704 S. State St. in Hart
A Q&A with the owner Jessica Carlson
Date opened: June 1, 2015
Number of Staff (Full and Part-time): Two; both full time
Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Tuesday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
What you offer: Full dog grooming services including haircut, brushing, double bath, nail trimmings and more.
Why did you open this type of business? I groomed for 13 years in Muskegon. I saw there was not a groomer in the area and I decided to take the opportunity to open my business.
How did you choose the name for your business? I would sing ‘If You’re Happy and You Know It’ to the dogs at the groomer in Muskegon. I would replace the lyric “Clap your hands” with “Wag your tail.” The dogs would always get excited and have ‘happy tails.’
Most memorable day at your business? The most memorable day for Happy Tails was opening day. I felt proud unlocking the doors to the storefront.
What is it like to serve our community in this business capacity? Serving the community is wonderful. I love how tight-knit the community is and how caring people are. When I shut down during the pandemic, members of Oceana County took care of me and made sure I was okay.
How has our community responded to your business? The community has responded well to my business. I’m always booked and see between 10 and 15 dogs per day.
How has becoming a business owner allowed you to be more involved in our community? I am able to move my schedule around so I can be more active in the local schools. I am able to be involved in school events with my children with such a flexible schedule.
What is your favorite thing about Oceana County? I grew up in the area, and I love the small community and tight-knit feeling.
Future plans? I plan to add a self-serve bathing area for owners to wash their dogs. I would also like to expand the business into a doggy daycare.
Why is it important to shop small and local? Spending local means that the money goes back into the community. Supporting local businesses means that instead of the money going to big box stores, it’s going to support local families. It becomes more personal.
Final thoughts? I am thankful for the community and how it allows my business to thrive. I appreciate all of my clients and their dogs.