THE O’DELLs for the south
Like many entrepreneurs, Merrisa Madden’s journey in business began as a solution to a problem.
The Marion resident was trying to find an easier way to get one of her dogs, Bam Bam, groomed. Bam Bam was getting older and taking him to the groomer and volunteering to participate in the grooming was getting more and more difficult. Madden wondered if she could learn how to groom him.
The answer was yes, and not only did Madden learn to groom her own dog, but she discovered a talent and passion for dog grooming, which led her to start her own dog grooming salon, Hello Doggy. , located just south of Marion.
“I thought it would be nice if I could learn how to groom him on my own, so I took a class at Southeastern Illinois College about three years ago and it went really well,” Madden said.
She says that while she was able to groom Bam Bam as well as another of her dogs, Dolly, she was more careful when considering grooming dogs for other people.
“I didn’t jump on it,” she said. “I really wanted to know what I was doing because there is a lot to know and, after all, you work with animals and sharp instruments.”
Madden says a few other dog groomers in the area have worked with her.
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“One mentored me in her own shop and another allowed me to bring friends’ dogs and she helped me show ways to help dogs look better and criticized my work. . I probably did six to nine months of mentoring with the two, ”she said. “Then I felt confident that it was time to go out and open our store. “
Madden, who also operates her own insurance agency in Carbondale, says naming the new store was easy, she only had to turn to Dolly, her constant canine companion, a nearly 3-year-old Australian Shepherd.
“She’s everywhere with me,” Madden said.
Madden offers grooming services in its two-year shop, including baths, pet cuts, nail clippings, and other procedures. She adds that every grooming appointment includes another treatment – a photoshoot with the dog showcasing the animal’s new look.
“We like to show them all off and in front of different sets for a photoshoot,” Madden said. “We share the photos with their owners and they love it. It’s a way for me – along with the grooming – to be artistic.
She says the photoshoot is included automatically with every grooming appointment, adding that she currently grooms 20 to 30 dogs per week.
“We are currently making appointments in a few weeks,” she said. “I love working with animals, making them beautiful and making their owners happy.”
To learn more about Hello Doggy, call 618-922-5726 or visit the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/hellodoggymarion.