It’s normal for parents to push their children to succeed. Stacy Towne got a nudge from her son Aaron.
“I’ve always talked about starting my own salon,” said Towne, who has been grooming dogs since 2003. “He jumped in and said, ‘Why don’t I help you out, and we can be business partners?’ ”
Towne took him up on the offer, opening Towne N Country Grooming in the Sweetbriar Shopping Center at 21st and Amidon last month. The shop offers standard, custom and breed-specific grooming; hydro massage bathing; de-shedding treatments; and other services.
All canine clients get their ears cleaned and nails trimmed and filed. Towne has hypoallergenic shampoo available for dogs with sensitive skin.
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Towne specializes in large breeds such as Labradoodles, Goldendoodles and standard poodles, but she says she has groomed everything from a 2.5-pound Yorkie to a 120-pound Pyrenees.
“One person might have a Bijou and want it to look like Bijou,” Towne said, while another might want “poodle feet on their Schnauzer.”
“You’ve got to listen to what the client wants and analyze the dog and see if it will work for the dog’s hair.”
Towne said she grew up knowing she would like to work with animals someday. She was working as a hairdresser in Salina when she heard about an opening for a groomer in a veterinarian’s office there.
“I basically just almost dropped everything to go in to learn how to groom,” she said. “It was just a big dream for me, that I could go in and work with dogs.”
Towne caught on quickly, being already handy with clipper and shears, and continued to cut both pets’ and people’s hair until 2010, when she became a full-time pet groomer.
“I just picked up more business doing grooming, and it was just more satisfying with me to work with animals,” said Towne, who has two dogs of her own. “I had to leave one, and I knew I couldn’t stop doing animals.”
Towne offers discounts to local animal rescue groups and has groomed two dogs up for adoption that will appear on a runway at this weekend’s Women’s Fair. A few years ago, a small stray rescue dog was brought to her with so much matted hair that it could barely stand up. With her help, the dog was soon adopted.
Before her son’s offer, she had worked in several grooming salons and a veterinarian’s office here, often with Aaron in tow.
“He’d kind of help clean up hair and things,” she said.
Now he’s an absentee partner. Twenty-four years old and a member of the U.S. Navy, he’s currently stationed in Virginia with orders to ship out to Japan soon.
“He reaches out every day and asks how business is going,” she said. “He wants to see me succeed.”
Towne N Country Grooming
Address: 2050 W. 21st St.
Owners: Stacy Towne and Aaron Wendell