Valleys entrepreneur embarks on dog grooming venture

A 21-year-old from Rhondda Cynon Taff, south Wales has opened a new dog grooming business with the ultimate goal of becoming a Crufts champion ‘Groomer of the Year’.

Rebecca Lewis from Treorchy, founded her dog grooming business, Vanity Hounds, after volunteering for over 18 months at a local groomers.

The business opened late last year and in just a few months Lewis has built up a solid base of regular clientele at her salon in Treorchy. Vanity Hounds offers a range of services including dog grooming done specifically to the breed, nail clipping and teeth cleaning in a cage free-environment.

Lewis honed her skills and learnt about the industry at the Welsh Grooming Academy in Neath. Later this year, Rebecca hopes to expand her services by attending the Welsh Grooming Academy to achieve her qualification in cat grooming.

She started her business with the help of Big Ideas Wales, the youth entrepreneurship service in Wales. Big Ideas Wales is part of Business Wales and is funded by the Welsh government and the European Regional Development Fund. The service is aimed at anyone between the ages of five and 25 who wants to develop a business idea.

She held an open day the weekend before she officially opened Vanity Hounds to meet members of the public who have now become regular clients.

Lewis said: “The main challenge I had when wanting to start Vanity Hounds was having enough funding to support it, as I was volunteering at the time and had no regular income. I found Big Ideas Wales through my own online research and contacted them to see if they could help.

“The service has been great, in particular my business advisor Mark Adams, who has helped me to develop a business plan and is always on hand to offer guidance. Big Ideas Wales also pointed me in the direction of Start Up Loans, which provided me with financial support. I found everyone at Big Ideas Wales very approachable and friendly and it was clear they really wanted to support me with my dream of owning my own business.”

Mark Adams, Big Ideas Wales business advisor, added: “Rebecca had a real passion for her business and has worked really hard to get where she is today. I am sure her ambition and determination will serve her well for the future and I wish her all the best in achieving her dreams.”

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