Joseph F. Berenato
10 years for Hollywood Dog Salon
Hollywood Dog Salon, located at 20 12th St., is celebrating 10 years of business in the town of Hammonton.
Owner Adrienne Murphy, who has been in pet grooming for 18 years, said that she entered the business quite unexpectedly.
“A friend of mine needed someone to come down and do some books, paperwork, customer check-in and out, so I said, ‘Yeah, OK.’ After my son got on the bus for school, I would go over and take care of paperwork and stuff,” Murphy said.
When Murphy’s friend broke her wrist, she asked Murphy to help with dog-washing.
“I said, ‘I don’t want to wash dog butt; that’s disgusting.’ She said it wasn’t that bad, so I went, and my first day there, it wasn’t bad. I was in the zone. I just sat there, singing and humming, working on dogs and washing them. I didn’t have to dry any of them; I wasn’t ready for that. A few weeks later she asked me to start drying them, so I said OK, then one thing led to another and, within a year, I was at the front table. I just really loved it,” Murphy said.
After the untimely death of her husband, Murphy moved to Williamstown, which put her close enough to Hammonton to seize on an opportunity: less than six months later, a previously established pet grooming business went up for sale.
“I said, ‘Why not?’ So I bought the business,” Murphy said.
Murphy said that Hollywood Dog Salon washes and dries all dogs by hand.
“We don’t have a machine that does either one; we do it all by hand—unless the dog is intimidated by the dryer, then we’ll put them in a crate with big nozzles to get some of the wetness off of them and towel-dry them really good. It depends on the dog and the breed, though,” Murphy said.
Additionally, grooming services are expanding.
“We just started a new line of product, hoping that’ll set us into another level of luxury services. I think people deserve a choice. We can wash and dry your dog—that’s not a big deal; we know how to do that. Now we want to keep it so that the dog’s skin stays nice,” Murphy said.
Murphy said that other services include nail clipping, teeth brushing, anal gland expression and flea baths, which provide the opportunity to educate customers.
“Your dog has fleas; what do you have your dog on to prevent your dog from getting fleas? That’s a time that we can talk to our customers, which I think is really important,” Murphy said.
Murphy said that, in addition to dogs, the staff at Hollywood Dog Salon will “also train people, too.”
“I want people to learn and understand, and, this way, they’re coming in every four weeks to get taken care of. My primary goal coming down here was to educate the humans. The dogs don’t understand; they just want to be loved. As long as we’re touching them, as long as we’re feeling them, as long as we’re talking to them, that’s all they care about,” Murphy said.
That training especially extends to employees.
“It’s an intern position, and we pay by what we do. If somebody’s in the back room, washing and drying, they’re getting paid for washing and drying ... When you have an intern come in, you have to teach them; it’s not just about washing and drying dogs. It’s about how to hold them and turn them, and make sure they stay still and don’t fall off the table. It’s hands on, all the time. We want to be able to teach,” Murphy said.
In addition, Murphy said that Hollywood Dog Salon doesn’t cater exclusively to dogs.
“We groom cats, too. We haven’t done as many as we used to, because the timing is so hard right now. We are looking to hire some people,” Murphy said.
Murphy said that she is currently on the lookout for a new location, but she has every intention of staying in Hammonton.
“I love being here. I love my customer base. I have people from other towns come over, but my Hammonton customers are what keep us going. If I were to move to a location outside of town, I’d probably lose a lot of that client base, and I don’t want to do that. I think it’s important to stay local,” Murphy said.
For more information, visit facebook.com/HollywoodDogSalon, Instagram @hollywooddogsalon or call (609) 270-7958.