter @lisamichals3.