Alyssa Fletcher visits with Clifford recently at her new pet grooming studio, Grassroots Grooming on Rosser Avenue. (TIM SMITH/BRANDON SUN)
Dog lovers, you now have another option as to where you can get your pooch looking, feeling — and smelling — their very best. Grassroots Grooming in downtown Brandon opened in mid-February.
Alyssa Fletcher is the proud owner of this new pet salon in what she refers to as a funky little strip mall — namely, the 15th & Rosser Avenue Mall.
"My salon is double-gated. I have kennels if the dogs prefer that, and it was designed with safety in mind. I really try to work within the dog’s comfort level, and safety is very important to me," Fletcher said.
Fletcher is also pleased to be able to offer her furry clients all-natural products. "We use shampoos and conditioners that are wheat- and gluten-free, paraben-free and contain certified organic aloe vera. They are also PH balanced and biodegradable."
While I know I’m of the minority (so, don’t freak out), but I am not a dog owner. Now that I’ve made that confession, I can openly admit I didn’t realize how all-natural products for dogs can also benefit humans.
According to Fletcher, it’s important for dog owners with wheat and gluten allergies to have their dogs cared for with the right products, as it could also affect their health. Fletcher also indicated that many doggie diets are also wheat- and gluten-free. News to me!
During an online search I found roughly 15 grooming businesses in and around Brandon.
According to the City of Brandon, there were 647 dogs licensed in 2013 in the city (I suspect there are also a few taking up residence in Brandon that don’t have any tags around their neck).
When I asked Fletcher if the competition scared her, her response was "I’ve been offered a lot of support from my home community and I’m tickled with how things are going. It seems as though there actually isn’t enough places (for grooming)."
Fletcher has two shelties of her own and has been grooming all breeds for a number of years.
For more information on Grassroots Grooming, call 204-727-DOGS (3647) or visit their Facebook page.
I Wish I Had
Once you get the dog all spiffed up, it’s time to turn your attention to the kids. It has been a number of years since a privately owned clothing store for older children has existed in the city.
I Wish I Had, owned by Winnipeg native Melissa Girouard, is now the new kid on the block. (Pun intended!) Melissa carries new and gently used clothing for children of all ages — starting with preemies, right up to size 16 for both girls and boys.
"I currently have a number of different lines and will be bringing in more as time goes on. Right now I have Noppies, Carter’s, OshKosh B’gosh, Point Zero and Nicki B. It’s very exciting," Girouard said.
Along with the new brand names, I Wish I Had also has a used clothing and a previously owned baby-based section (you know, all the stuff you need for babies — high chairs, strollers, exersaucers, basinets, etc).
Girouard offers a store credit for gently used clothing and baby gear brought into the store.
The credit can be applied to purchase anything from the previously owned section.
She also offers cash, but does prefer to use the credit system as customers get more value for the items they bring in.
The idea to open a store of this nature surfaced mostly out of frustration.
Girouard said she always had an abundance of gently used kids clothes that she didn’t know what to do with, and she found it difficult to find the type of clothing she was trying to find for her children.
"I thought the market was right, and there isn’t really anything like my store in Brandon," Girouard said.
Girouard has three children and a stepson. She opened the doors to her trendy new business on March 10.
If you want to pick up some new threads for the kids, I Wish I Had is located at 6-601 Ninth St., just south of Superstore.
» Wanda Kurchaba is a Brandon freelance writer and a communications and marketing specialist. This column on Westman’s business community appears each Saturday. Contact Wanda directly with any story ideas. email@example.com
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition April 12, 2014