“It’s not what I do, it’s who I am,” Lanesboro resident Kristy Richards said about her work grooming and caring for dogs.
Richards recently opened a new dog grooming business in Preston on Main Street called TheDogLdy. She began by offering Toenail Tuesdays where owners can bring their dogs in for a free toenail trim and has now expanded to accepting bookings for full grooming.
Richard’s love of dog grooming started in the mid 1980s when she replied to an ad for a veterinarian tech with no experience. She was hired, but was trained for grooming instead. Since then, she has consistently worked in the dog grooming field. She did a stint at a big-box retailer for three years, but other than that, has worked out of her home. When her kids were young it allowed her to work while still taking care of them. “I was able to put my son in a playpen when he was little while I groomed dogs,” she remembered.
Over the last few years, Richards had been taking a break as the house she lives in with her husband Doug, is too small to accommodate dog grooming, but she was itching to get back into the business so she began looking for a storefront. “This place presented itself twice in my search,” she said about the building on Main Street in Preston. “When we walked in here, we said, ‘oh, this is perfect,’”
“I’ve never had a storefront before,” Richards remarked. “It’s all still pretty new to me, but I’m learning a lot and that’s pretty exciting.” Richards’ mother, Kay McCarthy, also of Lanesboro, is joining her daughter in business. McCarthy is an artist who uses her talents to paint portraits of dogs, which are being sold at TheDogLdy. In addition to offering dog grooming and portrait services, Richards is selling Thrive products at her shop, and her husband, Doug, is selling Dakota REV, an all-natural product for plants, crops, and anything with roots.
Richards is looking forward to watching her new business grow. “I’m just really excited, and it’s been heartwarming to have the kind of welcome I’ve received here,” she said. In the past, she’s let herself get too busy with grooming and ended up burning herself out. This time, she’s going to be careful not to let that happen. “The decision was made to do it more for enjoyment than to do too much,” she said. “I really love doing it, and I want to be able to enjoy it.”
Since opening TheDogLdy, Richards has realized just how much dog grooming services are needed in the Fillmore County area. “People are driving up to Rochester to get this done and now they can just come here,” she noted. “There is a huge demand for this, and I have been blown away by that.” She also noted that being located in Preston has its advantages as it’s a central location for her customer base.
Richards is slowly easing into her new business with Toenail Tuesdays and is also accepting bookings for full grooming services. Every Tuesday from 5-7 p.m., she offers free toenail trims for dogs. “It’s a great way to introduce people to the business,” she explained. No appointments are necessary, people just show up with their dogs for a toenail trim. “It’s fun to do, it’s easy to do, and it just makes everyone happy,” she said, smiling. “Toenail Tuesdays have turned into a real good opportunity to get to know people.”
Richards offers full service grooms, which start at $50 and include a bath, brushing, toenail trims, ear and anal gland cleaning, and a haircut. Groomings can be scheduled by calling (507) 358-8844. She’s also hoping to be able to start a small doggy daycare at some point. “There’s no limit,” she said. “I can do whatever I want to do here. I just need to see what the demands are and what the needs are locally.”
You can learn more about TheDogLdy by visiting it on Facebook or at thedogldy.com, or by calling (507) 358-8844.