We had the good fortune of connecting with TeLisa Bearden and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi TeLisa, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Honestly, it was a friend who said, TeLisa you should just go to people’s houses to groom their dogs. I said “WHAT?” at this time Covid was in the news but not in the states. She gave me a name, I registered it, and did nothing with it because I had zero confidence in my skills as a groomer at the time. Then Ga shut down for 3 weeks and people were canceling appointments at the shop I was working at so my pocket was being affected (I get paid per dog, not per hour). Now at this point, I’m like, “okay there’s a problem in the industry how do I solve it?” I go back to the “groom at people’s houses” idea. I bought necessary grooming supplies and offered house call services part-time but outside (it’s literally dangerous to be around ppl at this time). I ran into some issues: people who live in apartments and the weather (to name a few). Despite the issues, the demand grew because of the convenience and fear of leaving the house. I did this all spring and summer and fall of 2020. As it’s starting to cool off I’m thinking, “Okay, now what?” because these outdoor water hose grooms aren’t going to get it once the temperature drops. At this point, I’m in a network with other groomers and have seen the mobile groomer concept. In my brain, “this has to be cheaper than opening up a shop and I won’t lose the little clientele I have.” So I’m pricing vans, trailers, building my own, I went through all the options. To finance, most wanted half up front, and let me tell you, the numbers on these vehicles, the largest numbers I’ve seen for something on 4-6 wheels. My thoughts now are because I don’t want to take out a loan, “you’ve got money saved, shop used, shop a trailer (even though you can’t drive one nor do you have a vehicle to support it).” In Sept, I bought the trailer and had a hitch attached to my Equinox which got the job done however I started having hitch problems and would have to get the hitch reinstalled every couple of months. I got my trailer wrapped in December, went full-time in January, Traded my equinox for a Silverado in March and it’s been up ever since.

So I said all that to say, I didn’t have this well-thought-out plan. I just continue to adapt to my situation as it is coming at me.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
What sets me apart is that I’m here to service my community, get to know them and their pets, I’m not trying to chase dollars 30 miles north of my neighborhood. I’m here for the pitbull and rottweiler parents that can’t get their dogs in salons because they are considered aggressive breeds (I’m here for the cute and fluffy too). I’m here to educate every pet parent I meet. I got here after 1.5 years in grooming school, through a network of groomer encouragement, and a whole lot of grind. Getting into the grooming industry, in general, is not easy. Sometimes it can feel very “members only” so I make sure to make sure the less experienced feel comfortable asking questions. Building a clientele that will trust you with their pets, is not easy.

The most important lesson I’ve learned is that continuing education is essential. Things are always changing in pet care, products, tools, recalls, techniques.
I want people to know that T3grooming is just the beginning. There are some big plans for the future and they involve your pets. I’m just here to be your dog’s best friend.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Downtown Decatur is full of small businesses, so many different restaurants (different cuisines), and things to do. The Battery: great restaurants and bars. and home to Truist Stadium.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Patty Miles of Patty’s Furtopia for giving me a shot at working at her shop and encouraging me to pick up grooms outside her shop without viewing me as competition knowing our target audience was different. The Pup Relief Tour for exposing me to other groomers and building relationships I wouldn’t have otherwise.

Animal Behavior College for the knowledge and certification
My parents for the behind the scene assistance and business management, love and support.

Website: www.t3grooming.com

Instagram: www.instagram.com/t3grooming

Facebook: www.facebook.com/t3grooming

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