Dog groomer driven to launch mobile service

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The owners of a new dog grooming service have discovered that they can drum up business by simply driving around the Ponte Vedra area.

That’s because the address for Pawgrass Mobile Dog Spa is wherever the large van happens to be, whether on the road or parked outside a customer’s home.

“We’ve been driving down the highway from one call to another and somebody calls and says, ‘Hey, I’m riding alongside you; I need to make an appointment,’” said John Teneyck, who maintains the mobile spa while his wife Jennifer performs all the grooming.

In fact, the business, which just got off the ground June 5, is already making its presence felt. Among its clientele are four recurring customers.

While the front-door service gives the spa its own niche in the market, the primary factor of the business’s early success may be Jennifer Teneyck’s experience, skill and ability to put her canine clients as ease.

Sometimes a customer will warn her about a particular dog’s triggers. But she will work slowly, giving the dog a chance to acclimate, and successfully complete the service.

“You’ve got to be able to read them,” she said. “You don’t know what their past was.”

“I call her the dog whisperer,” said John, laughing.

Another factor may be the van itself. There are no cages, and the service is one-on-one. Also, dogs can simply look out the window and see their home, which may help to put them at ease.

In fact, after they’re finished, “most of them turn around and just look at the van like, ‘That was fun,’” Jennifer said. “I love it!”

The van has its own electricity and water and is outfitted with a bed, bathtub and more. John works to keep the interior clean and sterile between appointments.

“Every time we pull up to somebody’s house, they need to have that impression,” he said. “I want people to open that door and say, ‘It’s immaculate.’”

Jennifer completed grooming school in New York in 2006 and, at the encouragement of her husband, opened her own grooming shop, which she ran successfully for several years.

Then, a visit to Florida inspired the Teneyck family to pull up roots and move here.

“We fell in love with the Ponte Vedra Beach area,” Jennifer said. “We love the people. We love the community.”

The idea for a mobile service grew out of the grooming expos Jennifer regularly attends. There, she discovered companies that convert large vans into mobile salons. Moving to the Sunshine State, the Teneycks realized that the weather here is more conducive to mobile services than in the North.

Pawgrass Mobile Dog Spa offers haircuts, hydro-massage baths, blueberry facials, ear plucking and cleaning, feather fur extensions, nail clipping and painting and more.

To learn more, go to pawgrassdogspa.com.

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