A clean act
Cool Dog Mobile Spa-Salon
San Antonio, Texas
Lina Low, above, and
her husband, inset, bring
dog-grooming services to
the pet owner’s door.
LINA LOW’S DOG, Rogelio, used
to dread visits to the dog groomer.
She knows, because her teacup
Maltese would start whining as
soon as he saw the shop door. And
Low certainly didn’t like the idea
of Rogelio spending hours in a
cage while waiting to be groomed.
Moved by her pet’s unhappiness,
Low came up with a business that
has dogs’ tails wagging when they
see the groomer—at least when they see the
Cool Dog Mobile Spa-Salon pull up.
Lina started Cool Dog in Aventura,
Florida, in 2003. After some research into the
viability of the business, Low, who was working in business administration, took classes to
become a certified groomer. She and her husband, Jairo, then bought a customized
grooming trailer and began marketing the
service to local pet owners. The business
began booking appointments immediately—
from both their mailings and the visibility of
the van as it traveled the streets of Miami.
Cool Dog serves around 150 clients and
books appointments three weeks out. The
Lows opened a second location in San Antonio,
Texas, after relocating in December 2006.
Within the first month of being at their new
location, Low says, they’re “kind of busy” with
upwards of 30 new clients.
COURTESY COOL DOG MOBILE SPA-SALON
Cool Dog offers a variety of grooming services, including hair and nail trimming, shampooing, teeth brushing and ear cleaning. The
service, says Low, takes between 60 and 90 minutes, and is especially convenient for stay-at-home moms and the elderly.
Low’s philosophy is that all of the dogs
are VIPs—very important pets. In return, she
says, the owners treat her and her staff like “a
friend or family.”
“We created this mobile pet-grooming
service to satisfy the wishes of dogs,” Low tells
The Connection. “[The dogs] want us to have
quality time with them, and that is what we
To read more about Costco
members and their various
pet businesses and passions, see the
Online Edition. Go to costco.com and
click on “Costco Connection Magazine.”
AFTER THE EVENTS of 2001, Pat Ferdinandi, parro ts’ antics, and particularly by how expres-a computer consultant, wanted to send out an sive their eyes can be. Talking to her, it’s obvi-especially bright and cheerful holiday card, ous that working with Scarlet and other models
but couldn’t find anything that filled the for her cards is the best part of the job.
bill—or beak, as she likes to Winged inspiration “I always ask their
joke. So she took a photo of permission before taking
Scarlet, her 2-year-old par- Scarlet’s Feathers their pictures,” says Ferdi-rot, with a Christmas elf
www.scarletsfeathers.com nandi, who adds that it’s
and sent the electronic card Montclair, New Jersey the medium to large par-to 350 people. rots that bask in the atten-The response was immediate and over- tion. “They stretch their wings, reach their
whelming. Ferdinandi heard from many peo- crests up or try to take the lens cap off my
ple—including those not on her original camera. They often have an ‘I know I’m gor-mailing list—wanting to know where she geous’attitude.”
found such a beautiful card. Today Scarlet’s Feathers offers more
On the heels of so much positive than 200 cards, six notepad designs and 10
feedback, Ferdinandi read an article esti- postage-stamp designs—available online, at
mating that nearly 7 million U.S. house- some pet and bird stores near Ferdinandi’s
holds own parrots. With additional home and at the local bird and pet trade
research she found the statistic that the showsshe attendsthroughout the year.
average person buys 30 greeting cards a Although several people have told her the
year. Aware that no one else had a greeting- business is too specialized to succeed, Scarlet’s
card company catering to parrot owners, Feathers became profitable in 2005. Says
Ferdinandi wrote up a business plan and Ferdinandi of the side business her “spoiled
then launched Scarlet’s Feathers in June 2002. girl” inspired, “Nowadays I think the ‘nichier’
Ferdinandi has always been amazed by you are, the more success you’ll have.”—SEP
Scarlet, an Eclectus
parrot, inspired her owner,
Pat Ferdinandi, to start a
greeting card business.