Dog grooming YouTuber opens salon in Bognor Regis
A professional dog groomer who regularly vlogs about working in a dog grooming salon, has set up shop in West Street, Bognor Regis.
The salon, called The Dog Grooming Nerd, opened for business on Monday morning (April 19) and offers bathing, clipping, trimming and cutting services for every breed of dog and every type of dog owner.
Owner Maria Bjorn, 29, got into the industry several years ago, looking to turn her passion for animals into a viable career.
“I’ve always really liked animals. I grew up on a farm, so working with them is something I’ve always wanted to do,” she said. “Animals just like you, It doesn’t matter if you’ve had a bad day, they’re just always happy to see you.”
Ms Bjorn moved to Bognor Regis from Finland twelve years ago to live with her partner, and, after earning a diploma in dog grooming from Brinsbury College, started work at Dapper Dogsin Felpham.
When that salon folded in March, the redundancy put Ms Bjorn in a difficult position.
“It was a choice of going back to retail in the middle of a pandemic or starting my own place,” she said“and it didn’t take long to decide what I wanted to do.”
So far, that seems to have been a good decision. News of the shop’s arrival has been met with palpable excitement.
Ms Bjorn said: “It’s been really good. We’re fully booked for all of the first week and partially booked the week after.”
“A lot of dog owners, they sort of follow groomers and their reputation. So it’s really nice that people have that kind of loyalty. To follow me on this new, terrifying adventure that no one knows whether or not it’s going to work out.”
Ms Bjorn also used the pandemic as an opportunity to start a YouTube channel on which she regularly discusses the realities of working in a dog salon. Ms Bjorn said: “When the first lockdown happened and I was sat at home 24/7 all of a sudden, I figured I should do something and start a channel. I’ve always been a bit of a nerd anyway. I’ve done gaming on YouTube and that sort of thing, so I wanted to combine that side of my interests with my work and it just kind of rolled on from there. NowI have a salon under the same name as well, so it’s kind of turning into a bit of an empire!”
With more than one and a half thousand subscribers and some of her videos attracting over ten thousand views, the channel is a rapid and roaring success, charged with a momentum that Ms Bjporn hopes will carry over into her new business: “I think people love seeing the process, for people to see what’s going on behind the scenes, I think it will give them a bit more confidence. They kind of get to know me a bit as well, if they’ve not met before while I’ve been grooming elsewhere,” she said.