Going to the dogs might just be the best way to describe the new business of Maria Drew.
Maria has spent the majority of her adult life in sales but she has always had a passion for animals. In 2010, Maria and her husband, Rick, were building a petting farm in Clever, MO, a small community north of Branson.
“We had four different species of foul and 11 varieties of farm animals and livestock. We had just purchased a train and a bounce house when Rick was transferred back to Florida,” Maria explained. “Being among all of the animals was like heaven for me. I just loved being a part of their lives and taking care them.”
Rick is the marketing director for East Ridge at Cutler Bay and a published author of two true crime books and a children’s picture book.
Wanting a new career, Maria attended a licensing program to become a dog groomer a little over a year ago. To gain on-the-job experience after her school, she began working for a dog resort in Miami.
The couple purchased a Mercedes Sprinter van in July 2015 and Maria explained to Rick what was needed to transform the van. He went to work on the vehicle on weekends and evenings.
The mobile grooming van looks more like a sterile operating room on the inside. The walls and ceiling are covered with gloss white Formica. What looks a little like an operating table in the center of the van is a hydraulic lift table for blow drying and grooming the dogs. A large stainless steel washbasin with a doggy ramp sits along the back wall. An Onan 5500 watt generator installed in the back provides the mobile grooming van with its electricity.
“We have enough water on board to wash approximately seven dogs,” Maria said.
The van also was equipped with a built-in vacuum system that is activated by flipping a switch.
Maria said that her business is growing faster than she could have imagined.
“So far, I have relied on referrals from happy customers,” she said. “Advertising is provided by the van’s mural as a mobile billboard.”
When asked if she has ever been bitten, Maria responded with enthusiasm, “Yes, I have, but that’s what these are for,” holding a variety of soft muzzles in her hand.
“Glamour Dogs” does more than just wash your pooch. Their services include washing, nail clipping, fur trimming and grooming, flea and tick treatments, medicated baths, ear cleaning and anal gland extractions.
This new business covers Cutler Bay, Palmetto Bay, Kendall, Pinecrest and Homestead.
“A clean, nice smelling dog is a happy dog,” Maria said.
You can’t miss the van as it parades down the street with pink and mauve “Glamour Dogs” along each side. To arrange for a visit, call 305-763-2627.