Grand Mound based mobile groomer aims to keep pets “fresh looking” with less stress and no mess

By Emily Fitzgerald / [email protected]

Spa days are generally considered relaxing, but when a pet needs a much-needed bath or nail trimming, the stress of a new space often makes the spa experience a stressful one for both the pet and its owner.

Bringing the salon to the pet can reduce many of those stressors, as WF West High School graduate Stevie Miller discovered in recent months with the launch of her mobile pet grooming business, Northwest Paws & More.

Northwest Paws & More is based in Grand Mound and serves Lewis, Thurston, Grays Harbor and Mason counties. It offers cat nail trimming and full grooming services – including baths, haircuts, tooth brushing, anal gland expression, ear cleaning and nail trimming – for dogs of all sizes from 6 weeks of age.

The business started out of Miller’s desire to work for herself, which led her to buy a minibus on Easter Sunday 2022 to convert into a mobile pet salon.

Miller was working as a pet groomer at a stationary pet salon at the time, so she was familiar with the issues involved in caring for a pet in this environment. She also had experience grooming her own dogs at home, which brought her own problems.

“It’s a pain, it hurts your back and it clogs your … bathtub and everything, and then they shake in your bathroom,” Miller said. “At this point you’re not just washing your dog, you’re washing your whole house.”

A mobile salon that allows pets to be as close to the home as possible with the groomer without making a mess in the home is a great way to balance the benefits of salon and home grooming, Miller said.

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“I thought it was a great idea and I just love it,” she said.

These values ​​became the company’s motto: “Lookin’ Fresh, With Less Stress, And No Mess.”

After purchasing the bus, Miller set a personal goal of completing the renovations and opening her shop by the end of 2022.

“I made sure of that,” Miller said last week.

After removing all the seats from the bus, buying what she called “the biggest bathtub ever,” and turning the bus’s interior into an open-concept pet salon with the help of her fiancé, Miller officially opened Northwest Paws & More in November.

The business has been so successful that Miller has been able to quit her day job and devote herself full-time to caring for animals on the go.

“I didn’t expect to be as busy as I already am,” Miller said, later adding, “It was fun and every day is a new adventure and I love it.”

As a mobile pet groomer, Miller drives Northwest Paws & More’s minibus home to an appointment for a client’s pet instead of the client bringing their pet to her.

“I can go to any house, even if he lives in an apartment complex,” she said, as long as there is a place nearby where she can park the van.

When she arrives home for a dog grooming appointment, Miller goes to the door to greet the dog and owner before walking the dog to the bus.

“Even if it’s a dog that I’ve never groomed, me and the owner (will) talk to each other and the dog will just make its way (over) and figure out the bus on its own,” Miller said. Once the dog is on the bus, Miller simply closes the door and gets to work.

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Of her regular customers, Miller said, “A lot of dogs would be happy to see me, and then they would see the bus and they were like, ‘Oh, but that’s grooming I don’t really like the grooming bus.'”

For the most part, though, Miller has found that dogs are more cooperative when groomed on their bus than they are in the saloon.

“From working in a salon where you have all the different dogs and the smells and the kennels and the stress of all these different people — and then you go to my bus, it’s like the dogs are a whole different level of attitude.” said Mueller.

The open concept design of the nursing station and the bus’s large windows help keep the dogs comfortable while Miller works, she said.

“I wanted not only for owners to be able to check on their pet at all times, but also for the pet not to feel claustrophobic,” Miller said.

However, the windows can pose their own problems – especially if there are animals or other dogs outside.

“There are some good things about mobile care and then there are things like, ‘Oh, I didn’t even think of that,'” she said.

Getting involved with the business side of Northwest Paws & More was also a learning curve for Miller, who described starting a business from scratch as “very messy and time-consuming,” but over time you kind of figure out what works and what doesn’t .”

It continues to refine its business practices over time, she said.

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For more information and pricing, visit the Northwest Paws & More Facebook page at