It’s unassuming from the outside, but what’s happening behind closed doors is helping to turn one New Cumberland woman’s passion into a thriving small business.
“Everyone really wants something more one-on-one, less busy,” said Michelle Hall, owner of Michelle’s Compassionate Grooming, LLC.
One-on-one is her speciality.
“Taking it slow, taking the extra time if needed, it’s not about the money,” Hall said.
It is about each client’s comfort and making them feel at home; so much so, that’s exactly where her business is located, in Hall’s two-car garage.
She’s a certified vet technician, and focuses on fear and stress-free grooming, making it a point to not use cages for any of her clients.
Even Chester, an aggressive rescue who has to wear a muzzle when he gets his nails clipped, gets personalized service on the floor with his owner where he’s more comfortable.
“I don’t go anywhere else where I can crawl around on the floor with my dog,” said owner, Sarah Hale.
“We get a lot of dogs that have been fired from the bigger companies,” Hall said, saying she finds satisfication in taming dogs that others aren’t able to groom.
“For me personally it’s like one of the best feelings in the world because it’s like, this dog hated everyone but they love you,” she said.
Building trust is exactly how she’s built her small business, which started as a side job in her bathtub, and has now become a full-time gig with hundreds of clients.
“Even if they’ve been here five times and they’re still angry with us, we’re gonna just keep on trying to hopefully win them over, and most of the time we do,” she said.
Even nervous, anxious dogs get the pampered pet treatment.
While Michelle works, her husband Dustin hugs dogs to his chest, keeping them calm and holding their head.
“The more we have them come in, the more we get that bond and we learn their personality and they kind of learn us too,” said Hall.
It’s a treatment they wouldn’t get at the big corporate stores.
Pets don’t wait around for hours on end for their respective appointment – it’s one in, one out for Hall, who said she’s found that keeping a quiet, laidback shop does wonders for pets while they’re away from their owners.
For more information on Michelle’s Compassionate Grooming, you can visit their Facebook page.