Being a groomer started as a childhood dream for Tatum Lundin, ‘19. Her passion for softball led her to VCSU where she declared a business degree and began learning how to start and own a business which would someday become, The Spot Dog Grooming.
What year did you graduate from VCSU? Give us a brief description of your new business.
I graduated from VCSU in the spring of 2019 and ended up graduating with a business administration management degree with a minor in marketing after 4 years at Valley. My new business, The Spot Dog Grooming, covers all dog grooming needs. I do baths, haircuts, de-sheds, nail clipping, teeth brushing, ear cleaning, etc. I do all dog breeds and sizes, everyone is welcome. I designed my salon and my workflow with the dogs in mind, while also wanting to create a fun place for owners as well. The salon is open concept so owners can see their dogs being groomed if they would like and there is also a comfy waiting area.
Take us through your journey of coming up with the idea for your business to opening your doors.
I have known I wanted to be a groomer since I was very little. I was always drawn to dogs (and all animals really) and have always been the crazy dog girl! I wanted to continue playing softball for as long as I could, once I was recruited to VCSU I had to pick a major that made sense for me. I chose to major in Business so I could learn how to start and own my own business one day.
After graduation, while working my full-time job, I enrolled in an online grooming school and once I passed all the written parts I found another dog grooming shop in Bemidji to teach me through the rest of the curriculum. I worked there for about 2 years before deciding the time was right and I started looking around Bemidji for a place to put my own business. The name of the business was inspired by my personal dog Darling, a dalmatian FULL of spots! I designed the logo with Darling in mind and after lots of remodeling, the space looked exactly how I wanted it to.
I began creating an online presence while things were wrapping up. I spread the word as much as I could with online ads and posts and hanging up flyers around town while having everyone I know spread the news by word of mouth. Because the demand for grooming services is very high, business picked up pretty quick and next thing I knew, my salon was open and I’m now booked a month out!
Tell us about some of the day-to-day activities in your current position.
My day-to-day is pretty dependent on the types of dogs I have booked each day. For example, some days I have six bath dogs and other days I have only four haircuts. A typical routine for a dog would be bathe, blow-dry, nails and paw pads, clean ears, haircut and give them a bandana. I usually get to the shop a little before opening, get everything set up, and shortly after the first dog comes in. At the end of the day I clean all my spaces thoroughly, answer any phone messages I may have missed during the day, make my files for the next day, grab Darling and lock up!
What are your favorite parts about your job?
There is a lot I love about this job but some of my favorite things are getting to help dogs feel better and be more comfortable. I enjoy getting to meet different breeds and the personalities of each dog and seeing how happy their owners are when they come to pick them up! Nothing is better than bringing a dog out to give back to their owner and having both the owner and the dog be so excited to see each other again and to hear them tell their dog how good they look!
Tell us how VCSU helped prepare you for your career.
I think VCSU definitely helped me in preparing to own a business. The classes teach you things you wouldn’t normally daydream about, like finances and taxes. I remember a final project of having to make a complete and detailed business plan and present it. It gave me insight to what it takes to plan something like this and how difficult it can be but it sparked my motivation to make it real. I believe I benefitted the most from my marketing classes. I learned so much about how to get your name out there, how to connect with your target audience, how to highlight your business and its strengths. The best part was that its very up to date with society and it was all about social media and trends in a business. Of course, there are things you need to learn along the way and things you won’t be prepared for, but that’s part of the life experience! Owning a business can be a scary risk to take, but with the right education behind you, you will feel ready to take the leap!