Longtime dog groomers Angela Lewis and Michelle Ennis met about eight years ago when they both worked at a grooming shop. Both ladies, already experienced in their craft, hit it off almost immediately.
After being co-workers for a while, they went their separate ways and pursued other work opportunities, but kept their friendship intact.
Then earlier this year, Lewis said she learned from her mother that a storefront space in a small strip center was available. After checking it out and determining it was suitable, she asked Ennis if she wanted to team up and run their own grooming shop in it.
The result is Southern Styles Dog Grooming LLC, in the Spring Garden Center, just north of a chain auto-parts store on DeLand’s northwest side. The doggy salon opened on Spring Garden Avenue a week before Thanksgiving, and has been busy ever since, Lewis told The Beacon.
“It’s something we’ve always talked about,” Lewis said. “We busted our butts getting this place ready after it sat empty for 1 1/2 years.”
Lewis attributes their early success to both women having strong reputations in the industry because of their extensive experience.
“I’m a second-generation groomer,” she said. “I grew up with clippers in my hands and grooming dogs. My mom started teaching me when I was 6.”
Ennis said she got her start while working for a professional dog handler. She would help him transport miniature poodles to various shows up and down the East Coast, and often had to prep the dogs for grooming. Eventually, she learned to do the grooming herself.
Both women also breed show dogs.
“I’m known for breeding and showing miniature poodles, but also quality grooming as well,” Ennis said.
“I breed bichon frisés, but I’m also a competitive groomer,” Lewis said. “I also teach grooming at seminars and stuff.”
In addition to grooming for dog shows, both women can do the everyday trims that canine family members often need. And Lewis said she can also do creative grooming, such as coloring a dog’s hair or similar treatments.
The shop’s name is another Lewis creation.
“It just sounded nice, and there’s not another ‘Southern Styles’ anything,” she said. So the name stuck.
Southern Styles Dog Grooming is open by appointment only, for now, but if the business grows the women might start carrying accessories for sale and allowing walk-in traffic for grooming.
Southern Styles Dog Grooming is at 502 N. Spring Garden Ave., Suite 1, in DeLand. Appointments can be made between roughly 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday by calling 386-873-8397. Visit their website here: https://www.bestprosintown.com/fl/deland/southern-styles-dog-grooming-llc-/