Marcella Note with Gypsy in her mobile dog grooming truck. Photo by Ryan Lely.
Mobile pet grooming business on the road to success
Sonoma Valley Sun
October 16, 2008
Marcella’s Mobile Pet Grooming hit the pavement five years ago and the fur has been flying ever since. In the spotless white GMC box van that her airline mechanic husband tricked out for the thriving business, Marcella Note provides nearly every service available at brick-and-mortar salons. And it all happens in her clients’ driveways.
“The mobile pet grooming experience is shorter and therefore less stressful for pets, especially those that are more fearful and elderly, because they know they are home and their owner is close by,” said Note. “There is also the convenience of not having to drop off and pick up your pet.”
Note enjoyed her work as a financial consultant specializing in financial planning, but she had always wanted to own her own business. When she learned that the sister of one of her husband’s friends had a mobile pet grooming business in Southern California, Note decided to switch careers and follow her dream and soon became certified as a pet groomer.
The mother of two attended Madeline’s Institute of Pet Grooming in Santa Clara, where she learned pet care, grooming skills and animal first-aid and how to operate a small business. After Note’s supportive husband, Ladislav, altered the vehicle by adding two 50-gallon water tanks and everything else needed to groom both dogs and cats, Marcella’s new business venture was ready to roll.
Marcella’s Mobile Pet Grooming charges prices competitive with other local groomers. Fees vary, based on the type of dog and where the client lives. The cost of grooming a small dog in Sonoma is $60. That includes a trim, bath, ear cleaning, nail clipping and anal gland cleaning. There is an added fee of $20 to $30 if Note has to travel out of the Valley to provide services.
“I have about 20 clients who schedule regular trims or baths every six weeks, others I see three or four times a year, and I can usually accommodate the rest of my clients within a week to 10 days,” said Note. “The average groom takes one-and-a half to two hours and I’m busiest during the holidays and after there’s been rain.”
Note was raised in Bucks County, Penn., and her family moved to Sonoma in 1997. Daughter Emilie, 13, and son Josef, 8, both attend Woodland Star Charter School. Emilie has taken a keen interest in her mother’s work and sometimes helps out when Note needs an extra hand.
“Even though the work can be physically demanding, I like working with the animals, the flexibility of my schedule, and being my own boss,” said Note. “I love animals and hate to see them dirty and uncared for. When I visit friends or family and see a dirty dog with long nails, I have to fix it.”
Reach Marcella’s Mobile Pet Grooming at 707.292.1026.