WACO, Texas — For many business owners, the pandemic has made it difficult to stay afloat, but one Central Texas business woman didn’t let it get her down.
Just over a year ago, Shelbi Todaro took on the challenge of starting her own grooming business.
“I knew I wanted to work with animals since I was able to talk,” Todaro said.
But before Bentley’s Paw Spa was born, it started as a way to get her own families dogs groomed.
“My parents had a lot of dogs and none of them were really good at going to the groomers. So I decided to buy my own equipment,” Todaro said.
And that’s when Todaro realized just how many dog owners have a difficult time finding a business or person who could actually pamper their pups.
“I just really wanted to create a place where dogs that are a little bit more reactive and nervous of being around people and all of the chaos that a salon brings," Todaro said. "I just wanted to make sure that those dogs could get groomed too because they typically get turned away."
Using her own home as her office, she started Bentley’s Paw Spa in January of 2021, right in the middle of the pandemic. But, that didn't stop her.
“All of the typical salons were closed and so I would safely take the dogs and let owners stay in their car," Todaro said. "I was able to help people that otherwise wouldn’t be able to get their dogs groomed."
But starting the spa came with plenty of obstacles.
“In the beginning it was overwhelming because I had to learn all of the tools myself and set up," Todaro said. "It is so expensive. It took me a while to get all of this stuff I have now."
And, after celebrating her one year anniversary, she now has dozens of new canine clients every week and gets to do what she loves everyday.
For more information, you can visit the Bentley's Paw Spa Facebook page.