Pets made perfect
Wagging in Style offers grooming in Chesapeake area
CHESAPEAKE — Julia Hill says she has been grooming pets for all of her life.
“It’s been 20-plus years,” she said. “My mom and dad worked with show dogs.”
Last year, Hill opened Wagging in Style, a pet grooming business located at 417 3rd Ave. in Chesapeake.
Like many who launched a business last year, she encountered a major obstacle with the global pandemic of COVID-19.
“I started in March, but I had to wait until May,” she said of the shutdowns that occurred in the early months of the pandemic. “But, luckily, Chesapeake has been wonderful in their support.”
She said she has clients who come from all over for repeat business.
“Some are every four weeks, some are six to eight weeks and some come once a year,” she said.
Hill, a Chesapeake resident who previously worked as a groomer at Aloha Pet Resort in Proctorville, as well as 10 years in Atlanta, Georgia, said the major draw is that she is the only master groomer in the Tri-State area and works with all breeds in both show and pet grooming.
Master groomers are certified by the National Dog Groomers Association of America after passing tests to show their ability and maintaining the standards of the group.
“It’s like anything else you would get a master’s degree for,” Hill said. “And people like having a master groomer to bring their dogs and cats to.”
Hill offers both full grooming and mini grooming to those who bring in their dogs and cats.
“I use all natural shampoo and conditioner for the dogs and cats,” she said. “It has really helped a lot of my clients with skin issues they are having with their pets.”
She said she aims to be customer-specific with her work.
“It’s about getting them to where they want them to be and not just shaving them down,” she said.
Hill has also done more work-intensive requests that present a challenge.
She spoke of one customer, who brings in a Lakeland terrier for which she devotes a day to hand stripping.
“I use just my hands and one tool,” she said. “It’s a challenge, but it’s awesome to see the coat change from cotton to wiry.”
In addition to grooming hair, Hill said she also does things such as creative dye jobs, mohawks and toenails.
“I paint the nails and put little rhinestones on them,” she said.
She also offers services like limited daycare and tooth cleanings for pets.
Business has been great so far, Hill said, stating she has relied on word of mouth and Facebook for publicity.
She said another draw about the facility is that everything is done in the open.
“You can see all areas of production,” Hill said. “No one else offers that and the clients have really liked that aspect of the business — no hidden doors, groomers, or wondering where their pet went and what’s happening in ‘the back.’ Everything is open for them to see and it has eased the anxiety of clients dropping of their fur babies.”
— Wagging in Style is open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, as well as half days on Mondays. For more information, visit the business on Facebook at https://tinyurl.com/ak2aukfc
— Hill said that customers who mention The Tribune’s story will receive a $5 voucher on a tooth brushing for their pet, using enzymatic toothpaste gel.