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About

The Full Story

Club Pawsh is Western New York's ONLY Fear Free Certified Mobile & only all-luxury mobile groomer!

Founder/CEO/FFCP, AMCP Groomer, Cassondra Renee Smith launched Club Pawsh after a 10+ year career in the grooming industry in response to a desire of grooming in a better, more holistic & luxurious way.  Cassondra began her career in Las Vegas, Nevada as a bather while she was in the Animal Massage & Care Provider certification program, initially ofFURed through UNLV.  She fell in love with bathing & knew, despite this having supposed to have been an "in between" period on a hiatus in the music industry (Cassondra holds a Bachelor's of Science in Music Business Management from Full Sail University), that this was the career she was supPAWSed to be in.

After only a couple months at The Paw Spa Pet Salon & Boutique, eager to surpass her beginner status, she was accepted to acquire The Pooch Mobile, Henderson, a professional mobile dog bathing franchise.  The story goes that the owners had been looking to expand for several months & had yet to find the right person.  She was immediately approved uPAWn her FURSt working interview.  However, Cassondra thought she was applying for a job & was surprised when they asked her for money!  Unprepared to finance a franchise, the company believed in Cassondra so much that they financed her, themselves!

Mobile grooming in the desert had not quite caught on back then &, hungry for clients, Cassondra accepted any & all dog clients.  The majority were initially, what she lovingly reFURS to as salon rejects - senior pets who had "aged out" of grooming, "aggressive" dogs who had been kicked out of salons, large breeds that salons didn't have the capacity or business pricing structure to accommodate, & mobility challenged dogs.  She noticed a great difFURence in the majority of pets' behaviors with her from what their PAWrents built up in anticipation of their FURSt apPAWntment.  Clearly the one-on-one treatment made a difFURence right off the bat, but Cassondra's heart & compassion helped her mend relationships with dogs in the grooming environment.

Within 4 months she more than doubled her clientele, with most on a regular schedule of every 2-4 weeks, & was booked out for the year!  The only downside to this franchise was that the mobile trailer was not customizable.  This meant lots of bending over (no variable height tables or tubs) & supporting 140+ pound St. Bernards with degenerative disc disease &  paraplegic labs.  Something had to give & when she was denied a request to have her franchise altered, to preserve her body, Cassondra was forced to return the franchise back to it's owners a year later, in lieu of working in a grooming salon.

From there, she worked in numerous salons between Las Vegas & New York City beFUR making the decision to start Club Pawsh.  A lifelong learner, throughout this career, Cassondra discovered a world of continued education for groomers along the way.  You see, the grooming industry is currently unregulated.  That means there are no licenses, no universal qualifications.  There are no state official certifications, standards, etc.  Literally anyone can purchase basic grooming equipment without a business license (& can acquire an official license to open a grooming business),  know absolutely nothing about grooming, & call themselves a groomer.  Her eyes became open to the side of the grooming industry that is pushing for continued education & standardization for all groomers in every way.  Cassondra became obsessed with this ideology & still regularly attends seminars & certifications in various departments of grooming.

 

Around the time that she made her business license in Brooklyn, NY, (hence the 845 area code), she found an opPAWtunity to have her own business, yet without all the startup overhead.  So the idea of Club Pawsh was shelved temPAWrarily, while she worked for a company who touted themselves as a mobile grooming company.  She began working as in-home groomer making house calls all throughout the 5 boroughs of New York City.  This meant occasional awkward conversations with helicopter PAWrents, working in extremely tight, unlit, unventilated spaces, & having to carry all of her equipment in & out of people's homes, up & down stairs, & all the way from wherever she was able to find parking.  If you've ever considered an in-home groomer, please tip them well.  None of them are charging nearly enough for the convenience & work they offer.

She was FURtunate enough to be able to voice her concerns & years of knowledge directly to the CEO as she moved into grooming in one of their FURSt mobile vans, ofFURing her expertise on mobile grooming & the industry as a whole.  She was able to eventually earn a C Suite Executive role within the company where she advised the CEO & other dePAWrtments directly, helped to legally restructure the entire company & their opPAWrations, & coach some of the almost 300 groomers associated with it.  UnFURtunately, even with the changes implemented, it wasn't long until she witnessed numerous health & safety risks by both groomers & the company out of sheer ignorance & irrelevance for both groomers & pets, alike.  This outraged Cassondra & she began putting plans to create Club Pawsh into place.

Throughout her career, Cassondra has seen so many groomers make mistakes purely from miseducation or a complete lack of education altogether, although she has also born witness to those with a total lack of empathy to see the pet as a being & not just a frustrating task to be completed, & oPAWrating out fear of PUPsetting a client.  Even still, there are other groomers who sometimes take a misguided approach with an "I'll teach you a lesson" attitude, completely unaware of alternative humane methods or aware but unwilling to invest the amount of time a PAWticular procedure may take which can get a job done & so leave a client PUPset just the same...& on the lookout for another groomer, thus PURR-PETuating the same issue said groomer was hoping to solve.

Therefore, Club Pawsh is founded on a five principle value system: HI QTE - Honesty, Integrity, Quality, TransPAWrency, & Education.  Club Pawsh takes the stance that if a job is worth doing, it's worth doing correctly & well, as best as PAWSsible.  This is why you'll never see the typical "add-ons" like de-shedding & nail buffing.  Club Pawsh ofFURs a higher end of service from a scientific PAWSpective in the same way a high quality hairstylist & barber does - we put your fur baby's health, overall wellbeing, & needs ahead of everything, which means treating all of their needs during a visit beyond what pet PAWrents think is needed. PAWrents also receive PUPdates throughout the entire process, with photos, so they can be kept in the know, in real time, for how long a section of the apPAWntment takes & how well their beloved is faring inside the van.

 

We are the pet hair & skin experts.  We don't just make pets clean & cute; we treat their emotional (fears), physical (coat-type & situational skin/hair issues), & mental (reconditioning from previous grooming traumas) concerns.  For far too long in the grooming industry, groomers have been undervalued & this is largely due to a severe lack of knowledge & standardization on our end.  By catering to requests that are actually harmful to a pet's overall health such as shaving coats which should never be shaved, forcing a terrified pet through a process just to get the job done, &  ofFURing key services for PAWticular coat types that should be done on every visit as optional all just to please a client has rendered a poor stereotype that grooming is not a legitimate profession.

Cassondra has gone to great lengths to continue to FURther her education & implement policies, procedures, & care to ensure that your precious fur baby's overall wellness is not only a top priority, but that they are in the most knowledgeable, capable, & skilled hands PAWSsible.  Club Pawsh imports only the finest products in the world, most of which come from Italy & contain the European Cosmetic Grade Standard seal of approval.  We move at your pet's pace with care & precision.  

Yes, your pet's groom will most likely take longer than you may be accustomed to. 

 - High quality products take time to do what they are supposed to do.

 - Your pet will never be rushed through a process; grooming is something your pet will need to have done throughout their entire life, so we see to it that their concerns & fears are addressed in order to set them up for success

 - Many pets come with previous baggage, whether through traumatic incidents/accidents which occurred or something as simple & seemingly benign as a noisy environment during a crucial time in their development.  Dogs have a cognitive sentience PUPwards of that of a 3-year old hooman so just like us, they are capable of what psychologists call flooding.  In a nutshell, this is when a scary or confusing thing happens to them &, if not addressed properly, can result in mentally withdrawing/forced compliance (dogs shaking & stress panting throughout the entire process - a coping mechanism to just get through it), defiance/fight/flight/freeze (those dogs who get worse & worse rePAWrts, if the groomer even tells you about the hassle they go through to get your dog done in the FURSt place), or emotional outbursts (aka snapping seemingly out of nowhere). 

     - Club Pawsh takes the stance that every pet is entitled to a safe, low-stress grooming environment so we take the time to monitor your pet's FAS (Fear/Anxiety/Stress) levels in accordance with Fear Free Pets principles.  We never let them get beyond a PAWticular threshold that could do more psychological damage & so we go at your pet's pace & comFURt level.  

This is not just grooming.  This is an investment in your fur baby's overall wellbeing with longevity in mind.

At the end of the day, Club Pawsh is still made up of hoomans, but we promise that we will always work towards the betterment of your pet's grooming experience & will give you our professional & honest opinions.  There's still so much to learn about the grooming industry & Club Pawsh's mission is to help legitimize our profession with continuous education (both of ourselves as groomers & to you, the pet PAWrent) & provide your pet & you with unPAWralled, exceptional service.  

Club Pawsh is luxury pet grooming & wellness, PAWSonified.  No two pets are exactly the same, & so we TAILor to every pet's unique needs.  This is not cookie-cutter, assembly line grooming.  This is dedicated, invested, one-on-one time with the overall wellbeing of your pet in mind.  This is luxury grooming, but we believe this is what every grooming experience ought to be & look FURward to the day when Club Pawsh is but one of thousands uPAWn thousands of grooming companies who opPAWrate with this mission & ideology.  

In addition to grooming & running Club Pawsh, Cassondra coaches groomers & other petpreneurs, speaks at grooming conventions, & runs various workshops designed around helping groomers with mindset & business success tips.

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