Door-to-door service: Pet grooming business comes to you
Elaine Janes started Mutt Lover's Travelin' Spa & In-Home Care in late 2008 just as the area economy was beginning to sink.
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JANESVILLE Elaine Janes said she was a “late bloomer” in the dog grooming industry, but starting her own small business was a long time coming.
“I thought, ‘You know, I’m not getting any younger,’” she said.
People thought she was nuts to start Mutt Lover’s Travelin’ Spa & In-Home Care in late 2008, when the economy was taking a dive and the local General Motors plant was on the verge of closing.
“I started this business in a bad time in Janesville,” she said. “… but people love their pets, and they’re going to take care of them.”
Her successful “salon on wheels” has grown in two years to include a second truck operated by her daughter, Brittany, 21. They’ve focused on dog grooming but soon will start accepting cats.
As far as Janes knows, Mutt Lover’s is the only mobile pet grooming service in the area. They travel between Janesville, Beloit, Edgerton and Milton.
“They love the convenience,” Janes said of her customers. “They love the fact that their dog is the only dog I’m working on at a time.”
Janes, a Milton native, has been grooming for about seven years and owned a kennel and grooming salon in Texas before moving back to the area.
Her self-contained trucks have everything a normal salon would have, as well as the conveniences of a recreational vehicle, she said.
Janes enjoys seeing the animals feel “so much better” after an appointment. She often takes before and after pictures, which show the pets looking happy and excited at the end.
“That’s what it’s all about,” she said.
Janes has always had a love for animals and decided she didn’t want to work for someone else. Her advice to others thinking about becoming an entrepreneur is to go for it.
“If you have a love for something—life’s too short—do it now,” she said. “If you find something you love and there’s a niche for it, do it.”