Thursday, February 9, 2012
Pet groomers Misty Gerber and Kim Baker bring more than 40 years combined experience to the Paw Spa, opened in November by Gerber in Ashley Plaza.
She is currently introducing customers to her new business by offering 10 percent off the price of all bathing and grooming services.
“There’s no other groomer on the mountain unless you go to the vet’s office,” said Gerber, a decade-long groomer and Mountain Creek Road resident who said she saw the need for her services on the mountain.
She met Baker, a North Chattanooga resident, while both were working at a pet salon in East Brainerd. Baker, whom some mountain residents may remember from her 14 years as owner of Walden grooming salon Paw Prints, said she immediately signed on as a part-time employee when Gerber announced her plans to open her own shop.
“It’s more convenient to own your own place as a groomer,” said Gerber, who has a managed a pet salon in the past but is taking on the responsibility of ownership for the first time. “I’ve put years into [learning the art of grooming], and I recognize the value of good employees and the work they put out.”
The Paw Spa serves dogs of all breeds and sizes as well as cats, rabbits, ferrets and guinea pigs — basically any animal that needs a good wash. She said previous clients range from sheep to a pot-bellied pig.
Aside from the use of medicated shampoos when necessary, Paw Spa tries to be as green as possible, said Baker. Shampoos and products are all natural and no insecticides are used, she said.
Gerber said the extra care and effort they put forth for every client are apparent in the end result, which is made possible in part through effective communication with the customer on the front end.
“We like to talk to our clients and make sure they get what they want,” she said. “We want to make people happy and we do what we can to make that happen.”
Gerber said some customers bring photos or videos of dogs with their desired look, and others have a list of specific requests that spans several pages. Either is acceptable and encouraged to ensure satisfaction, and the experience levels of both groomers allow room for customers to exercise their creativity in grooming style, she said.
“We want to achieve a balance of what a show dog should look like and what’s easy for the owner to maintain,” said Baker, adding that they also make their own bows to accessorize their canine clients.
Most dogs are typically ready in two to four hours.
“They don’t have to sit here in a cage all day,” said Baker.
Gerber said the pet salon also opens early at 7 a.m. Wednesday through Friday in order to better serve customers who work.