Pet shop

Detroit pet store and groomer team up to offer grooming services

Latonya Smith’s business, LC’s Mobile Pet Spa, was hit hard when the pandemic prevented her from entering its customers.

She provided grooming services to more than 300 cats and dogs before COVID.

“The pandemic really hit me really, really hard,” Smith said. “Pet grooming has always been my passion. Working with animals has been my passion, so it was actually very sad because I couldn’t see the furry kids.”

Latonya Smith grooms a dog

Smith started posting pet grooming tutorials on his Instagram page to teach pet owners how to take care of grooming, but it wasn’t the same. She felt hopeless and it got worse when she lost her grandmother, Emma Mae, to the virus.

But there was a light for Smith.

Detroit City Bark pet store owner Jamie Judson and Smith had been discussing adding pet grooming services to the store for years.

The pandemic has made the addition of services a necessity.

“We really needed to find another source of income for our business. How to attract more people? How to provide them with a service? Said Judson.

Judson entered a contest via Rocket Mortgage called Detroit Demo Day and pitched the idea. She won a grant to add salon services to her pet supply store.

“To finally stop talking about it and really move on is really exciting,” she said.

City Bark now offers grooming by Latonya, as well as a self-service area for pet owners to bathe their pets on their own.

“If you’re really passionate about what you love to do, just do it. Just find another way to pivot and be successful and be in whatever field you want to be,” Smith said. “Do not stop.”

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