Indianapolis pet groomer keeps tight leash on quality
The Village Dog
Andria Berendts, manager
In business since 2000, The Village Dog has won seven Super Service Awards. Berendts, who has 18 years of experience in the industry, attributes her company’s success to consistently catering to each client’s needs. “We listen to what they want and do it to the best of our ability,” she says.
by Joshua Palmer
Andria Berendts discovered her calling as an animal groomer while styling her family Afghan hound's hair as a teenager. "I used to do her hair and makeup on a regular basis," she says.
She worked in a family friend's grooming shop at age 16, and began working full time in Indianapolis shops at 18. In 2000, opportunity knocked, Berendts says, when a veterinarian wanted to open a grooming business in the heart of Broad Ripple and asked her to run it. She's been keeping pet owners satisfied with well-coiffed cats and dogs ever since.
She says communication is the key to her customers' consistently positive reviews. "When a client gives us instructions, we ask a lot of questions so we're all on the same page," Berendts says.
And good communication with four-legged clients is just as important. "You have to stay focused on communicating with the animal, too," she says. "If you're not focused on the animal, you don't belong in the business."
Daniel Birtwhistle of Fishers says his goldendoodle, Marley, benefited from that focus. "They were very friendly and listened closely to my grooming needs," he says. "Marley looked wonderful - it was her best haircut ever."
Employing a small staff of three full-time groomers helps keep a tight leash on quality, Berendts says. "We're pretty selective, and everybody knows what their job is. The dogs and the owners need to be happy, but the animals' care comes first."
That care includes regular potty breaks throughout the day, as bathing, drying and grooming may take several hours. It also involves maintaining a clean shop and relaying health information, such as suspicious spots or growths, that an owner might otherwise miss.
Patricia Farrell of Indianapolis says The Village Dog's courteous staff and excellent cuts have kept her a loyal customer since the shop opened. She regularly drops off her three Yorkies for trims.
"Andria's so good with them, she knows each one's personality," she says. "She's a dog whisperer; I'd give her 12 stars on a four-star review."