Anything is paw-sible: Jackson County woman opens dog grooming business in Ripley
RIPLEY — After having four children, Whitney Fields was a stay-at-home mom for 13 years. Four years ago she decided to bring in some extra cash for the holidays by becoming a groomer — now she's adding business owner to her portfolio.
Fields is opening Little Big Dog Grooming, an animal grooming business on Shatto Road, next week. She isn't the only one moving to Shatto Road, several of her customers are coming along. She already has 10 appointments on her first day, Oct. 11.
As an only child, Fields would often bring home stray animals she found walking home after school. Fields' love for animals hasn't faded — she treats every animal on her grooming table like her own.
Coni Dorsey, one of Fields' loyal customers, doesn't want anyone else grooming her 1-year-old Goldendoodle named Tinsley. She never worries with Fields.
"She is compassionate with the dogs," Dorsey said. "I feel that Tinsley is safe with her."
Fields is grateful for the support she's received. Her husband Chad is her biggest supporter. Every day after work, Chad heads over to Shatto Road to work on the shop. The to-do list is long, but he doesn't mind.
His parents gifted Whitney with a modest trailer to operate out of. So far, Whitney's one-woman business has cost $5,000 for new flooring, equipment and a new septic tank.
Little Big Dog Grooming is expected to open on Oct. 11 and hold a grand opening ceremony on Nov. 6. It'll be open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and appointments can be made every other Saturday. Appointments can be made at 304-532-5087.
Little Big Dog Grooming isn't just for dogs. Fields can work on cats, birds, guinea pigs and even bunnies. It's important to Fields for her customers to feel like they're a part of the process. That's why she's planning on having chairs lining one wall so that her customers can watch the grooming process if they want.
"I think it's important to be personable," Fields said. "They're family."
Fields' dogs are like children to her. Her saint bernard named Whiskey and cocker spaniel named Delilah are the poster dogs for her logo.
Whether customers choose to stay for the appointment or not, they'll at least catch a glimpse of Whiskey and Delilah who will come to work every day with Fields.
— Katelyn Waltemyer (she/her) is the General Assignment and Enterprise Reporter for Jackson Newspapers in Jackson County, West Virginia. Have a news tip on local government or education? Or a good feature? You can reach Katelyn at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @Kate_Waltemyer.