Making $ from Your Grooming Intellect with a "Beauty Shoppe"


Most grooming salons are frequented by their clientele an average of 6 times per year while visiting their veterinarians an average of only 2 times. The opportunity for so much face time with clients gives grooming salons an advantage when promoting products to solve a multitude of pet challenges. The grooming department or “Beauty Shoppe” as I like to call it is a prime example of using ones’ intellectual property to create more retail sales.

Many grooming salons are the “go-to” for their clients for everything related to the health and well being of their precious pets. Clients frequently look to their groomers for advice on skin & coat conditions, teeth issues, nail problems, diet, and just about anything else related to their pet. Groomers are passionate about their clients and want to help whenever possible. Instead of giving away that free information and sending your clients elsewhere to purchase your favorite products… sell them!
Many products recommended by groomers are already being ordered and carried in their salons. Many shampoos and products that grooming departments use in bulk are also available in retail size which would be perfect to sell to your clients. I know, I know… you’re a busy groomer and don’t want to have to “sell” your retail. If you carry products you absolutely LOVE and use everyday… then you don’t have to “sell” at all! Below are pro tips on how to go about creating a successful “Beauty Shoppe” for your grooming salon.

Location, Location, Location! Placing your grooming supplies close to the intake/outtake door makes it easier to discuss and recommend products as she/he is usually in this location for the hand off of furry clients all day long. This will save time and make it easier to discuss the benefits and application of the recommended products.

Merchandise a full display with signage! We’re all lazy shoppers and need a big fat sign to show us the way! Invest in signage for all your retail departments. This gives your shoppers direction for the things they need quickly. The faster they get to the items they need, the better their shopping experience will be. Make sure your display is ALWAYS full. If you run out of items, downsize your shelving to make them appear full. Corporate retail stores are constantly merchandising the sales floor to ensure that shelves look full and enticing.

Carry what you already use! Clients love to repeat the “just freshly groomed” smell at home. Ensure the facial, shampoo, conditioner, and cologne used in the salon is also available in retail size so clients can replicate that smell at home! In my previous store I would have clients wipe out an entire shelf of “Blue Berry Facial” so they could always have that fresh blueberry smell at home!
Stock the essentials! Think of all the services that clients like to perform at home & that you recommend to them. Nail trimming, teeth brushing, and in between baths. Stock different size brushes, combs, nail trimmers, toothpaste, tooth brushes, and dematting supplies to appease the size variety of furry clients that come in for services.

Demonstrate to build lasting relationships! If needed, supply a demonstration on how to use certain tools that may seem overwhelming or dangerous in the hands of a mere novice (the client.) If your salon carries slicker brushes & dematting tools, give clients a physical demonstration so they don’t hurt themselves or their pet.

The time and capital it takes to set up a well merchandised retail grooming department is not achieved overnight. You can start small with the basics and fill in from there as time and capital allows. Through the knowledge and recommendations of a good groomer, a grooming salon can build lifetime relationships with their clients while building brand loyalty which keeps your clients shopping with your salon for years to come!

Although I have sold my own grooming salon and retail store to none other than @gabrielfeitosagroomer, the years of trials and tribulations to build a brand are still with me and helping me to achieve other goals in my commercial dog bakery and line of grooming apparel. I love sharing these few nuggets of wisdom to other budding entrepreneurs like you!

Feel free to reach out should you have any questions on these or other grooming salon and pet retail related questions. Leel Michelle, Founder & CEO, Dog Cake Bakery LLC ◄

Retro Stylist Wear

Leel Michelle
Founder & CEO
Dog Cake Bakery LLC
Retro Stylist Wear

Holiday Promotional Tips

During the Holidays clients want something special for gift giving.The Holidays are always hectic for us all so anytime a store or grooming salon can give the gift of time or joy to a client… they will never forget it. Offering gifts of value or joy creates loyal clients for life! Below are some ideas that have been tried by many stores in the pet industry. Find one that works for you and put your unique spin on it because you are why your clients keep coming back to you!

Valet Parking: For a busy grooming salon, the drop off and pick up of pets can be a tedious and time consuming task. Perhaps your “gift” to the client this year can be offering a text or phone system alert when they are driving up and dropping off their pet for grooming. You can run this special for December only or charge a premium for this service that will save your client a lot of time all year round!

Holiday Photo Opportunities: Who doesn’t love to see a photo of their dog with Santa? Have a client appreciation day in December by having a staff member dress up like Santa! You can offer a coupon in advance to encourage shopping the night of the event and add some drinks and hors d'oeuvres. Offering a unique, and fun activity showing your clients your appreciation while saving them $ is a win win for them and you!

Gift Bundling: One way to make your retail offerings sparkle a bit brighter is to bundle “like” items together and pack them in cute bags or bows that clients don't have to execute themselves. You could bundle Holiday themed toys, treats, and everyday necessities in a stocking or let your clients pick a stocking complementary and stuff it themselves with tiered pricing! This way your clients are happy & you increase your average $ per transaction!


Wrapped Gifts: How about offering a gift that your clients already love, it comes in it's own gift box, and you & your clients don't have to wrap it either! Like our new gift box full of dog treats shown above, all it takes is a simple satin ribbon to dress it up for gift giving and your clients have a pre-wrapped gift that saves them time! You can also set up a gift wrap station or offer this as an additional service for your clients! While their pup is in the grooming salon getting all dolled up for the Holidays, your client can shop after dropping off their dog and leave their shopping bag with you. You’ll have 2-4 hours (depending on your salon) to wrap those gifts by the time they come back to pick up their dog! By offering this gift wrap service you’ll increase your sales and add value to the life of your client by saving them time!

If this year goes according to predictions within the pet industry… it’s going to be one busy Holiday Season! Prepare in advance for more opportunities to bring value to your clients while scaling your business and it should bring you closer to your company goals. I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving and am thankful for everyday we all get to spend in such a fun and thriving industry!

Until next time,
Leel Michelle

Why Does Product Packaging Matter for Retailing


When I started my journey in the pet industry more than 15 years ago, little did I know how important my previous education was in fashion design and how helpful my design experience would be for the rest of my life. Back then I studied shoe & accessory design and even completed an internship with Ralph Lauren in NYC. What does this have to do with pet products you say? The fundamentals of design are very similar whether you’re designing, shoes, a store interior, or a dog cake box.

Many business owners want a beautiful store that is well merchandised with just the right assortment of branded products that convey a certain “lifestyle” for their store. Whether you are just stocking your store with products, private labeling, or manufacturing your own products, package design can play a huge role in your product sales and thus; your future success.

When we think of our favorite pet stores, pet products, or practically anything in the World, there is an element of design that has caught our eye.

How many times have you picked out a bottle of wine, a new snack, or even purchased a piece of fast fashion while scrolling through social media? What caught your eye? It was the design that went into the packaging of that item that made you stop and add it to your cart. If you think about it, nearly everything and everyone is designed as a package to be marketed. Your car, your shoes, your handbag, the clothing you choose to wear, are all products but they’re also statements of your own design preferences and your billboard to the world about your own personal brand. Therefore; YOU are a marketable brand as well.

Your branding can be single, down to earth, country girl or city hipster, granola Mom. Whether it’s for you to wear or sell in your store, what actually goes into the design making decisions when packaging a product for sale? There are many articles available on the Internet about this subject both academic and simplistic. However, sometimes we want our knowledge from someone we know who's been through the struggle.

My aim is to break down package design because I have retailed or sold products off and on for nearly 30 years. Most importantly, I have been through an excruciating package journey with shippable and perishable products for my dog bakery.

Below are some tips to help you understand the journey and importance of product packaging for your store or your future product offering.

Which problem are you solving? When I started my package design journey, I started with the problem of shipping perishable products across the USA. I had to package my items differently than I did in my previous store because I didn’t have to worry about how items would ship safely across the country.

Embarrassingly, I have shipped products that arrived completely molded upon arriving at their destination because I used too much plastic. I used ingredients such as carob that melted and re-mulsified my treat and arrived in a chocolatey, hot, mess. For sometime I used plastic windows which looked pretty but would not make for a profitable business as I was paying $11 for 1 bone cake box!

Every problem that would arise needed to be solved with packaging. I hired designers to put my own design into graphic terms that were printable but then couldn’t get designers to execute precisely my idea. I wanted drips to look like the drips flowing down my 4 inch dog cake and instead got icicles melting from a rooftop.

Before you think about the actual design itself, you must think about the problem you are trying to solve. The weight, height, depth, and shape are all important items to consider not only for the product you are housing, but the cost of shipping, and the experience of your packaging to the end user.

Who is your target audience? Most business owners know who their end user will be. Once the end user is deciphered… you can purchase products to reflect their taste & lifestyle. I know my end product user wants a beautiful product their dog will love. I also know the store purchasing my item wants to attract that client so I need to appeal to both a wholesaler and a retail client. Well designed packaging will look amazing in a beautiful store and attract their intended target; a retail client. Placing beautiful packaging in a store elevates the store therefore increasing the branding for a client that is interested in only the best for their pup!

What is a MUST for your package? Have you ever received one of those lengthy newsletters that were so wordy you deleted it within 30 seconds? According to industry standards the average person spends somewhere between 51-110 seconds on a newsletter which is why it’s so important to get your point across as efficiently as possible by limiting your actual verbiage. The same tactic applies to packaging.

Packaging requirements are often set by the legal jargon required and getting expressed as stylish & efficient as possible. Keep other tools in mind such as branding usage, font size, contact information, and social media connections to maximize your connection with the retail client. Most importantly, make sure the end user (retail client) knows exactly what’s INSIDE your box immediately! If this point is missed, you will be hard pressed to upscale your company with product packaging that is lacking.

Make your package elicit an emotion. Tiffany & Co. has done this VERY well. Nearly everyone knows what comes in a little teal blue box. Number 1837 Blue which was made exclusively for Tiffany & Co. elicits excitement because that little blue box is an icon of luxury, sophistication, and exclusivity all over the World.

By designing memorable packaging, you will not only be well on your way to growing your brand, you will also be able to create experiences that elicit emotion from the end user; the retail client. Study your clients and find out what colors are preferable. Many business owners design stores or packaging based on their own preferences in lieu of their client preferences.

An experienced business owner eventually learns to leave their ego at the door and design for their target client, not themselves. I highly recommend you research the end user and find out what design style and color profile would work best for them. We are in business to do what we love but at the end of the day, we still have to make a profit too! When designing a product or packaging, keep your end user in mind to scale your business. You won’t regret it!

Until next time,
Leel Michelle
Dog Cake Bakery LLC
Retro Stylist Wear LLC

Product Photography for Your Pet Business

Leel-blog-post 350

At the request of a few of my fellow business owners...I’m sharing a few tips to improve your product photography! Photos are so important for the branding, feel, and identity of your business. You can use well curated photos for your website, postcards, newsletters, ad campaigns, social media, menu, and so much more.

One golden rule to keep in mind… the better your photos... the better your sales. If people cannot touch, smell, or feel... make sure they can see all the angles of your products very well! I’ve listed below a few quick & dirty tips for busy entrepreneurs. I’m not a professional photographer but took a few semesters of photography in college and currently only use my iPhone camera. Although I see a mini photo studio in my future… I’ve always used a corner of my store or business that works well when needed to take some quick snapshots for business.

I’m a huge fan of hiring professional photographers for your business and have done so in the past. Having your business and or large collections of products or lifestyle photos photographed is highly recommended. You can use those shots for all the aforementioned platforms above. For everyday social media posting and quick “behind” the scenes pics... the tips below will help improve your everyday photo game for your business.

  1. Use as much natural light as possible by getting close to a window. Place your item as close to a window as possible, free of shadows for the best possible light conditions.
  2. Speaking of lighting... if it’s not bright outside and you don’t have a professional studio set up... take the photo when the lighting is good. Don’t take photos on a grey day or at night in front of the window because no filter exists that can fix your product photo to look as good as it should with good, natural lighting.
  3. For a closeup detail on my phone... I like using the photo app “SMO” below. It’s free & gives a lot of product detail like the nonpareils above!
  4. Try to get your branding and or “lifestyle moment” in the shot (when possible) so that your brand is easily recognizable wherever you post.
  5. Buy a white photography filter online and put it between the light/window and your product. This helps minimize the shadow from the light. It also gives the shot a nice, dreamy glow.
  6. Edit your photos to take everything out of the shot that doesn’t belong so that the focus is the product (aside from lifestyle photos where the items make the product an instant “lifestyle.”)
  7. Try to minimize editing time by doing a sanity check and making sure the photography area is clean. This will minimize the need to edit those things out later.
  8. Take/use several shots of your product. An overall, a closeup, a lifestyle (Example: dog eating cake,) packaging, and as many angles as needed to give your clients a complete picture of your products.

I hope this sets you on your journey to taking better photos! Until next time...
Leel Michelle,


Up Your Marketing Game to Pack a Big Punch 4th Quarter

As we’ve heard a million times by now, We’re all in this together.” This pandemic has drastically changed or closed businesses forever. Fortunately the pet industry although not completely untouched (Chewy & Petsmart break up) is one of the industries that are doing quite well!

How many animal shelters were emptied out across the USA? Even living from employment check to employment check, new dog owners nationwide are still finding some extra cash to not only provide for but spoil their new furry family member.

If you have your doubts, all you have to do is wander over to Tiktok to see how many serotonin inducing pet accounts exist and growing by the minute. Scrolling through my #FYP page, apparently we just can’t get enough of those pet accounts. When the world is going through one of the worst economic disasters in our history…the emptied pet shelters prove that a daily dose of serotonin inducing pet stories is just what the nation needs.

So how do you and your business capture the attention of these new pet owners you ask? I highly recommend 2 lesser known social media stepsisters…Tiktok and Pinterest! Now hold your horses, I’ve got some pretty good reasons for both.

Pinterest has been around since December 2009. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you have heard of Pinterest. You’ve probably searched a Pinterest worthy idea for your store, your kids party, interior design, and all things well designed and pretty! Many people use Pinterest personally but not as many small businesses give Pinterest the clout it deserves. Is Pinterest social media? Kinda, but not really and that’s a good thing!

According to “Pinterest is an excellent tool to help increase links back to your website, which, in turn, drives more traffic. It is more effective at steering traffic back to a website more than any other social media source. (Thank you, rich pins!) This uptick in traffic obviously relies on good content.”

I have had my business on Pinterest for years with up to 150,000 monthly viewers. There have been times that over 80% of my monthly website traffic came from Pinterest. Does Pinterest traffic come easy? No. Pinterest is definitely a long term strategy. Keep plugging away posting your well designed content with back links to your website, blog, or store, and you will see those numbers increase steadily. I feel like Pinterest is one of those lesser known search engine power houses that many small businesses don’t talk about as much as their more desirable sisters; Facebook and Instagram.

My new favorite social media platform goes to Tiktok? Being that I am not under the age of 30 (which is 66% of it’s monthly users)…you might ask why I would want to have my business on Tiktok?

Tiktok is still new-ish and growing extremely rapidly. If I want my business to be around for more than a few years, I must curate my business profile on this platform in order to attract my young and future pet owning clientele. Pre-marriage and babies…we spend a lot of money on silly things for our pets and your business should be where your future clients feel comfortable.

According to Esquire Middle East, “Tiktok has over half a billion users, more downloads in 2018 than YouTube, Twitter and Facebook and is worth more than US $75 billion. Why do people love this app so much and how can your business benefit?

Essentially Tiktok is just plain fun. It’s all about the videos but without the 5 minute intro we have to wade through on Youtube. Just 15-60 seconds of videos dancing, learning, singing, animals, or whatever kind of Tiktok you’re into! Additionally, there aren’t as many “Karens” as Facebook, and it’s not as pristine and polished as Instagram.

Tiktok is a great place to allow your clients to see the real “you” in your business. People buy from people, not businesses so letting your hair down and letting the authentic you (without all the polish & makeup) shine through will be well received on this platform.

Although I’ve just dipped my toes into Tiktok, I know that the most successful profiles are the ones where people working at their business gain the greatest following (and sales) simply by being themselves and showing the “behind the scenes” look at how the magic happens.

People are by nature voyeurs. Being stuck at home months on end, we still want to relate to one another and get a sneak peak into someone else’ life and experiences around the World in manageable bite size bits.

I’ve seen business profiles sky rocket from zero to millions of followers at a pace faster than any other social media platform which is why it’s great to get in on this bandwagon now.

If this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that we can grow, change, and pivot ourselves and our businesses in order to meet the demands of this new World in which we live. Sometimes putting yourself out there and leaving your comfort zone might be the best thing you’ve ever done for yourself and your business.

Go on and try these new strategies to drive more traffic to your business.

What’s the worst that can happen? You might drive more traffic to your business website? How about making more sales? How about being invited to be on a new TV show?

You never know unless you try. Go get em’ girl! You be you!

Until next time… XXOO Leel Michelle 

To Credit or NOT to Credit?

To Credit or NOT to Credit?
By Leel Michelle

During our current pandemic, businesses are struggling with the multitude of opening and closing guidelines and restrictions. Many business owners are looking for ways to cut expenses to get them through the storm. Whether it’s my “Clean Club Memberhship” or other tips I have shared on how to make your business more successful, I am here to tell you why you should keep those credit cards processing & how to keep your employees happy at little cost to you!

Many grooming salons still do not use credit cards as a means of payment. All I can think of when I hear this is all the lost revenue that business has been forsaken due to this one single decision. In my findings and according to research by BAI Research and Hitachi Consulting on Consumer Payment Preferences, 41 percent of shoppers have cut down on their use of cash, while 97 percent of respondents are turning to credit and debit payments instead. Everyone in the United States, including business owners, have at least one credit card in their wallet. As the younger generations mature with their electronic payment habits (Pay Pal, Venmo, Apple) so do their preference for shopping and or avoiding certain businesses that do not cater to their shopping habits. Every year the amount of e commerce taking over traditional brick and mortar shopping increases in the double digits. The current pandemic has shown as much as 90% growth in e-commerce (electronic) shopping among some of the largest online retailers. Shoppers that may have scoffed at the thought of shopping online were suddenly forced to do so in order to get the supplies they needed for their family. For Jeff Bezos that means an even more luxurious apartment in “The Big Apple” but what does that mean for the rest of us? For small businesses that means we need to get knee deep in e-commerce and electronic payment systems even if it’s tedious and makes us a little uncomfortable.

If you have to make cuts to your operation; make it in other ways that won’t affect your bottom line. Credit card processing is NOT the way to cut your expenses when so many people are relying on their credit cards to make ends meet. In fact, if you want to make your employees happy by giving them a raise you don’t have to pay for… read on!

We all know how much Pet Groomers love their tips! How about giving them a raise with little time or expense to you? How do you pull this off you say? Call your credit card processor and insist they add a “tip line” to your credit card processing receipt! If you want to go a step further…have your credit card processor add a tip line AND show the formula for a 10/20/30 % tip to the bottom of the receipt/monitor as well. When your clients are shown a tip line and the math is done for them.

They are more likely to tip around 30% more than if they had only tipped in cash! Your employees will be so happy with the increase in income from their tips, and your clients will be happy they can use their debit/credit cards instead of having to get cash every time they visit your business. Does it cost more you ask? Yes, and it’s worth it! Shop around for a credit card processor and or call your current one and ask for better rates. The credit card processors would much rather keep a current client happy than spend their time trying to find a new one. Be sure you are educated about tipping guidelines and reporting for your city and state. If your credit card company says they cannot add a tip line (this happened to me) tell them it’s the same requirement of a “human” salon or bar tab. If they can’t give you this…threaten that you’ll go elsewhere.

Those are my two cents for today. I hope you and your employees find these tips useful and profitable for your business. Stay safe and fabulous. Until next time…


Leel Michelle

Bath Club Membership for Groomers!

In the uncertainty of the World in which we live, as small business owners we must craft new ways to improve our profit margins. Finding a great service that your clients need now more than ever while creating a consistent revenue stream month after month is a win-win for pet grooming salon & client alike.

Through my e-book, I'm sharing with you a way to keep income flowing while you gear your business for full steam ahead! You have nearly everything it takes to implement this additional revenue stream right now!

Bath Club Membership_ How To

Bath Club Membership | How To

e-book for Pet Grooming Salon Owners available for immediate download!

Many pet grooming salon owners are looking for ways to add an additional revenue stream with minimal output for maximum input. You already have the tub, the supplies, the labor (bathers) and the space to implement this new program. You don't have to buy expensive equipment or pay for a mountain of inventory. All you have to do is a little marketing, add a couple of website clicks, get your bather ready, and have a new revenue stream!

Of course there's a few more points we'll cover to ensure your success. Soon you'll see how adding this bath club membership is an affordable way to create more income, sell more products, and allow your bath club clients to be your best business cheerleaders! If you'd like to learn can download this 24 page e-book now immediately!

Click the link to get your e-book now. DOWNLOAD E-BOOK

Stay safe & Happy Grooming & Pet Retailing!

Leel Michelle

Why Your Salon Should Have a Bath Club Membership

Do you want to make a steady monthly income without spending a single additional dollar to do so? IF you have bathers in your salon…you can make at least enough income monthly to cover your lease, utilities, and much more!

This month I’ll be going into detail on how you can incorporate this into your salon in my seminar at Global Pet Expo. Of course I will include below some reasons WHY you should do this so keep reading to learn more.

Do you want to enjoy the additional income that you can bring in without investing in new equipment, new inventory or new fixtures? I’ll explain why with a little time investment, some website tweaks, and minimal marketing to new and current clientele, this is an easy revenue stream that’s a win-win for both salon owners and clients alike.

First of all, WHY should you add a bath club membership? Doesn’t it take money away from all the Grooming clients? The answer is no!

If structured correctly these clients get groomed as often but their dogs are better behaved and not matted because you’re able to keep their coat in good condition when they come in for a full priced haircut. Let’s consider some additional benefits of WHY you need a bath club membership in your pet grooming salon.

Say goodbye to awkward dematting upcharges for those loyal clients that like to keep a full coat but don’t like to pay the extra dematting fees. In addition; multiple dog households, and full or show coat dogs benefit greatly since they will be kept in good condition from a professional…you! This program is also ideal for Seniors that can no longer wash their own dog but still want to cuddle with a clean and fluffy pup.

It makes your scissoring job much quicker because you already bathe this dog on a regular basis, no more matting to brush out! Time is money after all.

Frequent clients are your biggest Cheerleaders! The more clients spend time with you, the more they can brag about you! They will often refer a lot of clients to you because they visit you on average once a month instead of every 6-8 weeks.

Loyal, frequent clients spend more money on additional services and products because they are in your business so often. For grooming salons inside of retail locations…this is an excellent way to substantially increase your store income through the sale of additional pet supplies.

Bath Club clients are great for employee training! If you have a pet grooming school or new employees, bath club membership clients are a great way to train “newbies.” The dogs are generally very well trained for the tub and table because they’re in your salon so often.

I’ve given you plenty of reasons WHY you should add a Bath Club Membership to your salon. For those of you that cannot go to Global Pet Expo this year to hear my seminar...below is a quick summary of how you can implement this program in your salon.

You MUST have bathers. Groomers won’t make $$ on Bath Club Membership dogs, and therefore will not be inclined to want to bathe them unless you have an hourly groomer that needs more hours or is the newest groomer on the totem pole. Good bathers are worth their weight in gold. They will make lots of tips on Bath Membership clients as well.

Don’t under price your monthly bath services.
You’ll be in a world of hurt if you get that full-coated weekly GoldenDoodle that takes 3 hours to bathe and dry 1-2 times a week at a price that doesn’t include the cost of water, shampoo, and labor.

My sweet spot was charging 1½ - 2 times our regular bath price for unlimited bathing.

In general most clients utilize the bath membership only once a month and perhaps 10-20% will come in once a week. Remember that you can always increase this price annually. You can use price adjusting to “fire” a client that is taking advantage of you and your staff by including a large hike in this monthly fee. Your best practice is to first figure out the numbers (fees and costs) for your operation before implementing your program. It must make financial sense for your business.

Schedule your Bath Club clients after your full cut clients. Although others do this differently, I always prioritized haircut client baths in the morning so my Groomers start cutting right away.

Schedule Bath Club clients later in the morning or afternoon with the same bathers. In addition, eliminate or minimize your Bath Club clients on Saturdays so you’re utilizing your busiest days and labor wisely.

The high labor cost of owning a pet grooming salon should have multiple streams of income to remain successful in ever changing markets.

When one revenue stream is affected by staff, economy or trends, you have others to keep you afloat. Adding a Bath Club Membership to your pet grooming salon ensures that you always have your base expenses covered, and very loyal, happy clientele singing your praises while referring even more clients to you!

For more information about starting a Bath Club Membership be sure to catch my detailed seminar at Global Pet Expo in Orlando Florida, or use my email below.

Soon we’ll have a detailed guide available for purchase for a nominal fee with details on starting and implementing your very own Bath Club Membership Program.

We look forward to assisting you in making your business even more successful than ever!

Until next time, Leel Michelle

Art of Pet Retailing
Bow Wow Dog Bakery
Bow Wow Beauty Shoppe
Retro Stylist Wear

Charge for Your Time, AND Your Worth

I started my own high-end retro pet grooming salon 13 years ago. I was very hands-on in my business and went to pet grooming school to start my grooming business on the right foot for my brand.

I was fortunate to put an exit strategy in place by selling my grooming salon two years ago to my former groomer. He exceeded all expectations. I’m able to expand my brand into other areas of interest (award winning pet grooming apparel, retail & wholesale dog bakery @retrostylistwear @bowwowdogbakery) and still groom my Standard Poodle & Bichon in this space I now share with my former groomer, Gabriel Feitosa.

If you don’t know who Gabriel is, he is a big deal. Find Gabriel Feitosa on Instagram (@gabrielfeitosagroomer) to see how charming, experienced and talented he is in the international world of pet grooming.


Joining our businesses in one space has been very beneficial for a multitude of reasons. It’s not often that two business owners get to chat with each other on a daily basis.

The finer details of garnering clients, scheduling, employee management, and everything that comes with high end grooming salon ownership can only be shared among a niche group of entrepreneurs.

I have agonized over every expense, joy and frustration Gabriel experienced. It makes it easy for us to relate to one another. One thing stands out that Gabriel has been very good at in his second year. I wish I had realized this earlier in my career. He not only charges his time, but also his WORTH.

There is a mental transition that happens when you go from “groomer” to grooming salon owner.

New business owners give discounts and don’t value their time and worth like seasoned professionals. There is a point when you realize that you need to work smarter, not harder. The benefit is longevity for your business, especially attractive in labor intensive pet grooming.

Eventually an experienced pet grooming salon owner realizes it’s okay to say “no” and charge their worth. Also, you can make way for a new client that will fill the same spot with less complaints and better overall loyalty.

In year two, Gabriel Feitosa put his foot down realizing that taking every client will not make his business successful. Every business has their own brand of “people” or clientele. Raising prices to pay for his time and worth makes way for new clients that appreciate him and are willing to pay for his time and expertise.

How does this relate to pet retail? Think about how many items you might be giving away, selling or services you are providing that do not really pay for your time or worth.

I find that pet groomers find it most difficult to raise prices on services and retail items even though we live in a society where market demand (among many factors) is what determines the price of our goods.

Many pet groomers give away items like treats, poo bags and upgrades thinking they need to do this to appease their clients. Don't get me wrong! If you’re a proper dog bakery giving away treats makes perfect sense (think Krispy Kreme Donuts). If your motive is to appease, clients may have a hard time purchasing these items later, and possibly when you want to increase your profit margins and get paid your worth.

You don’t have to give away the house or do what everyone else is doing. Find your niche in your neighborhood and make sure that whether it’s a service or a product, it will give you the profit that your TIME and WORTH deserve. 

Until next time…

Leel Michelle

Retro Stylist Wear    ◄


Store Rebranding 101

There are different reasons why a company may need to rebrand. Perhaps your lease is up, you need more space, you’re buying a new building, adding services, or you just need a modern brand update to capture a new generation of clients.

Whatever the reason for your rebranding it’s important to cover the basics to make sure your rebranding efforts are well executed. When rebranding your business, it’s important to research and learn from our high profile corporate cousins. This will help us navigate the good and bad examples of rebranding. Many successful companies have come out on top due to their rebranding efforts and even more companies missed the mark completely. The latter tend to be companies that at one time had such big market share, they thought they were “too big to fail.” Think Blackberry vs Apple, Pizza Hut vs Dominos, Sears and Kmart vs Target, and Keds vs Addidas.


Some brands also experience periods of loss, bad press, or major restructuring that required a “rebirth” to assist in negating the negativity. This sort of rebranding can also acquire a new group or generation of clientele to give a much needed boost to shareholders’ bottom line.

In starting the transition of your business rebrand, first ask yourself why are you rebranding? This will often assist you in determining the what, why, and how to rebrand your already established business.

Below are some essential steps to get you started in a successful refresh of your established brand.


To start your rebranding campaign, make a budget and timeline to execute design, order products, and implement your rebranding.
Make a list of everything you have to rebrand such as business cards, logo stickers, shopping bags, envelopes, packaging, store signage, website, uniforms, store price tags, permits, licenses, and more.

Are you changing your name at all?

Think about your digital footprint. You’ll need to buy and forward domains, update hashtags and social media channels and website links. Hire an SEO professional to assist you.

Update your trademarks, business permits, license, DBA, bank accounts, legal documents, and everything that legally needs to change.
You’ll need to find or hire a graphic designer to change all your digital artwork. Look at examples of their work and make sure to get a timeline and contract executed so your expectations can be managed effectively.

Next, you’ll have to send your new designs to all your printers for business cards, logo mats, storefront signage, letterhead, store shopping bags, and so forth.

Does it still “feel” like your brand and is it recognizable as your already established brand?

Did you notify your clients, vendors, and or distributors, and set up an action plan to help make their rebranding of your product line successful?

Make sure you send a letter or email explaining the reason for the rebrand. This helps to “sell” the rebrand and keep your clients and partners in “the know” so they can share with their own connections on your behalf.

Rebranding your business is no small task. A positive take away from the daunting task of a successful rebrand is that it can make your business feel new again.

This “newness” comes with the excitement of loving your business like when you first turned your passion into profit. Much like an owner falling in love with their freshly coiffed pet walking out of the grooming will fall in love with your business all over again!

Until next time…Happy Pet Retailing!
Leel Michelle, Founder
Bow Wow Beauty Shoppe
(Soon to be Bow Wow Dog Bakery)
Retro Stylist Wear Inc.