Name: Janice Hartley
Business: Canine Capers Grooming Salon, 302 N. Houston Road, Warner Robins, (478) 922-3130.
How long have you been in business?: The salon has been open 30 years, and Hartley purchased it in 1989. “My husband and I had two Pekingese, and whenever I called Canine Capers (for an appointment) they told us it would take two weeks. I told my husband it would be a great business.”
She then told the owner if she ever considered selling the business, she’d be willing to buy it. “She called and we bought it,” Hartley said.
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The former business owner eventually told Hartley the real reason it took her two weeks to get an appointment is because it took three groomers to cut one of her dog’s toenails.
Hartley said she’s pleased with how business has been. “It’s been wonderful,” she said. “I cried the first two years ... even buying an established business, paying it off” was difficult, but the salon is doing well “thanks to support of loyal customers,” Hartley said.
At least 50 percent of her clients are on their third animal with Canine Capers. In her 23 years at the salon, Hartley has connected with many people -- and animals.
“I have some ‘special’ clients, like a poodle that has to get its feet shaved,” Hartley said. “He’d rather be chasing something through the yard.”
Then there are dogs like Charcoal, a basset hound-schnauzer mix. His owners first took him to Canine Capers when he was 4 months old. Charcoal lived to be 19.
“I told them to bring him in when he turns 20, but he didn’t make it,” Hartley said.
In her couple of decades at the salon, Hartley has also seen her clients’ human children grow.
“You see the customer bring in a new baby then watching the baby drive (the pet) in for an appointment because they have their driver’s licenses,” she said.
The Warner Robins chapter of the Business and Professional Women recently named Hartley Woman of the Year, and she came in second in the state.
“I was speechless,” she said. “For a girl with a high school diploma ... this is a great country.”
-- Harold Goodridge