Groomer of 25 years takes business to next level – Alton Telegraph


EAST ALTON — Though she’s been grooming dogs since 1997, Sheri Harmon started Sheri’s Mobile Spaw just two and a half years ago during the pandemic. 

“Mobile grooming is something new for me,” said Harmon, of East Alton, who began working with dogs in 1993 at a groomer’s business where her cousin worked.

During the holidays, Harmon’s cousin recruited her to help out.

“I started working in the kennel, scraping poop,” Harmon recalled. “Then bathing, and then got into grooming.”

Harmon’s big opportunity came when the groomer she worked for was having a baby. Harmon took over managing her grooming business. 

“I learned how to groom, for real,” Harmon said. 

“I always loved animals” Harmon said. “They saw I was a hard worker and I started bathing, and they wanted me to learn how to groom.”

Harmon purchased her mobile dog grooming business trailer, thanks to the COVID-era Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Harmon reverted to a mobile business with PPP assistance.

The Paycheck Protection Program was enacted by the U.S. Small Business Administration to give loans to help businesses keep their workforce employed during the height of the COVID crisis. 

Not only did Harmon continue to work, she hired a groomer, Kristin Goretcke, of Edwardsville, owner of Tina’s Pet Grooming, who closed the shop.

“A lot of people know her from her shop,” Harmon said. 

During the pandemic, Harmon purchased the trailer from a friend who had been doing a mobile grooming for about seven years. She was ready to sell and Harmon bought her trailer. 

Operating a mobile grooming business made sense to Harmon. 

“People didn’t have to leave their homes, but I could go there and wear a mask while grooming,” Harmon said, “They just let me handle their dogs.”

Most of Sheri’s Mobile Spaw’s clients are pre-set and booked two weeks out, but Sheri’s is accepting clients at this time. 

Harmon said that mobile grooming cuts down on the animal’s anxiety, especially if they resist getting into a car.

“People have us come because they can’t get their dog in the car, or their dogs get car sick, or anxiety from being gone so long at a shop,” Harmon noted.

“All those things cut down dramatically with mobile grooming.”

Clients’ furry companions, many of whom Harmon has groomed for years, remember her, she said.

“They are really happy to come out and see us,” Harmon said.

“I’m really good with dogs that have behavior issues,” she noted. “Their owners will say I’ll have trouble, but I have no trouble. I’m known for being able to work with those type of animals. They’re fine with me because I’ve been doing this a long time, and I’m confident in what I do. The dogs feel that,  how confident I am, and that makes them feel better.”

Sheri’s Mobile Spaw grooming services include bath, blueberry facial, glands, ears cleaned, nails filed, conditioner, basic brush out, cologne and more. 

Sheri’s Mobile Spaw goes anywhere in Madison County Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday and Friday. 

Harmon grew up in St. Louis and moved to Glen Carbon when she was 15. She started grooming dogs in Missouri, until about 2000, when she moved back to Illinois.

For more information, text Harmon at 618-670-3063 and/or follow Sheri’s Mobile Spaw’s Facebook page 

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