HOLYOKE – After months of hard work and years of experience, Holyoke resident Elaina Deschaine opened her dog grooming business in November.
Deschaine told Reminder Publishing that she started her career in dog grooming after graduating from high school. âI graduated from high school and wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I knew I wanted to work with animals, [but was] too categorical to be a veterinarian or a veterinary technician, âshe said.
Deschaine said she was washing her dog one day when she got the idea of ââgoing to grooming school. âI went to school and got my certification and here I am,â she said. Deschaine said she’s worked for a few different grooming companies while honing her skills and learning the ropes.
âI really learned a lot working at Green Groomers with good manners. I just learned what to do and what not to do while working in these places. I’m grateful for that, âDeschaine said. She said that although she had had great experiences in her grooming jobs and had learned a lot, she wanted to handle things a little differently.
âEverywhere I’ve worked, I just wanted to do things a little differently, a little better, really just so I could do things my way,â she said.
When the coronavirus hit the area, she said she took a step back from work. Soon a building became vacant right next to his house. Deschaine explained that the tenant of the building had unfortunately passed away, leaving the building vacant and available for rent.
While this is the perfect opportunity, she said owning her own grooming business was never something she had planned. âThis opportunity came to me at the right time. It’s hard to put into words. I didn’t really intend to open my own business, âshe said.
It was the trust she gained from her former employees that gave her the courage to launch her own dog grooming salon, the PaperCity Paw Spa. âI thought I could totally do this. My former employers told me how amazing I was and how good I was at grooming, âshe said. “It gave me the confidence to do it.”
Initially, she said, the store was scheduled to open in August. However, between the ongoing pandemic and renovations to the space, Deschaine opened the doors to her grooming shop on November 2. Along with her husband, uncle and herself doing the renovations necessary to open, she said the process took longer in part due to delayed communication with the city. âIt was really tough, just getting in touch with people across town. It was really hard to get the permits you needed, âshe said. âEverything seemed to take a lot longer.
Deschaine said business has been booming so far. âItâs amazing, Iâm very busy,â she said. And although it was an adjustment, she said “it’s a blessing.”
âI have a daughter, it’s juggling phone calls and messages. I’m lucky to be busy, but I’ll probably look to hire another groomer, âshe said. “It’s good, but difficult.”
She said that part of the grooming process that sets her apart is that she doesn’t let dogs dry in kennels. âEverywhere I’ve worked, they call people when they’re done and they sit in the crates,â she said. âI call people in advance. They appear when the dog is finished or only wait a few minutes. I don’t do cage drying.
The grooming process, she explained, includes “a bath, a blueberry facial, ears, clipped toenails or a haircut,” along with a few other options. She said that although many grooming facilities charge for each service, she gives “a flat rate” for the grooming.
Deschaine said there are no breed restrictions at the PaperCity Paw Spa. âWe have tubs and tables to accommodate huge dogs and tiny dogs,â she said.
When asked what her favorite breed to groom is, she said she enjoys working with mixed breed dogs. âI really enjoy working with the mysterious mixed dogs who seem to be one of a kind. I have so many canine clients that are unlike any other dog I have ever seen, âshe said.
Deschaine is the only establishment specializing in grooming in Holyoke. She said that although veterinary offices do offer some grooming services, there are no other dedicated grooming facilities in town.
PaperCity Paw Spa is located at 1 Martin Street in Holyoke. More information can be found on the PaperCity Paw Spa Facebook page, and appointments can be made by calling 559-7916 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.