Dog grooming business passed down through generations

Photos by Emily Thiel "Doggie Beauticians" Cindy, Amanda, 23, and Hailee Shollenberger, 11, Exeter Township, in their grooming parlor.

Three generations of dog lovers find themselves unable to stray from the family business of pet pampering.

Cindy Shollenberger, Exeter Township, inherited her love for canines from her mother, Sara Shamuras, Reading, who retired from 35 years of having her own dog grooming business.

When the poor economy left Shollenberger unemployed, her mother’s retirement came at the perfect time. Shollenberger adopted her mother’s furry clients in 2010, welcoming the wet-nosed pooches into her home to open and expand the grooming business as her own.

Cindy’s daughters, Amanda, 23, and Hailee, 11, followed their mother’s lead to help out as “Doggie Beauticians,” which keep the trio busy with wagging tails.

Amanda, who studied three years at cosmetology school, started by often helping her grandmother with her business, trimming, clipping nails, and bathing the dogs.

Originally hesitant with clipping the faces and snouts of the beloved pets, Amanda is now a pro at dog grooming.

“I am OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder), it takes me a little longer to groom,” Amanda said. The attention the clients receive from the mom and daughter beauticians is at top-dog quality.

Not having the proper upkeep for their coat can often uncomfortable for the dog, and painful if the fur becomes matted.

When dogs come in with hair in their eyes, long nails and dreads like Bob Marley, the Shollenbergers get to shaving.

“I love seeing all the dogs. It makes you feel good to make them feel better,” Cindy said.

The basement is fully equipped with electric clippers in a variety of sizes, grooming tables, shampoos, and a sink for bathing.

With extremely reasonable prices for grooming, customers and their pets return to the Shollenberger residence to stay primped and pampered. “That’s what is great about all the shopping around here. People drop their dog off, go shopping, and come back,” she said.

When Shollenberger started grooming, she added handmade scarves for the pets to the business. Starting from a yard of fabric, Hailee assists with cutting out the material and patterns.

“It’s fun,” Hailee said about working in a family business with her mom.

Scarf styles range from holiday themes to seasonal fun, and offer a variety of patterns and colors for not just dogs large and small, but also felines.

The dog (or cat) collar conveniently loops through the scarf for an organized, spunky look that can accessorize with any outfit.

This family’s love for the man’s best friend extends beyond the business. Shamuras personally cares for a dozen dogs, often fostering customer’s pets if need be. As if saving dogs is in their blood, the Shollenbergers themselves have four dogs, following suit to adopt and save a life.

Cindy’s favorite breeds to work with are Shih tzus and Yorkies. While the business focuses on small to medium dogs, the grooming stations are equipped for larger breeds.

“I love it. I get to be hands on with dogs,” she said. “I don’t ever regret the economy going bad.”

Cindy plans on expanding the business even more and is currently looking into offering homemade baked doggie treats. The “Doggie Beauticians” can often be spotted at local craft shows, selling their scarves and promoting the grooming business.

Cindy will be one of the vendors at “Less Barking, More Wineing” 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. May 10 at the Manatawny Creek Winery, 227 Levengood Rd., Douglassville. The event raises money to benefit American Cancer Society’s Bark for Life.

To schedule an appointment with Cindy Shollenberger for grooming email her at doggiebeauticians@verizon.net or call 610-781-8017.

About the Author

Emily Thiel

Emily Thiel is the editor of The Southern Berks News and is the Community Engagement Editor for Berks-Mont Newspapers. Emily joined Berks-Mont in March 2013. She graduated from Kutztown University in 2011 with a degree in English with a concentration in Cultural and Media Studies. Emily is a native of Allentown, Pa. Reach the author at ethiel@berksmontnews.com or follow Emily on Twitter: @sthrnberksnews.