Growing up, sisters Christine Sato and Mary Woolbright had dreams of their future.
“Christine had always had a dream to own her own business, and I have always had a dream to do something with animals,” said Woolbright, co-owner of Fancy Fur Pet Grooming and Boutique.
The Inverness residents decided to combine their passions and open Fancy Fur in 2008.
“I thought that Mary should have her own grooming place, and I’ve always loved animals so I thought it was a great idea,” said Sato.
The sisters along with their seven staff members perform everything from simple nail trims to full haircuts for both dogs and cats.
“We care about how the animals will look when they walk out the door,” said Woolbright, a certified groomer.
Woolbright prides herself on the positive experience that pets receive while in her care.
“We just dote on them,” she said. “The dogs start coming to us and love coming in the door.”
Mary Beth Kent has been bringing her miniature poodle, Phillipe, to Fancy Fur for three years.
“A lot of dogs don’t like to go to groomers,” Kent said, “but Phillipe actually tugs on his leash to go in. He is so excited to go in.”
The groomers even work with older dogs or dogs with health issues. Because their facility has multiple areas, pets are able to relax in a stress-free environment.
Kent’s Phillipe, an energetic 7 year old, likes to sit with Woolbright and watch the other dogs as they are groomed.
“Mary and Christine are very customized in terms of the dog’s need,” Kent said.
“We cater to the dogs,” said Sato. “It’s all about the dogs.”
But Woolbright doesn’t limit her clients to canines. “I love working on cats as well,” she said.
Inverness resident Deborah Stephens has been taking her dogs to Fancy Fur since the boutique’s opening day.
“I have had the unique opportunity to watch these two sisters grow this business from the ground up,” she said.
Stephens has three dogs, all of whom are groomed at Fancy Fur. Bogart is a Tibetian Terrier, Angelina is a Bichon Frise, and her newest addition, Lacy, is a Yorkie mix.
Stephens brings Bogart, a championship show dog, to Fancy Fur for a weekly hair cut. “Bogart can be a handful,” she said. “But he loves Mary because she is so accommodating. At the core of everything is Mary’s high quality grooming skills. There are boutiques and groomers across the city, but Mary’s grooming is unparalleled.”
When owners drop off their pets for a haircut, they can also pick up something special in the shop’s boutique.
“Owners really like to come in and buy something that they may not find anywhere else,” Sato said. “I try not to duplicate, so you might have something that no one else has.”
The boutique is stocked with dog outfits, specialty collars with Swarovski crystals and collegiate apparel for pups.
The sisters also love to help animals in need.
“As a business, we involve ourselves in any charities that are pet-related. We do a lot of work with the Shelby Humane Society and Picasso Pets,” said Sato, whose own dog, Curly, was rescued from the Shelby Humane Society.
To schedule a grooming appointment for your furry friend, call 408-1693 or visit their website.
5291 Valleydale Road, Suite 139
Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.