BY BROOKE WILLIAMS
A new business in Laceyville seeks to provide dog owners with some peace of mind.
Stephanie Chilson cut a ribbon Oct. 31 in front of 429 Main St., signifying the opening of Chilson Grooming.
“My mission is to give people a safe place to take their dogs where they don’t have to worry about them being manhandled or being over-groomed,” Chilson said. “I want to give them a safe, happy atmosphere, and that’s what my goal was when I decided to be a groomer. I love the artistic side, but just the side of being able to help dogs is one big plus of the business.”
Originally from Sayre, Chilson moved to Towanda when she got married. Last May, she relocated to Laceyville in Wyoming County with her husband.
“We purchased a home in May and I was going to do this out of my home, but I just decided to get a shop instead,” she said.
With Chilson Grooming, she brings over 17 years of grooming experience to downtown Laceyville.
“I got my experience from the Puppy Patch in Elmira Heights and my mom Kathy and I actually had our own salon, a small dog grooming shop in Waverly, New York,” she said. “I’ve just kind of been all over. I’ve been in shops and I’ve been in my house, and now I just want to have my own shop. It’s been my dream for a very long time.”
Chilson Grooming offers full service grooming by appointment from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, though Chilson plans to be flexible with scheduling. Appointments take two hours.
“We do the full dog grooming. The bath, the ears, the nails, the haircut and soon, I hope to be carrying products such as dog toys and treats, but that’s a little bit down the road until I see if this takes off first,” she said.
To get her business running, Chilson sought help from the University of Scranton Small Business Development Center. Keith Yurgosky, an SBDC business consultant, walked Chilson through the entire process of opening a business.
“Keith was my biggest help with advertising and with making the business plan, and then it was just finding a spot to do it,” she said.
As a groomer, Chilson aims to make sure all her clients have a positive experience, and each appointment focuses on one individual dog. She disagrees with the use of cage dryers, as well as having several dogs in and out each day to maximize efficiency.
“I like to take my time and actually get to know the dog and have the dog know me and be comfortable,” she said.
Laceyville Mayor Randy Brigham joined Chilson at the ribbon cutting and said he feels pleased to see a new business coming to town.
“I think that Mrs. Chilson is going to do a wonderful job there,” he said. “There is a need for it in the area and we welcome any businesses coming into the area to take a look at our town and see if it’s a good fit for them. We’re really happy to have Stephanie there and look forward to seeing her grow.”
When any new business opens, Brigham said it sparks rejuvenation and makes people want to spend more time in Laceyville.
“I really see a slow but steady increase in the amount of interest in the downtown area,” he said, noting that there has been talk of other businesses coming to the Laceyville area. “I think that Laceyville is really going to perk up.”
For information about Chilson Grooming, call 607-738-1708 or visit Chilson Grooming on Facebook.
“The community has been very supportive and excited with me,” Chilson said. “I can’t think of a better community to be involved in.”
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