Myrna Saramago and Perla Pereira were both born and raised in Brazil. However, it was not until 2013, in Edmonton, that the two met for the first time.
Perla was living in the city temporarily, while Myrna had permanently relocated to Edmonton with her family. Myrna, a business graduate, and Perla, an engineer, had no idea that five years later they would be opening the dog grooming salon, Oh My Dog Spa. Their second year in business has proven that their model was an excellent fit for the Edmonton market.
“In the last year, we have doubled our business goal. In 2018, we set out to groom 10 dogs a day and now we are grooming over 30. In our biggest month, we had 80 new clients visit us.”
When asked to reflect on their successful year, both Myrna and Perla say that having a strong referral network significantly benefited their business.
With more furry clients entering their shop each day, Myrna and Perla know that having a strong team around them is essential to meeting the demands of their growing business—but they admit that this has not always been easy.
“We have learned that when hiring, it can’t just be on skill alone. Personality and culture fit are so important. As we grow, we step back and re-evaluate the business constantly.”
While being in business for yourself can come with challenges, it also presents significant opportunities.
“We love that we are doing things the way we think is right. From how we treat the animals we groom to how we spend time with our customers. All of our energy is put into our own business. We love working for ourselves and seeing our effort and education pay off.”
Myrna and Perla rely on each other as partners, but they also have support from family and organizations, including AWE.
“It’s not always easy to balance work and family life. Our families have been so supportive. So has AWE with the loan and business advising they have provided us. They have been very supportive.”
When asked what advice the partners would share with anyone looking to open their own business, both agreed: "Do what you like and what you're passionate about. If you're doing something just for the money, the chances of it lasting long-term are slim."
To learn more about Oh My Dog Spa visit https://www.ohmydogspa.ca/