“I’ve always wanted to work with animals,” says new Clarkfield business owner Amy Schlenner. “When I was younger I wanted to be a dolphin trainer. Obviously, that’s out of the question around here.”
There are no dolphins, apparently, in the Heart of the Prairie.
There are, however, plenty of dogs and cats—and people who love them.
Walking into Schlenner’s new business, Pawlicious, you are greeted by the attractive 20-year-old Clarkfield native, bright fuchsia-colored walls and Marley—Schlenner’s own dog, Pawlicious-mascot and a great four-legged walking advertisement for the new pet grooming and dog training business.
“He’s great,” says Schlenner. “He’s a perfect little mascot.”
Like Mary’s little lamb, anywhere that Schlenner goes, as she walks through downtown Clarkfield, Marley is sure to follow—happily, obedient and well-groomed.
Schlenner has been running her business, located on Hwy. 67 between the Sparkle Car Wash and Friendship Cafe, for roughly the past two weeks and says business has been good.
“In my first week I’ve had a lot of customers and people stopping by. Now I just have to get my name out there and get the word out and hopefully more people will come in,” says Schlenner.
Even more important, customers have been happy: a fact that has calmed the nerves of the young business owner.
Says Schlenner, “They’ve been really happy. I was a little nervous with my first few customers. I’m like ‘I really hope they like it’, but yeah, they’ve all been really happy.”
Schlenner, a daughter of Ron and Julie Schlenner, operators of Schlenner Construction, also in Clarkfield, says she knows the demand is there for her business and hopes she can use her contacts as a life-long Clarkfield resident to get off the ground.
“I heard that the place in (Montevideo) had stopped taking appointments and a place in Marshall has been really popular. And my dad knows a lot of people through his construction business. So, a lot of his friends have been like ‘I can’t get in anywhere in Marshall, it’s always full and I’m like ‘Well, I guess I’ll open one and see how it goes’,” says Schlenner.
A 2010 graduate of Dawson-Boyd, Schlenner began her working life as a Certified Nursing Assistant, but used online classes to get the training she needed to turn her love for animals into a full-time business.
“Dogs are really popular with everyone,” says Schlenner. “A lot of people like dogs and have dogs, so it’s a good field to get into... I just kind of took the dive and jumped in.”
Schlenner has been running a schedule that makes it easy for people to make appointments for both grooming and dog training before or after work.
An Open House is planned for Wednesday April 18 from 6-8 p.m. with rootbeer floats and dog treats.