FARMINGTON — Professional dog groomer Britani Warner believes animals deserve — and can enjoy — the "spaw" treatment just as much as their human counterparts.
A self-described dog lover "since birth," Warner, 24, has groomed and pampered dogs and cats professionally at Scissors n Sudzs Pet Salon for the last four years. She loves the work so much, she said, she bought the business from the former owners last year, and on Friday reopened in larger digs north of downtown on East Ute Street, in a spacious open lot next to Brewer Lee & Larkin Funeral Home.
The pet care business used to operate out of a smaller storefront on Largo Street near the Animas Valley Mall.
The move cut Warner's commute down to a short two blocks, which she travels together with her three dogs — a Chinese crested named Lolli, a corgi-border collie mix named Piglet and a sober-faced dachshund affectionately named Neville Longbottom.
Warner's new digs also come with plans to add overnight dog and cat boarding service and a line of pet care products. In the next year or so, Warner hopes to debut her own line of canine care products — doggie nail "pawlish," oil-based paw balms and other essential oil-infused paw- and coat-care products, she said.
Even the standard service of shampooing and blow drying people's pets has room to grow, she said. She said the dog and cat care business is "recession-immune."
"With the economy, the way it's going, we needed to add doggie boarding and diversify, since Farmington's moving somewhat away from oil and gas industry to a tourist-based industry," she said. "So, we needed a bigger space. This is a way for my artisitic, creative side to come out."
Warner also offers hair coloring, mud baths with minerals from the Dead Sea and feather extensions for dogs.
"They pout about it while they're getting bathed, but afterwards they're all happy about it," Warner said.
Warner said that it was clear early on that dogs would factor into whichever professional pursuit she would ultimately choose for herself, but somehow dog grooming wasn't exactly on her radar.
"I kind of fell into the career. I originally wanted to be a dog trainer," Warner said. "I didn't even know that it was what I wanted to do, but as soon as I started this, I knew almost immediately that it was my passion in life. It's exhausting, it's a physical all-day workout, it's artistic — I love what I do."
Her friend, Melissa Salyers, has owned and operated Canine Castle Doggy Day Care and Training Center in Farmington since 2008. Salyers recommended Warner try her hand at dog grooming more than four years ago.
Salyers agreed the pet care business stays busy in good times and bad.
"You see businesses failing all over the place, so it's nice to see one expanding," Salyers said. "I'm proud of her. What she does is impressive. She's good at it."
James Fenton is the business editor of The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4621.
What: Scissors n Sudzs Pet Salon
Where: 115 E. Ute St. in Farmington
Hours: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday
More information: Call 505-327-4370 or go to scissorsnsudzs.com