ASHLAND Ashland Realtor Chris Hutchinson has added a new business venture to his resume: dog grooming.
Although he’s not bathing dogs himself, he started Groomo, a mobile pet grooming company serving the Tri-State and operating through an app.
The idea: After downloading the app, potential clients can view the various packages available and decide if they want any add-ons. Basic choices are bath and brush, bath and trim or bath and groom and include hydro-massage, conditioner, brush out, blow out, ear cleaning and nails trimmed. There is a choice of bandana or bow tie. Add-ons include paw massage with moisturizer, facial (to eliminate eye and mouth stains), tooth brushing, gland expression and nails painted.
The price of each package and add-on is listed; the final price is determined after the groomer views a photo sent my the potential client; the groomer evaluates it and puts it in a category, which reveals the pricing.
The Groomo van will arrive at the client’s house at the appointed time, take the dog to the van, perform the services and return it to the house.
“The van is a $115,000 super decked-out, fully state-of-the-art medical grade facility with a generator and water supply, so we don’t need to use the customers’ water or electricity,” Hutchinson said.
The idea came to him when he realized two other mobile groomers are no longer in business, but when they were, they were booked up with a waiting list. Also, personal experience helped him realize how useful the service is.
“I have a 100-plus-pound golden doodle and another large dog and it’s tough getting them to a groomer,” he said. “There’s hair flying everywhere.”
He also noted it’s less stressful for the dog and it more convenient for some dog owners to just bring the dog to the door.
The entire business was “made from scratch,” with Hutchinson running with the idea, creating the idea to use an app and making up the name.
“It tells what the business is in a short, simple but fun way,” he said.
Currently, Groomo employs one lead groomer with years of experience and one who is in training. Hutchinson said he interviewed 40 groomers before settling on one.
Currently, Groomo covers clients from Ashland to Grayson to Greenup.
“We’re focusing on that triangle there,” he said, noting he plans to get another van and expand territory. He said he believes it will take five or six high-tech vehicles to move into Barboursville, Huntington and Ironton. He hopes to franchise the business at some point.
The app is available in The App Store and Google Play Store.