A mother and daughter pet-grooming team has packed up from their hometown in Illinois and taken their business on the road. Literally.
Settling in Maricopa, Jeanne and Meggan Mulcahy have opened A Gucci Pooch, a mobile pet salon and spa. Operating out of their self-contained van with hot and cold running water, A Gucci Pooch gives cats and dogs a more individualized, intimate and relaxing grooming session.
"It’s such a nice experience for the animal and us," Jeanne Mulcahy said. "We get a lot out of it too, because the dog is bonding with us."
Jeanne Mulcahy has 40 years of grooming experience. She has been styling doggie hair since she was 18. Her daughter, Meggan Mulcahy, was practically raised in the grooming shop. At age 9, she groomed her first poodle, and started winning grooming competitions by age 12, becoming the youngest groomer ever to place at Intergroom.
In their experience with traditional doggrooming salons, the Mulcahys said the process was more like a fast-paced assembly line.
In any given day, about 20 or 30 dogs would be brought in between 9 and 10 a.m. The dogs were then caged and shuffled around from a bather, back to the cage, to a brusher, back to the cage, and finally to a groomer, before it was caged again for their owners to come pick them up.
"You’re going crazy trying to do volume instead of quality. We thought that there’s got to be a better way to do this for the dog," Jeanne said. "But you can’t do it one at a time in a shop because you can’t charge enough money."
Rather than paying rent on a stationary salon, the Mulcahys came up with the idea for the van.
From the van, the animals are never caged, they can see their houses, and maybe even their owners doing landscaping. In this calm, quiet atmosphere, the pets can be groomed in an hour-and-a-half.
"With the van, you have time. You don’t have somebody on the phone asking, ‘Is my dog ready?’" Jeanne said. A Gucci Pooch is also a good environment for older, geriatric dogs. "We can allow them time to rest, we can let them lay down and relax, we play music," Jeanne said. They also use a low-power dryer on older dogs, since the noise pierces their ears and can cause them to become frantic. "The older they get the more frantic they are," Jeanne added. "They need a real gentle touch and a calm atmosphere so they get done properly."
That calm atmosphere is also advantageous to cats, which can get groomed without barking dogs in nearby cages.
Prices range from $50 to $90 depending on the size of the animal and its behavior. For more information, call (520) 840-2271 or go to