While you're at the spa, your cat or dog now has a new place in Avon to go for "pawdicures" and spa treatment too.
Owner Paige Rotas, 44, opened Paw Spa in Riverdale Farms on Nov. 20.
"I like being able to offer this unique pet grooming experience to everyone, and I love what I do," Rotas wrote in an email to Patch.
Rotas grew up in Connecticut, residing in Farmington as a teenager. She currently lives in East Hampton, but is looking to move to the Farmington Valley area. She often spent time in Avon after high school where her friends lived. After moving back to Connecticut from Austin, TX, where she also ran a grooming business, she said Avon was on the top of her list for her new grooming business.
"I always said 'one day I will live in Avon and have my own business there,'" Rotas said. "Avon has always been one of my favorite places; it's hills, its open spaces, the quaint New-England feel of the town. I just love it here.... I'm halfway to the goal I set some 25 years ago. Now all I have to do is find a home in Avon and the the dream will be complete!"
For now, she is its only staff member, but may bring in her relatives to help her out with the family business as demand increases.
Patch asked her to tell us some more about her new business and here's what she had to say:
Patch: What services do you offer?
Rotas: "We offer full spa service pet grooming for both dogs and cats. This includes but is not limited to the following:
- "PAWDICURE- Nails trimmed and filed, with polish available in your choice of colors.
- "MASSAGING BATH- adjustable water pressure allowing slower flow around face, head, and ears; stronger flow for backs and bodies. Choose from our all-natural shampoos and conditioners, geared toward specific coat and skin issues, with massage into coat during bath. Baths include anal-gland expression, blow dry, brush-out, ear cleaning and plucking, nail filing, fresh smelling cologne, and bandana or bows.
- "BREED STANDARD OR CUSTOM PUP-DO - Choose from sanitary and paw trim, full-body grooming, custom specialty clipping, or anything in between. All grooming services include massaging bath package along with haircut groom of choice.
- "TOOTH BRUSHING- Utilizing pet-specific fresh mint toothpaste, teeth are thoroughly brushed and followed up with a sprits of plaque and tartar control fresh-breath spray.
- "THE PET MAINTENANCE PLAN- Set your pet up with regularly scheduled visits to the Paw Spa and keep their coats in tip-top shape. Choose 1, 2, or 3 week intervals and receive preferred scheduling as well as discount pricing.
- "CREATIVE HAIR COLORING- Applicable to white coats only. Color the ears, tail, hocks, or the whole dog! Pre-booking is necessary for time allowance. This process takes at least 4 hours time. Hair dyes are non-chemical, pet safe, and eco-friendly vegetable based dyes."
Patch: Can you give us examples of how you are helping others with your business? Tell us a story about a memorable story from on the job or helping a customer.
Rotas: "We offer discounts for first time grooms on all newly rescued dogs. I am also working on finding a small breed rescue group to partner with and offer a free first time groom for newly adopted pets, although I have not found and put that into effect yet. We also offer discounts to service dogs.
"As for a story, about six years ago while I was still living in Austin TX, I was at Central Market (similar to Whole Foods) walking around their pond. I noticed a man with his black lab. The lab was obviously young and a bit energetic, and the man seemed to be wrestling a bit trying to keep the lab calm and walking quietly next to him. I went over and started chatting with him, making a joke of the exuberance of his furry friend.
"Turns out the man (Jeff) is blind and this was his new seeing-eye dog 'Moe,' and they were out doing some training together to get both he and Moe into the symbiotic relationship necessary to carry on appropriately in the future. It was comical to see, and Jeff had a great sense of humor about the whole adventure! I helped him out with a few pointers about dog/human energy, and told him I was a groomer of eight years (at the time).
"I then invited him to have Moe come to the shop for a monthly bath grooming free of charge for as long as he wanted to bring him to me. Well Jeff, being on a fixed income and putting himself thru college at the time (he was truly an inspiration on making it in the world no matter what your obstacles may be...) was very excited and appreciative of the offer, and took me up on it. From there Moe became one of my monthly regulars, in for a buff and shine without fail. He turned out to be a GREAT dog, and both he and Jeff became great friends to me- I looked forward to seeing them every month.
"When I left Austin I left him in the good hands of the woman I worked for, and she agreed to continue Moes' free service dog maintenance plan for as long as he wanted to come. As I went, Jeff pulled me aside to tell me how much that kindness meant to him, and how much it helped both him and Moe out. He would have never been able to keep up on Moes' grooming if I hadn't been there to graciously perform the service as I did all those years, and he was grateful that I made sure the service would continue after I was gone. As I left that day, I cried. These clients I gather thru the years are more than customers, they become family in my heart, all very dear to me. It brought me, and still does bring me, great joy to be able to make a difference in someones life with a simple kindness such as this one. I believe in karma, what goes around comes around, and I am ALWAYS benefited by giving where I can.
Patch: What's your main customer base?
Rotas: "My main customer base is anyone with a pet that needs grooming! Really, they come in all ages and walks of life. My client base is varied, the only commonality is the furry four-legged family members they have that are in need of my services. In my experience, once they come in and become a client, they are usually satisfied clients for life - won't bring their pets to anyone other than their Aunty Paige! I'm very grateful for that, as I become attached to my fuzzy clients very quickly!
Patch: Why did you decide to open your business?
Rotas: "I have been grooming for 13 years now, and have experienced many different groom shop environments from Texas, to California, and now Connecticut. All along the way I developed a vision of what I wanted to offer my furry four-legged clients out there, but never found it in my travels. So, I decided to open up my own place and bring that vision to reality – that is the Paw Spa. A pet grooming facility offering a relaxing, spa-like atmosphere and a little something extra in services to give pets not just a grooming, but a spa day, utilizing all-natural and eco-friendly products and procedures for the utmost in pet and planet health. Kind of like the 'Aveada-concept' salon version of a pet grooming shop, or simply a day-spa version of a pet grooming shop rather than just a hair-cut place. I love what I do and the clients I serve, bringing this concept to reality is a dream and (hopefully) a gift to my beloved pet clients.
Patch: Do you have a business mantra you live by?
Rotas: "A new experience in pet care, offering full-service grooming in a relaxing spa-like atmosphere, and utilizing safe and sustainable products for the utmost in pet and planet health."
Patch: What sets your business apart from others?
Rotas: "Well, for one, the relaxing atmosphere of the shop is different than any other. (We also have a window seat for our clients, a fenced-in landing with fluffy beds in the front picture window, that little dogs can lay in and watch the world go by as they spend time here at the Paw Spa- that's different too!) All the pets have fluffy beds to lay in and listen to classical music in the background. They all get a massage during the bathing process much like we humans get our head massaged when we get our hair done. Also, this shop was built on eco-friendly and all-natural; everything from bio-degradable poop bags, to organic cleaners, to all-natural shampoos are used here. Even the wood has been finished with Tung oil (a type of tree oil) and butcher block mineral oil treatment rather than poly-eurathane or stains."
Patch: Can you tell us about your business background? What did you do before you opened your business? Have you owned other businesses in the past?
"I have been in the pet grooming business for 13 years now. I have held management positions at a few of the shops I have been at, in charge of grooming quality control (i.e. attention to detail for excellence in finished groom results), customer service, staff management, scheduling and maintenance plans, marketing, and business bookkeeping to name some of my responsibilities. I have won awards in pet grooming competitions in the past, my specialty being in scissoring. I also owned a mobile in-home pet grooming business in Austin, named 'Paige's Pampered Pets,' that was quite successful."
Patch: Finish the sentence. When I'm not working I'm...
Rotas: "When I'm not working, I'm outside enjoying the planet with my husband and my little white dog, Pixel. We rock climb, mountain bike, camp, hike, kayak- and are always looking for something new to learn and do to make the most of this beautiful life we have been given. My dog Pixel is a little 5-pound Maltese, and he goes with us on all our adventures. He rides around in his "load-him-up" bag, a backpack that he dances to get into... and has better balance than both me and my husband combined! He has traveled across the country with us on a road trip from Connecticut to California and back, and hiked, mountain biked, rock climbed, and camped with us the whole way. When I'm not with my little family climbing a mountain somewhere, I am spending time with my nieces and nephews enjoying the world thru (their) brand new eyes all over again! I love that! And when I'm not doing all of that, I am usually being called upon by friends or family to pet sit, trim nails, or help train with the family pet. That I love too!"
Business Name: Paw Spa
Address: Riverdale Farms, 136 Simsbury Rd., 6C, Avon, CT 06001.
Phone number: (860) 676-4411.
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/ThePawSpaAvon
Hours: Tuesdays to Fridays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., closed on Sunday and Monday.