Lexington Township woman starts at-home dog grooming business – Canton Repository

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LEXINGTON TWP. – Lydia Rigby has always loved animals. 

The 22-year-old Marlington High School graduate owned more than 20 exotic pets when she was a teenager, including lizards, rats and Guinea pigs. 

“I still have two lizards,” Rigby said. “I’ve downsized quite a bit since then.” 

Rigby’s passion for animals inspired her to become a dog groomer. She started Hair of the Dog Grooming Parlor, a small pet grooming business she operates out of her home. 

Getting started 

Rigby started working at Pet Connection in Alliance when she was in high school. She helped the store’s groomer with nail trims and other services, which fostered her interest in animals. 

After she graduated high school, Rigby became a veterinary assistant and worked in the industry for four years. She decided to switch to pet grooming in 2021 and spent several months working as an apprentice for a groomer in the Canton South area.

Launching a small business was difficult, but, she said, “I’ve learned that you’re going to learn along the way more than anything.” 

Rigby began taking clients in October. She didn’t anticipate that her business would grow as quickly as it did. 

“I started grooming just two dogs in my basement with a foldable table just to get more practice,” she said. “I was looking for people to let me work on their dogs and learn. And then, before I knew it, I’m booked out three weeks with three to four dogs a day.”  

Rigby, who offers full groom, nail and bath services, said her social media is a major reason for her early success. She makes an effort to share photos of her clients’ dogs on Instagram and Facebook and often dresses the dogs in festive props. She also does nail painting and temporary fur coloring using chalk.  

The idea, Rigby said, came from her own experiences taking her dogs to groomers and pet day care centers. She enjoyed seeing them post about her pets on social media and thought it would be a good idea “to show people that I love their dogs.”

One of Rigby’s first clients, Janelle Jones, said it’s clear how much Rigby cares for the dogs. The Alliance resident brings her Maltese, Finn, and her American Bully, Mama, to Hair of the Dog. 

“Lydia is absolutely amazing with the dogs,” Jones said. “She makes them comfortable from the absolute beginning, and she works very well with the clients. She’s very accommodating with your schedule.” 

Jones said that her American Bully tends to be skittish around groomers, but Rigby manages to keep her calm when she cuts her nails. She recommends Rigby to many dog owners, she said, and thinks Rigby’s social media strategy helps her business grow.  

“People can go to her page and see all her posts and all the different grooms she’s done on different types of dogs,” Jones said. 

Rigby said she enjoys getting to work one-on-one with the dogs and prides herself on having a relaxing, stress-free environment. She only works with one client at a time, meaning dogs don’t have to sit in kennels while others are getting groomed. 

In the future, Rigby plans to expand her business and build a doggie day care facility that offers boarding and training. 

To schedule an appointment, contact Rigby at (330) 614-3297 or on the Hair of the Dog’s Facebook page.

Reach Paige at 330-580-8577 or [email protected] On Twitter: @paigembenn.

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