$30,000 investment in Pampered Pooch
A trend set by Hollywood starlet Paris Hilton has become a revenue maker for an entrepreneurial couple right here in The Bahamas, who are now moving to offer the kind of services that will have their clients howling with joy–literally.
It was the automatic next step for husband and wife team Charles and Miriam Johnson, proprietors of the new Pampered Pooch spa and dog grooming boutique in the Palmdale area, when he lost his job at a major public corporation last year.
“You’ll be surprised to know that since we opened our location we have customers who have come from all over, Old Fort Bay, Lyford Cay, for the services,”Charles said.”And it’s picking up, the phones are ringing and we haven’t done any big time marketing yet.
“You see a lot of people have dogs, but a lot of people don’t know how to take care of their dogs.”
It’s a void he is now hoping to fill, offering rates as low as$20 on Thursdays to drive business through the door. The store has only been opened since November and they now have a staff complement of four. The idea to open the store came from a need for this kind of service in The Bahamas, said Johnson. They do everything from shampooing, cutting and styling dogs with flare–oh and a touch of elegance.
“We even have perfume for the dogs that we put on them before they leave,”he said.
The step to open their own business came during a hard time for operating a business in the current economy, but they were confident that a combination of their savings and Miriam’s skills as a veteran in the animal-care world-as an assistant to a leading vet in The Bahamas-would prove beneficial in the long run.
However, the short-run hasn’t been as hard as they thought going into it, with second home market clients becoming an increasingly important market for the business.
“A lot of people travel with their animals and they want to know if they can probably get their dogs groomed while they are on vacation,”said Johnson.”They want to know if there is a place they can go and have their dogs-that are like family for some people-smelling good.
“It’s a big trend right now and people spend a lot of money on their pets. And we want to give them[the services]they can get at home.”