Many people love the idea of having our hair done, complete with a soothing shampoo and scalp massage. The salon experience is relaxing for many, but for some of our furry friends, the process of grooming can be a stressful one.
Andrea Rutherford realized, after years of working with pets, that she wanted a way to make the experience less stressful for her pets and their parents.
“Not all groomers have an extensive handling background,” Andrea says. “They may not understand how to work with pets. After 15 years of experience, we are at the point where we can usually guess what a dog is about to do.”
She and her sister, Emily Stevens, saw firsthand the challenges that some pets go through to get to a grooming shop, from carsickness to anxiety to mobility concerns.
They wanted to expand on their small business that offered in-home grooming while avoiding the mess that those appointments can naturally create. They designed their own mobile pet spa in a van, combining easy clean-up with ultra-convenient service.
Andrea has always enjoyed working with her sisters, so she founded On the Spot Mobile Pet Spa with her younger sister, Emily Stevens. Later, when their third sibling, Kristie Lammi, moved back to the West Chester area, she joined the team, becoming their business development manager and another co-owner.
“I had the background in corporate systems, and I knew I could streamline the processes because of my background,” says Kristie. “Our clients' lives are busy enough, and if we can take some stress off their plate and make their lives easier by taking great care of their furbabies, we've achieved our goal. This is exactly why we have raving fan clients and get a ton of referrals.”
The sisters are all Lakota graduates who grew up living and working together in West Chester.
“We’ve literally always worked together; our first job together was at Fazoli’s as teens,” Andrea says, laughing. “We make a whole together because there are certain aspects that each of us brings to the table.”
Inside the van, there is a comfortable table where dogs can have their fur trimmed and brushed. The back of the van contains a tub where dogs get the star treatment, getting sudsy and clean.
“We use the best quality products and work to provide high-end styling,” explains Emily. “Being a great groomer requires extreme attention to detail and focus all while there's a wiggly dog on your table, so it teaches you how to remain calm while overcoming obstacles.”
Pet owners love the convenience of only having to head out to the driveway or street to get their grooming appointment started. Between the time savings, the comfort, and the general benefits of a well-groomed pooch, the team aims for a holistic health experience for pets and owners.
“Professional groomers are the front line workers of pet healthcare, because they're the first to notice if there is something out of the ordinary in behavior or physical condition,” says Andrea. “We can spot a new bump, or tell if a paw is sensitive, and we notify pet parents if an ear is infected or if the dog has skin irritation. Often, early signs of serious health issues present through the conditions of the skin and coat. Regular grooming with the same groomer can prevent a lot of health issues down the road and keep pet parents in the know on their pup's health.”
After coronavirus-related restrictions began to loosen, the mobile pet spa was immediately booked up with regulars, but their methods are already well-suited to social distancing measures, making their transition easier.
“Our Mobile Pet Spa services have been low to no contact even before contact-less delivery and social distancing became requirements for business operations,” says Kristie. “Unlike a traditional shop environment, where you and your pet can come into contact with multiple people and pets, we have a team that operates with one or two people at a time inside the pet spa that handles everything for you.”
They can even arrange contactless payment to keep even more distance in high-risk cases. The sisters get a lot of satisfaction out of making this experience very customizable, safe, and positive.
“Getting that messy dog and transforming it into a soft, clean adorable fur baby, then returning it to Mom or Dad and hearing them squeal with delight is the most amazing feeling,” says Emily. “We know pet parents cherish their pets and want to give them the best of the best.”
Want to get your pooch looking and feeling his best? Contact On the Spot Mobile Pet Spa today; they serve all sizes of dogs and their area of appointments includes all of Liberty Township and West Chester.