July 2020

‘Dogs Well-Loved’: A complete re-thinking of dog grooming

Author: Amy Bartlett | Photographer: M.KAT Photography

“Furbabies,” “FurEver Friends,” the classic children’s book Little Fur Family … there’s a reason “fur” is the cultural keyword that describes our pet pals. They’re covered in it, and if it’s not handled by the pros, then you and your Lowcountry home are likely covered in it too. While we humans have spent 2020 growing our manes out more than preferred (some of us went from short-sheared to Where the Wild Things Are), the experts at Dog People fired up the mobile fleet and kept our canine counterparts looking better than ever.

Jane Misra (Dog People founder/CEO) is a Hilton Head Island entrepreneur who left corporate America in 2008 to run a regionally successful cookie company, distributing through Whole Foods. From there, she applied her skills to benefit local leaders like herself, consulting for small business owners. But she wanted more skin in the game (or fur as it turns out). “We started Dog People in 2016 with two goals in mind: to revolutionize the grooming world with a state-of-the-art mobile grooming fleet and to bring the quality, convenience and overall better grooming experience for dog, owner, and groomer. We pride ourselves in being the premiere grooming company and want to up-level the experience so that everything we do results in ‘Dogs Well-Loved!’”

Why does up-leveling matter for clientele like Mochie, who, according to one of many satisfied-customer posts on the Dog People Facebook page, “did go straight outside and roll in the dirt”? Because it’s not just upgrading the salon experience for the pup and the outcome for the owner; the focus is also on the groomer and business operations with a distinctive commitment to training, retention, and the well-being of groomers in a highly unregulated industry.

New to the Hilton Head area, Misra and longtime grooming business partners were already mobile and had just become ready to open shop physically when the pandemic hit. Rather than stepping back, they rolled out and introduced a new lifestyle brand to this community via mobile service. “We went from a full schedule to booking weeks out in what was truly a case of being in the right place at the right time, a step ahead of an industry shift.”

Since then, Dog People did add brick-and-mortar, opening their headquarters in the old Woof Gang Bakery building at 807 William Hilton Parkway. “When we saw the size we were working with, we knew we could do (and be) everything we wanted for this area: bath, mini, full groom, daycare, boarding, groomer training—plus operate a fleet, offering a convenient, pleasant experience at a fair price,” Misra said.

Misra and crew have re-engineered the mobile experience via “the Mercedes of grooming vans” (the Mercedes Sprinter), utilizing a Hanvey Engineering conversion that is “such an industry separation from the standard Wag’n Tails,” Misra said. Add to this sourcing talent, tools and proprietary equipment, and you have a next-level shampoo and oxygen-infused bathing system that provides a better-quality bath and protects groomers long-term.

“Everything we do is rooted in Dog People’s standard of excellence that comes from the holistic, energetic exchange between groomer and dog and the relationship we want with the community. We’re not trying to be a Petco or PetSmart. We want to be community-involved, your neighbor down on Main Street. It’s not enough that your dogs come out well-groomed unless every aspect has contributed to them also being ‘Dogs Well-Loved.’ It’s why we’re here.”

Dog People is located at 807 William Hilton Parkway, Suite 100, on Hilton Head Island. For more information, follow on Facebook at dogpeople.dog or call (843) 341-3322.

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