Wendy Alexander / The Madera Tribune
Heather Stuckey of Spas 4 Paws grooms Rosie. Stuckey, along with Amanda Zaragoza, officially opened Spas 4 Paws in November.
When Amanda Zaragoza thought of opening her grooming business Spas 4 Paws (100 East 7th St., Ste. 114), the first place she thought of was Madera.
“Madera would be the best place to open,” she said. “My family is here and they know everyone. Heather loves it here and she’s kind of used to it.
Zaragoza, who graduated from Madera High School in 2008 and also played on the women’s soccer team, officially opened Spas 4 Paws with groomer Heather Stuckey on November 1.
“We are animal groomers, primarily dogs,” she said. “We give dogs baths, ear cleaning, nail trimming and all the other stuff. We are like an animal spa.
While Zaragoza knows Madera, she defers to Stuckey for doing the actual work.
“Heather is the magic behind it all and making money for us,” Zaragoza said. “I just attend. She does everything. »
Last year Zaragoza and Stuckey sat down to figure out what they wanted to do. Stuckey has been a dog groomer for over 12 years and worked in Fresno. They decided to open their own shop.
“We sat down and decided it would be good if we did it ourselves,” Zaragoza said. “The only place I thought of was Madera because there was only one other place that was legit. Since I had family in Madera and growing up here they all had pets. The need was there, that’s why we chose Madera.”
Although opening a business during the COVID-19 pandemic can be a bit risky, Zaragoza hasn’t had as much trouble as she thought.
“Opening a business during a pandemic has been pretty good so far,” she said. “As the dogs are groomed, we will have our slow months. However, since we opened, we’ve been doing pretty well. We have been consistent and fairly stable. Nothing says that we were too affected by it. Dog grooming is a necessity for animals.
One of the things that Zaragoza has seen because of the pandemic and the stay-at-home order is that a lot more puppies are coming in for haircuts.
“There are a lot of new puppies,” she said. “We haven’t seen a slowdown yet. It was something that worried me. People always care about their animals.
After opening on November 1, Zaragoza is celebrating its grand opening with a special 20% off.
“Every customer we give 20% off for their first visit,” she said. “It’s to spread the word. So far it’s been pretty good. We are always trying to spread the word. We are getting new clients and people are starting to hear about us.
Additionally, Zaragoza has partnered with Friends of Madera County Animal Shelter. They have also participated with FMAS in many events over the past year, including Halloween and Christmas events.
“They donated a lot of stuff for us here,” she said. “When people come in they can grab a leash, toys or pet beds, donate to Friends of Madera Animal Sanctuary and we donate 100% to FMAS. People come in and grab a leash. They make a donation and we return the money to FMAS.
Spas 4 Paws is open Tuesday through Saturday by appointment only.
“It also helps to fight the pandemic,” Zaragoza said. “We only want one person at a time. We’re here from about 8:30 a.m. until about 3 p.m. sometimes. We only have me and Heather working. We do everything by ourselves.
Since opening her business, Zaragoza has been thrilled to see so many people she has known grow.
“Since I’ve been back in town, it’s been really good to see people,” she said. “I see people from high school. It was nice. I always end up getting to know someone when we go to town. That’s the good thing about Madera. It’s small and you know a lot of people. The news travels pretty quickly.
Zaragoza also admit that it’s a bit weird to see their former football teammates.
“It was really nice seeing everyone,” she said. “I have a few dates with people I’ve played football with. The strange thing is that we’ve all grown up now.