Grooming grows despite economy

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ROSWELL – People really do care about their pets, said Maureen Holderied, owner of Aussie Pet Mobile.

And that’s good for Holderied, 53, who started her pet grooming franchise business four years ago. She said her company is growing despite the economic downturn.

“I just expanded the territory at the end of last year,” said Holderied, a former executive in a chemical industry.

From 2008-2009 she grew by 39 percent and by 22 percent last year. She said business has really picked up in October.

“We were running 40 percent over the same time the prior year,” Holderied said. “We are picking up about 60 new customers a month.”

Her business covers Roswell, Alpharetta, Cumming, Milton, Johns Creek and Duluth. Recently, she added areas of Sandy Springs, Woodstock and Buckhead.

Holderied is also leading a green initiative that is picking up steam company-wide.

A few years ago, she tested out some 25 watt solar panels on work vans.

“We had to generate enough electricity to groom,” she said, “so we had to run the vans on high idle, which is quite loud and uses a lot of diesel.”

Since adding solar panels to the vans, she was able to cut fuel consumption by a third and now vans run on low idle, which are quieter for pets and the groomer.

And because the vans are self contained, she can groom from anywhere.

Her services range cost $20 dollars for a nail clipping and from $65 to $125 for groomings and pet needs.

She said she offers all the trimmings of a groom shop.

“What makes us different is we disinfect our van after each appointment,” she said. “We wash the animal at least twice. If they are really dirty, we wash two or three times.”

Holderied is one of four full-time employees in the company and she said she uses part-timers occasionally.

“It’s a happy business,” she said.