Marcie’s journey started when she moved to West Salem two decades ago as a single mom with two kids. She needed to find a job that allowed her to tend to her youngest son, who has type one diabetes, which requires constant care. Marcie took a part-time job at a local grooming shop and, before she knew it, became the grooming manager there. After running the grooming department for about a year, she decided she wanted to open her own grooming salon.
Her First Location
Marcie found a small space to rent in downtown West Salem. She wanted to be close to her house and the school, having a four-year-old and a twelve-year-old son, and no family living locally to help.
Marcie spent long days grooming dogs in her little shop and growing her client base. In addition to grooming, Marcie boarded dogs at her house. She had the only boarding service in West Salem, often with 15–20 dogs a night at her 900-square-foot home.
Marcie became the drop-off point for every dog in West Salem, and even people from the surrounding areas, such as Onalaska, started to utilize her services. Every day after school, her kids helped take care of all the boarding dogs at their house, and she continued to work morning until night, growing her client base.
Outgrowing The Business
Two years later, Marcie knew she had outgrown her little grooming shop as she had built a more extensive client base from West Salem and the surrounding communities. She bought her first building next to the ice cream shop in downtown West Salem. Then, Marcie realized she needed to hire her first employee.
A similar story to before; another two years later, Marcie outgrew the second building. This time, Marcie purchased a larger space across the street, adding a doggy daycare and three more employees. Kids from West Salem Middle School volunteered in the daycare, Girl Scouts came to walk the boarding dogs, and Marcie engaged in many community activities. She always sought to hire young, local people and get the younger generation involved in her business.
Marcie ran her grooming and daycare business there at her third location while continuing to board at her home for the next three years until she once again outgrew her building. With a heavy heart, Marcie left downtown and pursued the West Salem building she’s currently operating in. She leased the building for 10 years and wanted to ensure it would work before purchasing such a large (approximately 5,000 square foot) space.
The daycare area was designed to hold up to 60 dogs, and boarding finally left Marcie’s house as 35 boarding suites were added. At least 10 more employees were hired, and once again, Marcie continued to grow her business and client base in grooming, boarding, and daycare.
Ripon, 2nd Location
With the security and establishment of her West Salem business, Marcie moved to her hometown, Ripon, remodeled and opened a second Marcie’s Pet Spa location there, and grew the Ripon business the same way she did in West Salem, starting small and continually growing.
With her son Adam and his girlfriend Kylie helping run the business, Marcie is now operating in a newer, larger Ripon location with grooming, daycare, boarding, and a grooming school. As she steps away from physically grooming so many dogs, Marcie has found a passion for teaching grooming. All the groomers who work for Marcie have graduated from her school, which helps ensure the touch of Marcie is present in all her groomers. Being initially from Ripon, Marcie has been successful in the community, is on the humane society board there, and is well known in the surrounding Ripon areas.
Sparta, 3rd Location
A year after opening the Ripon location, Marcie added a third location to the business, Sparta. An older couple looking to retire from their dog business called her and asked her to take it over. So, Marcie decided to purchase the property. Along with the existing boarding and grooming building, Marcie bought the house and cabin on the premises, which she can stay at or rent to employees. There was updating and remodeling that needed to be done, but Marcie implemented what was needed to have successful grooming and boarding there. She even turned an existing garage into a doggy daycare.
By this time, Marcie's family had become very involved in the business. Her oldest son Nolan took on a top management position, in addition to maintaining the West Salem and Sparta properties. Although he's always been somewhat involved in his mom's business, it wasn't until now that Nolan committed to a full-time, lead management position. Nolan is a key factor in all business decisions, alongside his mom, and one day will take over the business.
There's also JR, Marcie's significant other of nearly a decade, who has become very involved in the business finances. Around the time the Sparta location was added, JR became Marcie's full-time financial advisor and has made a significant impact.
Marcie and Nolan
Each of the three locations continues to grow, with around 70 total employees and a large client base in each community. With her family and key management team in place, Marcie has the ability to expand her business to the next level. Once again she finds herself facing the same situation as before, reaching maximum capacity in all areas and needing to move to a larger building, especially in her West Salem location to accommodate all her clients. Stay tuned for updates!