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Small Business
February 20, 2015

Every day is ‘Love your pet day’ at Grooming by Em

Emily Mansilla opened Grooming by Em to help keep dogs and cats healthy. But she also specializes in glitz, glam, and anything else to pamper them.

Emily Mansilla loves animals so much she made it her business.

On national Love Your Pet Day (Feb. 20), she’ll not only pamper her pets but those of clients at her Grooming by Em salon in Brentwood, Maryland.

“My love for animals and passion for grooming inspired me to open Grooming by Em,” says Emily, who overcame lupus to launch her business in 2009 and, in 2014, became one of 25 small business national finalists in the 2014 Wells Fargo Works Project contest launched to promote the Wells Fargo Works for Small BusinessSM initiative and its resources, guidance, and services for small businesses.

Emily used her $1,000 winnings from the contest to do some redecorating of her pet salon – adding a new wall to break up the space and provide a cozier atmosphere for her clientele.

“Before then, it was just one entire warehouse look with no interior walls, and big and really, really noisy,” she says. “The new wall has helped out significantly. Even our clients have praised us and said, ‘It sounds much quieter in here, and I love it.’ Thank you, Wells Fargo!”

Trends in doggie fashion include “ear bling” and stylish coats. © Photo by Martin Mansilla
Bowties, manicures, and feather extensions make for “haute” dogs! © Photo by Martin Mansilla
A little spot coloring adds zing to any doggie hairdo. © Photo by Martin Mansilla
All Grooming By Em customers are sent home with a bandana. © Photo by Martin Mansilla
Fashion tip: When choosing a hair bow, go for one that provides a nice contrast with the fur. © Photo by Martin Mansilla
The subtle tail dye job matches the neck bow. © Photo by Martin Mansilla
A well-placed accessory can bring out a smile. © Photo by Martin Mansilla
Regular grooming can help prevent health issues, such as skin or eye infections. © Photo by Martin Mansilla
Trends in doggie fashion include “ear bling” and stylish coats. ©Photo by Martin Mansilla
Bowties, manicures, and feather extensions make for “haute” dogs! ©Photo by Martin Mansilla
A little spot coloring adds zing to any doggie hairdo. ©Photo by Martin Mansilla
All Grooming By Em customers are sent home with a bandana. ©Photo by Martin Mansilla
Fashion tip: When choosing a hair bow, go for one that provides a nice contrast with the fur. ©Photo by Martin Mansilla
The subtle tail dye job matches the neck bow. ©Photo by Martin Mansilla
A well-placed accessory can bring out a smile. ©Photo by Martin Mansilla
Regular grooming can help prevent health issues, such as skin or eye infections. ©Photo by Martin Mansilla

A certified veterinary technician, Emily opened Grooming by Em not only to help pet owners keep their furry friends coiffed but to keep them healthy, as well. The business has since grown from two to more than 10 employees. One of Emily’s groomers is her husband, Javier. The couple married in December 2014.

The success of Emily’s business mirrors continued growth in the industry, says Wendy Booth, a National Certified Master Groomer who runs the Master Groomer’s Certification program for the National Dog Groomers Association of America, Inc., in Clark, Pennsylvania. From pet resorts to day cares, mobile grooming units, new organic pet foods and more, Wendy says “pet love” is big business.

“Growth in our industry is absolutely happening, particularly in the number of groomers now grooming cats as well,” Wendy says. While states don’t require licenses from pet groomers, she explains, many have licensing bodies for the facilities where the grooming takes place. In her home state of Colorado alone, Wendy says pet grooming businesses account for more than half of all animal facilities licensed by the Colorado Department of Agriculture.

“Every year, even through the recent recession, there are more and more grooming licenses,” she says. “People just love their pets, period. It’s a pretty resilient business.”

But it’s also not one without some opportunities. Underscoring the importance of the services that Wells Fargo Registered Personal Banker Ivy Gales has brought Emily’s business is the latest “State of the Industry Report” from petgroomer.com — whose outlets include 10 websites, an online community, and a digital magazine.

According to the report, only 26 percent of pet groomers have a business plan and make financial projections to guide the future of their businesses.

Whether it’s business accounts, the electronic terminals that allow Emily to accept debit and credit card payments, or business guidance and strategic direction, Ivy is there for Grooming by Em.

“It’s exciting,” says Ivy, whose own dog Chica gets a trim and some doggie bling at Emily’s business. “This is the reason that I do what I do. Helping Emily succeed, whether it’s on the banking side or setting up payroll or offering resources to make business planning simpler, is what Wells Fargo is all about.”

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