Dog grooming

Friends quit jobs to start double-decker bus dog grooming business The Dog Shack

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.

Inside the doghouse in Wirral

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.

Email newsletters

BusinessLive is your home for business news from the North West and you can stay in touch with all the latest news from Greater Manchester, the City of Liverpool area, Cheshire, Lancashire and Cumbria through our email alerts. -mail.

You can sign up to receive daily morning newsletters from every region we cover and weekly email newsletters covering key economic sectors from manufacturing to technology and business. And we’ll send out last minute alerts for any stories we think you can’t miss.

Visit our messaging preference center to sign up for all the latest BusinessLive news.


For all the latest stories, views, polls and more – and news as it goes – follow our BusinessLive North West LinkedIn page here.

“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.”