Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, up to 800 businesses across the country have closed daily, according to a study conducted by Yelp. Despite these circumstances, a Selah woman recently decided to pursue her goal of owning a business.
On February 16, Jazmyne Schmidt opened her dog grooming business Diamond in the Ruff at 11 N. First St. in Selah. Despite the difficulties faced by many small businesses, Schmidt believes that her new business will not only survive these challenging times, but thrive too.
Schmidt began caring for dogs five years ago and has worked in other foster care establishments across the Yakima area.
“I’ve worked with animals all my life and I’m very passionate about them,” said Schmidt.
In search of more independence in her work, Schmidt decided this winter to open his own hairdresser and offers dogs of all breeds grooming services such as haircuts, baths and nails. While the company doesn’t offer its services to cats, Schmidt cares for small animals like guinea pigs, Schmidt says.
In addition, Schmidt’s friend and dog groomer Morgan Sigler rents a room at Diamond in the Ruff to offer her own pet care services.
“I love to take care of myself. I love making people happy, ”said Sigler. “Some dogs get matted and it can hurt. I like reformatting this dog to make it feel better. “
With so many small businesses struggling to stay afloat amid the pandemic, Schmidt had some reservations about her business venture but decided to move on.
“I’m a little worried. But I’m just trying to have trust, ”said Schmidt. “If you wait for the perfect moment, there will never be one.”
Still, Schmidt is overall optimistic about the success of her new operation for a variety of reasons, including its ability to adhere to COVID-19 security protocols.
“We do a lot of contactless things. We don’t have to be in contact with a lot of people, ”says Schmidt, pointing out that as a dog hairdresser she is in contact with animals for much longer than with other people.
Schmidt also attributes her optimism to an increase in the number of dogs being adopted and bought. Your colleague Sigler, who also breeds dogs in addition to grooming, has seen this trend firsthand.
“Since I’m on the breeding market, I can say that all prices are rising,” said Sigler. “People will want their pups to come and take care of them.”
Schmidt and Sigler also believe that the relationships they have built with customers through their previous work experience will keep those customers excited about the new business.
“Dogs get to know their grooms better than you think,” says Schmidt.
It is these strong bonds with animals that make dog care so rewarding for Schmidt.
She hopes Diamond in the Ruff will outlast the battles of the COVID-19 pandemic with increased demand for care services and relationships with past customers in her arsenal. She also hopes to add more snow groomers to her team in the near future.
Meanwhile, Schmidt remains grateful for her work.
“Caring has given my life a purpose that I never thought possible,” she said. “It just feels like family.”
Natalie Keller is a sophomore at Selah High School.