Purr-fectly Superior, a mobile grooming business that caters to pets in the Twin Ports, opened June 1 in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Owner Amy Laessig provides one-on-one grooming services at the client’s home.
“I want to focus on the dog and give the dog a good experience so they can really enjoy it,” Laessig said.
A home environment can be more calming, particularly old or nervous dogs. The groomer has even cared for canines who suffer from seizures.
“I see the difference in the dog, in the stress level, and how much different dogs respond to my way of doing it,” she said.
Laessig said salons do a fine job, but there are many dogs who would benefit from at-home grooming services.
“And I have clients, too, where they themselves are sick or ill or old or can’t get out. And it just benefits them to just stay home and I can come right to them,” she said.
Setup might be the longest part of the job. Laessig carries an entire shop in a few bags. There’s a folding table, an industrial-strength dryer, bottles of shampoo, conditioner and other products, a shaver with multiple blades, nail clippers and so many scissors.
“I have a slight addiction to scissors,” Laessig said, but “There’s a use for every one.”
Dogs can be bathed in a sink, bathtub or, in the summer, outside. On Thursday, April 8, Laessig turned Bean Prettie’s kitchen into a salon to give Emily, a 4-year-old Yorkie, a summer style.
The dog may be one of Laessig’s best-known clients. Dressed to the nines, Emily travels with her owner, Bean Prettie, to local auctions where a chair is set out just for her.
“She’s quite famous,” said Prettie, who posts weekly photos of Emily in costume on Facebook.
The bathing went well, but the large dryer spooked the dog. Prettie held her for a while, then Laessig set Emily down and let the Yorkie run about to calm down before continuing.
Prettie has brought the Yorkie to salons, but said she appreciated the convenience Purr-fectly Superior offers.
“I always feel bad when I leave her somewhere anyway,” she said.
Since making the decision to launch her own business, Laessig has been brushing up her grooming skills, taking classes and earning certifications in everything from cats and poodles to COVID-19 grooming protocols, elderly dogs and American Kennel Club-safe grooming. This month, she’s taking a class to become certified in canine massage. Laessig also has some veterinarian technician training, although the Duluth Business University course closed before she could complete it, she said.
Launching Purr-fectly Superior made sense to the Laessig, who also raises sugar gliders and breeds French bulldogs.
“It really fits me because I love animals,” Laessig said. “I enjoy doing this. I make friends with all my clients.”
The mobile salon offers grooming services for dogs, cats and rabbits, from shampoos, cuts and colors to nail trims and soft nail caps for cats.