Well, after what seems like an age, my little dream is becoming a reality.
For years now I’ve been grooming cats in a mobile setting. It’s not as easy as you might think! Yes, I’ve groomed cats in luxurious surroundings, but also on my knee, in cupboard sized rooms, bathrooms and other sadder surroundings such as rescue situations and more. I feel that this has given me incredibly important experience that I could never have received in a salon setting, and I’m grateful for both that, and the wonderful clients I am so lucky to have.
Finally, planning permission has been passed for my cat only grooming salon (located West Stockwith, Doncaster). All that’s required now is for final works to be done on the cabin and it will be open on an appointment only basis.
I will be maintaining my mobile work, but am no longer taking on clients in areas I haven’t previously covered. This does not mean new clients can’t get an appointment, just that if it is in an area not already on my books, I’ll be more likely to refer you to another ethical, holistically minded groomer nearer you. The salon will be open Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun, working between 10am-8pm, but will accommodate early intakes to help out people who have to go to work.
My mobile days will be Tuesday and Wednesday, still working between 10am-8pm and will still be rotating between areas, aiming to group clients in the same area together to save money on the visit expenses.
Our property is located in West Stockwith, near Misterton in Doncaster. It has been a serious undertaking for a couple with three teenage daughters who had never done any renovation before! We bought the house after it had been owned by a guy who loved to do his own DIY. An example of the work that needed to be done would be when we moved in. The first plug socket I touched gave me a huge electric shock! We knew it needed work, but didn’t quite expect as much as was required. We have spent the last three years slinging literally everything we had into the renovation, and are finally just getting to the point where the inside of the house is looking nice – it’s almost ready for outside work!
As you can see, it doesn’t look too glamourous as yet! It will be painted outside and the windows will be altered too. The inside is already laid out, there is a reception room which will not only welcome clients and their cats, but will host a selection of products I advise my clients to use, as well as some lovely accessories handmade by a few select small businesses.
There are two working rooms. Both will ultimately be used for grooming, but initially there will be my main grooming room, and another quiet room for cats either waiting to be groomed or for their owners to come collect them. The emphasis will be on a quiet and restful room, in a lovely rural setting without the disturbance and the strange scents and noises which most cats receive in a typical dog grooming setup. The cats waiting to be groomed or go home in my parlour will be provided either cat TV/music while they wait, or if a more nervous type, dark and quiet with no other disturbances.
The working rooms will be laid out similarly to an examination room in a veterinary surgery. Hygienic cladding on the walls and ceiling, and waterproof medical grade flooring. My cleaning regime is quite simple but very effective and tools are cleaned after every groom to industry standard. Cat grooming may not be regulated (yet!), but I intend to set the bar very high – just because there are no regulatory stipulations, that does not mean cats should receive lesser care and attention.
My van is about to be customised purely for cat carriage, with four crates. I could have fit more in, but I refuse to squash them in like sardines. Two will accommodate cats in their crates, and two will serve as cat crates themselves – these two have a double door system so there’s no chance of escape. The van will have air venting for fresh air, and the temperature will be monitored. Soothing music will play in the back to distract the cats from the noise of the road.
Well, I think I’ve babbled on enough for now. Thank you for reading, until next time.