In an office space where insurance agents once consulted with their customers, near the intersection of Dundee and Waukegan Roads, the clientele are now told to sit, stay and “shush!”
But Sharon Thalmann, owner of the Spa For Dogs, wouldn’t have it any other way. A Northbrook small business owner, Thalmann started her enterprise as a one woman operation that offered mobile dog grooming. Back then, she travelled to her customer’s homes to deliver doggie makeovers. Then she opened the spa at 819 Waukegan Road.
“It was a big jump... a big thing,” said Thalmann, who used to travel through all weather conditions in order to service her clients and their Cockapoos. Now, with a brick and mortar locale, she employs five dog groomers under one roof.
The move came three and a half years ago. And in addition to being able to offer your Schnauzer the star treatment, Thalmann’s staff is ready to baby sit Beagles, or as it’s known in the trade, deliver doggie day care.
However, her introduction to the business was as unusual as it was tragic. “I left my dog to a groomer,” Thalmann said. While there, her pet fell out of a tub and broke his neck. The loss was so great that Thalmann, dog lover that she is (she currently owns five dogs) decided to learn the dog grooming and care business herself, and went back to school to learn the trade.
But there’s more to it that simply giving a dog a bath, Thalmann said. Proper cleaning of a dog’s ears, pads, plus professional grooming, and brushing of a canine’s canine’s, which the Spa for Dogs offers, requires mastery of multiple skills.
In addition to all of the above, the spa includes a boutique, where dog owners can pick up collars, treats, coats, dog harnesses and food before they pick up their pups. Speaking of pickup, Thalmann’s business also offers pickup and delivery of dogs, which comes in handy for elderly or otherwise incapacitated pet owners who desire beautiful dogs, too.
Thalmann recommends Northbrook as a location for others to start their small businesses because, she says, the village has been accommodating, easy to deal with, and offers a strong customer base. For the Spa for Dogs, of course, that means Northbrook is a dog lover’s village.