Two women from Wirral quit their jobs to start their own businesses – offering dog grooming and spas from converted double-decker buses.
Friends Nicola Foster and Francesca Wills started their business The Dog Shack from a converted horse trailer – but “quickly overtook it”, and quickly found a new way to deliver their services.
Nicola, 38, who previously worked in sales and Francesca, 26, who was a groomer at a local salon, now want to expand into the Northwest – and said plans are already underway for the next bus .
Francesca told BusinessLive: “We loved the idea of having something a little different and we found that nervous dogs especially preferred the more private environment.
“Nic liked the idea that everyone could watch every aspect of the groom so that it was completely transparent. It is also original and different, in addition to being much more economical.
She said the buses came from a site in Northwich, and while the current bus at Neston is not mobile, the next one will be.
Speaking of the benefits of grooming dogs on a bus, Francesca said, “It doesn’t look like a salon for dogs, so they aren’t as stressed and nervous.
“We don’t crate any dogs to make the experience as stress free as possible and we have a one dog inside, one dog outside policy so there is no waiting. all day.
“The whole experience is focused on the happiness of the dog.
Francesca said the bus opened in August and since then the pair have seen high demand.
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“A lot of people stop and take pictures and love the idea of the bus and we’ve built a great customer base so far.”
There are now big plans for The Dog Shack, and Francesca said, “Nic is already planning the next bus, there will eventually be many venues in the Northwest.
“It’s a great little company and I wouldn’t change the idea, although I would make some layout tweaks now that I’m working on it.”