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New Grooming Choice in Roanoke

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  • New Grooming Choice in Roanoke

    Yuppy Puppy owner Carrie Wells has a passion for grooming dogs the right way.

    Wells, who owns the business with her husband, Michael, opened her latest Yuppy Puppy location on Jan. 23 at 601 Julian R. Allsbrook. The facility is her third location for her dog grooming business, joining the first location in Wilson, which opened more than three years ago, and her Raleigh location, which opened in October.

    “That’s one kind of a new baby,” Wells said of the Raleigh location.

    It was a long, odd journey for Wells to arrive here. She grew up in California on a 10,000-acre cattle ranch. She said she always had great affection for animals.

    “Growing up, I was always bringing home animals,” Wells said. “I would tell my mother they followed me home, which was odd because I rode the bus.”

    During her time in California, she got into dog grooming, and educated herself on the discipline, studying until she reached the level of Master Groomer.

    “There’s no level higher than that,” Wells said.

    Wells has 16 years of dog grooming experience, with her education affording her the opportunity to groom at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

    When her husband was transferred from California to North Carolina for business, Wells found herself moving across the country, which she said wasn't as difficult as other people might believe.

    "It wasn't hard," Wells said of adjusting to North Carolina. "I didn't grow up in a big city, so moving out here wasn't that big of a deal for me."

    She was working as a pet groomer in Raleigh for a short period when she decided the prices were a bit high, and she could fill a need for more affordable, but still high-quality, pet grooming.

    She opened the Yuppy Puppy in Wilson, settling on the name to give a sophisticated, but all-inclusive feel to the business.

    "I had seven dogs in my salon that first day," Wells said. "I had 70 a day in there within the first two months."

    This explosive growth enabled Wells to hire staff and then expand, opening the Raleigh location last year. After seeing comparable growth there, she and Michael, whom she married last year, wanted to open in Roanoke Rapids.

    "We weren't getting home until well after 8, and we have five kids in the house, all between the ages of five and 12," Wells said. "Michael is from here, and we wanted to see about getting a location open here."

    The Yuppy Puppy operation, which now includes the Roanoke Rapids store, employs 15 people in three locations. Michael is part of it now, as well, having worked at Georgia-Pacific. He’s pleased to be a part of the venture.

    "Having two kids and working swing shift, it was hard," Michael said.

    "It's nice being able to work together and see each other all the time," Wells said.

    The operation is very modernized, with equipment such as clippers attached to vacuums to keep hair out of the dog's eyes. With cameras at each location, Wells is able to monitor from anywhere. She provides her customers with access to those cameras, too, so they can watch their pets being groomed.

    "It gives everyone peace of mind," Wells said. "People are often hesitant to leave their dogs, so this helps."

    Wells is hopeful for future expansion, eyeing locations in Fayetteville, Richmond and Greensboro, and hoping to open a grooming school.
    Coordinators post updates to the message for grooming events, members contests, Classified Ads, GroomerTALK Radio shows and Magazine online.