New business owner hoping to take the ruff with the smooth

11 September 2017

Some might say you have to be barking mad to start a new business, but one animal lover is hoping to take the woof with the smooth by opening a new dog grooming parlour in Norfolk.

33, year old Jo Neal from Felmingham has fulfilled a life-long dream and created a cosy pet palace aimed at pampering pooches.

After school, Jo worked in a care home for six years in Cromer before supporting her partners business.

But having had nine dogs in her life, her passion for animals took over and she went back to college with the aim of fulfilling a dream.

Her dream was to open a dog grooming business and after four years of study – on various courses at Easton and Otley College in Norfolk – ‘Compulsory Cuddles Dog Grooming Parlour’ has opened (in Felmingham).

She said, “I enjoyed my time in the care industry and I guess I’m still in it. I’m just caring for animals instead of people now.”

So was it daunting going back into education after an eleven year break?

“It was at first because I was the oldest one in the class but I ended up playing the mother role. I loved it. If I had more money, I’d go back. I even won animal student of the year after two years. But now it feels right to go for it.”

Is it scary setting up a business?

“It’s scary and exciting but I’ve always planned on setting up on my own and working for myself. You get to make the decisions. In terms of the business, I’ve just always loved dogs and I’ve had so much support from my partner and friends.”

So will your business be different?

“Yes it will. People will get a good quality service at affordable prices. I’ll be open seven days a week and am very flexible. I will work around my clients. But more than that, I’ll be offering a range of services and using a variety of products that most people don’t use. I have two brands of doggie aftershave for example. I’ll be offering health checks, de-matting services and in the future I want to have kennels and will offer boarding. But it will be a posh boarding experience. Like glamping for dogs. Owners can stay around if they would like and have a cup of tea. I’m very flexible and determined to get this right.”

And what is long term the plan?                                                                                                               

“Who knows? I’d love to make this business a success and if it is – well – it would be great to make this a franchise. I want to get this right. No expense has been spared in setting this up. I’m determined to make it work.”

Easton and Otley College spokesperson, John Nice, said, “As a college, we are so pleased for Jo. She was an awesome student and she deserves every success. She is a lovely person with a kind soul and passion for people and animals. I’m sure her new venture will be a success. We wish her all the luck in the world.”

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