A new business in southeast Colorado Springs is giving its customers something to wag their tails about.
Okey Doggy Wash and Groom, located at 3017 Jet Wing Drive, officially opened March 27, owner Micha White said.
The first-time business owner is the shop’s resident groomer and sole employee for now.
“My son is a junior in high school, and I plan on hiring him this summer to help me,” White said.
The South Korea native moved to Colorado Springs after her spouse, Severin White, received military relocation orders to Fort Carson.
“I think when you go through the training to become a groomer, either you have a knack for it or you don’t, and she has a knack for it,” Severin said.
Okey Doggy offers traditional grooming services by appointment in addition to self-wash stations for dog owners to use.
“At home, when you wash your dog, it splashes water and hair everywhere,” White said. “Here, they can come as walk-ins and wash their dog no matter the size and not have the mess to clean up afterwards.”
Customers can choose from a variety of dog shampoos for the self-wash option before using the store’s dry room.
“You do it all right here for one set fee,” White said.
The business’ location in Mission Pointe shopping center is ideal, she said, because of its visibility to drivers on Hancock Expressway.
“You can really see us from the road,” White said. “I also didn’t want to have to compete with other dog groomers, and this immediate area didn’t really have any of these businesses.”
Originally, White planned to name the business after her dog, Ted.
“I just woke up one day and thought Okey Doggy was a better name,” she said. “I think it’s a good fit and more catchy for customers.”
The store is painted in vibrant colors not only to attract passersby but also help provide a cozy environment for the canines.
“Dogs like bright colors,” White said. “I wanted this place to be like a kindergarten classroom — a giant dog play area. I want the dogs to feel comfortable.”
So far, the biggest obstacles White has faced have been bad weather as well as two incidents causing Hancock Expressway to be closed for extended periods.
“The weather is not helping me because, when it’s sunny, people like to wash their dogs more,” she said. “Then the fire at the townhomes over there and [a] bus accident also caused the main roadway in front of my business to shut down.”
However, White already has returning customers after only being open a short time.
“Word of mouth is extremely important,” she said. “If they don’t like what you’re doing, they aren’t going to come back.”
Still, the dog groomer doesn’t like to consider herself in competition with other groomers in the Springs.
“I don’t say this one is better because I think we are all good,” she said. “And I think there are enough dogs to go around for all of us.”
To anyone considering starting their own small business, White recommends doing a lot of research first.
“For instance, you need to find out what other similar businesses are charging,” she said. “And then you also need the capital. What are you going to start with?”
The dog lover also recommends people pursue a career or start a business that brings them joy.
“I feel this work is just peaceful and quiet, and I don’t really have to think,” White said. “A lot of people say, ‘My dog is horrible,’ or that they don’t like their nails clipped, but then I go with them and they just follow me because I guess I have a natural way with them.”
Okey Doggy Wash and Groom
Location: 3017 Jet Wing Drive