Fem-Leader Vicky Toon: Founder of Yellow Dog Grooming

By  |  0 Comments

Ready, set, groom!

Vicky Toon, founder of and groomer at Yellow Dog Grooming delivers expert service to dogs (as well as their owners) in the Ancaster (Ontario, Canada) community.   

As the Ancaster Business of the Year Award recipient and the Hamilton Spectator Reader’s Choice Award recipient, second only to a big box retailer for best dog grooming and best dog groomer’s establishment, Yellow Dog’s success is hardly questionable.

In the beginning…

“I worked for 18 years as a managing director for an environmental manufacturing firm,” said Toon. “But when I hit close to 42 [years of age] I wanted a change…I wanted to own my own business and I wanted it to be community based.”

After a year of difficult decision-making, Toon explained that she was inspired by the many dogs and dog owners she would see out and about in the community. Toon also said she recognized the lack of a community-based dog groomer. As a proud dog-mom to Wilson, a labradoodle, and Fezziwig, an Old English sheepdog, Toon admitted she did not need too much self-convincing to pursue a dog grooming business.

Not too cool for school

So began Toon’s transition into the world of dog grooming. Fast-tracking her education, Toon attended Pampered Paws Grooming School in Yorkville and Best Friends and Raina’s Grooming School in St. Catharine’s.

After converting her garage into a dog-grooming studio, which Toon explained was furnished and painted by local tradespeople, she decided to coin her business Yellow Dog as a name that was and is both easily marketable and memorable.

Vicky Toon and Wilson- (Photo supplied by Vicky Toon)

Vicky Toon and Wilson- (Photo supplied by Vicky Toon)

A new era dawns

Having officially opened its doors in April 2014, Yellow Dog currently has a client list of about 400, said Toon. In July of 2014 Toon hired her first full time groomer, Taryn Beattie, to assist with Yellow Dog’s growing client list. “I now have a co-op student as well,” she added.

“What I want to do is make Yellow Dog the umbrella for other dog-based services,” said Toon.

Community involvement

Even under such busy circumstances, however, Toon said it is important that Yellow Dog stays well-involved in and with the community: “we marched in the heritage day parade, we sell our dog cookies at the farmer’s market, we volunteer at the SPCA,” she explained. Though this list is nowhere near extensive, Toon said that Yellow Dog has become entrenched in a ‘dog subculture’ for which she could not be happier.

Vicky Toon grooming one of her dogs (Photo supplied by Vicky Toon)

Vicky Toon grooming one of her dogs (Photo supplied by Vicky Toon)

Rising to challenges

Toon admitted, however, that her days are not always met with such triumph: “what has helped me a lot are these female entrepreneurial websites. It seems like every day, just when I need it, something inspiring pops up on the screen and I think ‘I can do this’,” Toon explained. “It really takes a lot of money to start your own business…and you pretty much have to give up everything else,” she added. Nonetheless, Toon has overcome these barriers by way of a supportive partner and family and advised that such support really is key to making it through the ‘down’ times.

To learn more about Yellow Dog Grooming, including services, location and business hours, visit the website , twitter or facebook

Natalie Timperio is a freelance writer of everything as related to life and style. Her mantra? Write, edit, sleep. Repeat. You can hear more from her on https://twitter.com/natalietimperio. To find out more about her writing and related experience visit her website http://natalietimperio.com/