(Maddie Derrick-Foley owner of Groomaholics is pictured with her own three dogs who are her inspiration for the business and her business logo. Photos: Submitted)
Having her own business at only 17 years old is certainly no small feat for Maddie Derrick-Foley. She admits that, while having known for a couple of years that she’d one day like to have her own dog daycare/grooming/boarding business, she hadn’t planned for it to happen so soon. However, “it worked out better than I could have imagined,” says Maddie.
Groomaholics has been officially open for seven months now, based in and partnered with Total Dog Care in Carp. After getting laid off from her previous job, Maddie approached the owner of Total Dog Care – the daycare her dogs attend – to see if she could begin grooming for him. Given the fact that Maddie is still a student, and therefore doesn’t have as much time to work as other groomers, she and the owner of the daycare agreed that “making grooming my own thing instead of working for him was the best option. So I got started on making a business plan and a list of all the supplies I needed, how I would advertise my business and how we could work together to bring in clients. It worked out the best for me to have my own business since I was able to decide my own hours, how many dogs I take a day and how many days a week I work.”
By November, Groomaholics had officially opened and began taking clients. In addition to grooming, Maddie takes the time to photograph the dogs post-groom. These photos sometimes have themes, like St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, or Christmas. The result is adorable photos of happily groomed dogs. Taking these final groom photos is something Maddie loves to do “because it makes the owners super happy and clients can see photos of my work.” A good friend of Maddie’s, who was also interested in working with animals and wanted to learn to groom, joined the Groomaholics family as a bather/assistant.
Maddie has a few years of experience working with dogs professionally, having worked as a kennel assistant for two years then becoming a groomer’s assistant before opening her business. Additionally, she has had pets her entire life and states “I’ve always had a special place in my heart for all animals.” Maddie is also certified in pet first aid.
Groomaholics offers a 50% off discount for rescues, who Maddie has noticed “end up being some of the sweetest dogs I know.” Helping rescue dogs is something Maddie takes pride in and sees as incredibly rewarding. One rescue dog she recently groomed was brought to Ottawa from up north by Furever Family Dog Rescue. Having been left tied up outside after being abandoned by her owners, the dog’s “coat was in horrible shape and she was super matted. I groomed her and fixed her up and she is now waiting to be adopted. I also groomed a dog who is with a foster family who was extremely anxious. She came to see me once a week for 4 weeks for nail trims before she was relaxed enough for me to be able to fully groom her.”
With dogs being members of the family, having a groomer who cares for and loves animals as much as Maddie does is truly a must. Visit the Groomaholics website to read more about the services Maddie offers in addressing your dog’s grooming needs.
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