When it comes to grooming and dog care in Fort Worth, Glamour Paws often comes up in conversation. Known and loved for its high-quality care, products, and dedicated employees, this grooming company has come a long way since owner Charlene Baxter arrived in 1997.
An animal lover from the start, Charlene originally dreamed of becoming a marine biologist or a veterinarian. After giving birth at a young age, she decided to find a way to work with animals that would also allow her to support her son. Charlene learned how to groom at PetSmart and fell in love with it. She started working at Glamour Paws in 1997, spent 17 years there as an employee, and eventually became the grooming manager.
In 2014 Charlene took the next step in her business journey and started C.R. Paws Mobile Grooming. Sill working at Glamour Paws, she spent six evenings a week at parks and apartment complexes offering on-the-spot grooming and handing out flyers to spread the word. The service was an instant hit, and it allowed her to save revenue for future business endeavors. In 2015, Charlene was able to buy Glamour Paws when the original owner retired. With only 2,100 square feet and eight employees at the original spot on Forest Park, “by the third year, we were busting at the seams,” says Baxter. Wanting to grow, when the lease was up in December of 2019, she moved the business to a larger location at Trinity Crossings on Hulen.
Charlene also saw the potential in owning her own space. “My idea was to make it a one-stop-shop. You can get food, get your pet groomed, leave your dog without worry, and bring them to play. I thought that owning our own space would be better than renting from someone. We would be able to offer these extra services,” she says. The Paw Pad opened in August 2020, and the 6,000 square foot space offers just about everything a dog and its owner could want. It has grooming services that include spa bath treatments, teeth cleaning, nail pawlish, and more. Professionally trained staff are on hand 24/7, there are upgraded rooms with webcams for owners and doggie TV (think birds, squirrels, and other dogs playing), and dogs can enjoy one of the largest outdoor play spaces in Fort Worth. Owners can arrange photoshoots for their fur babies, and The Paw Pad even has drop-in rates for full and half-day puppy daycare. If you want to come regularly, there are bulk packages you can purchase at a discounted price.
The Paw Pad is also a hub for family-friendly events. Every third Thursday of the month, there is a Yappy Hour. Families can bring their dogs and kids, it’s BYOB, there’s a raffle, and they’re hoping to expand with more vendors and food trucks in the future. They have a Barktober event with a pet costume contest, and twice a year there will be a weenie dog race! Charlene is also busy organizing new events for 2021, like a Doodle Dash and a neighborhood Pup Crawl. “We’ve been trying to bring the community together,” says Baxter.
What makes Glamour Paws and The Paw Pad different from other grooming and dog care companies? Charlene says it’s all about the customer service and the level of knowledge in her staff. “We treat customers like family,” she says. Plus, “everything we bring into the store, as far as food and treats, are all-natural products; you won’t find them in big box stores. I do a lot of research to make sure we’re getting the right products for our customers. We also do food training with the staff, and once a year we do training seminars for the groomers.”
Charlene’s business has grown at an impressive rate in five years. The first location only had three employees, and now in 2021, there are 37. C.R. Paws Mobile Grooming is still in operation, now with three vans and six groomers. “I have a good work ethic,” says Baxter. “And my son helped a lot. He pushed me to do better.” The business hasn’t been without its challenges though, the biggest being running one business while building another during COVID. “Sometimes you sit back and think, did I really do all this? And other times you sit back and think, why am I doing this? But I love it.”