Meet Our Team
Susie Smith started grooming in 2007 as a second career after working on the administrative side of the entertainment industry in her hometown of Los Angeles, California. This seemed like a logical choice considering her love for animals at one time had her sharing her home with dogs, cats, a pig, chickens and a bird - as well as a husband and son!
Prior to coming on board with us in June of 2016, Susie worked as both groomer and salon manager for Petsmart salons in both California and Alabama. She draws on her management experience and experience as salon manager to help keep things running smoothly. We are thrilled to have her - and several of her long-time clients who followed her from Petsmart on the other side of town too. Susie is thrilled to have made the change to the boutique grooming environment too, which is evident by her signature laugh that can often be heard resounding through the building!
Susie loves grooming doodles and prides herself on being getting as much hair off as possible in de-shedding treatments for double coated dogs. After dealing with so much dog hair all day, it's no wonder that her furry crew at home includes not one but two hairless Chinese Cresteds - Roo and Steve McQueen. She also has three other rescue dogs, Miss Ellie, Brimley and Peanut, who was abandoned by his previous owner after being groomed at Petsmart. A cockatiel named Freddie and a tabby cat named Tubbs round out her petting zoo at home. Susie still falls in love with at least one more dog in the salon every day so you better not be late picking up your pup - she very well may take him in too!
Athena is the newest member of our grooming team. After toiling in hot kitchens while in culinary school for years, she decided to put down the pots and pans and continue her education to become a dog groomer at the Florida Academy of Grooming. It was a natural progression since her mom and sister are both dog groomers and she had worked with them as a child. I guess you could say that a love for animals and grooming talent runs in the family!
This foundation enabled Athena to excel in grooming school and to work at Camp Scotty over the holidays before coming on board with us in January of 2017. She may not be ready to take on some of the more complicated cuts that our three other groomers are able to do but she is eager to learn, an incredibly hard worker and her skills are already far beyond that of most beginners. In fact, her instructor who taught her at the academy even offered her a job in her own salon in Florida! We are thankful that she chose to return to Birmingham instead to work and continue learning alongside our three senior groomers - including her big sister Felicia who has been with us for almost two years.
Athena grew up with German Shepherds so has a fondness for them as well as most other big dogs. She loves to groom all dogs and is always excited to see a different breed but especially loves curly haired dogs, such as poodles and bichons, because of the scissoring involved. We are sure that Athena will go far in her career as a groomer - but if we can pull her away from the grooming table long enough, maybe she can combine her knowledge of cooking and dogs together to come up with our own exclusive line of gourmet treats!
Athena and her boyfriend Emil both work long hours but hope to add a furry friend to their family as soon as possible. A West Highland White Terrier, a.k.a. "Westie", is the likely choice but with the number and variety of dogs Athena gets to spend time with at work each week, you never know what could happen!
Felicia began grooming dogs at a young age, both at home and helping her mom at the Pink Poodle Pet Salon in Fairhope, Alabama. After graduating high school, she explored the possibility of a career as a human hairdresser, traveled some and attended college at UAB, before ultimately deciding to follow in her mother's footsteps to become a dog groomer.
Having enrolled at the Florida Academy of Pet Grooming, Felicia graduated in 2011, then returned to Birmingham. Ironically, she applied to work with us not once but twice before the third time was a charm! She made a great first impression but had just accepted a position with our neighbors at Nall Daniels Animal Hospital by the time a position became available the first time, THEN decided not to jump ship at her current salon right before Christmas the second time around. Along with her grooming skill and compassion for dogs, it was this display of loyalty that made us thrilled to finally welcome Felicia on board in May of 2015.
Felicia's love and compassion for dogs - especially the older ones - is hard to find. She would rather groom the elderly dogs because she knows that many groomers don't like to do so once they become frail and more difficult so she feels like they need her the most. It's clear that she loves ALL dogs though. In fact, her sense of smell is so strong that we often tease her that she may actually BE part dog! This makes her an especially good mommy and pack leader to her two furry children, Lexi and Max, both rescue dogs who "found" her.
Despite working full time, Felicia always finds time to feed the stray cats in the neighborhood, make shelters for them to use in winter and volunteer with the Greater Birmingham Humane Society. She was selected to be on their Young Professional Board last year and strives to spread the word about the importance of rescuing pets and spaying/neutering them to alleviate issues with pet over population. She is also particularly happy to get to work with and mentor her baby sister Athena now!