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Retirement turns into new grooming biz

NEWBURG — Nichole Larew has been grooming dogs for 30 years.

She said she retired in 2008 but it didn’t work out. Now, she owns The Love Tub Dog Grooming Salon, 402 Church St. in Newburg.

“I was grooming a few clients’ dogs in my home,” she said, “But when I went out people started asking me about my grooming so I reopened.”

Larew said there is a “big shortage” of groomers, and a lot of people don’t realize becoming a groomer is an opportunity.

She said she wants to find out about teaching a vocational technical class in grooming at the high school. Larew said this would allow interested students to become grooming professionals.

“A groomer can move anywhere in the country and get a job,” she said. “I was a single mother raising two kids. Had I not been able to schedule around my kids — I would have been fired from a regular job. Grooming supported me and my kids for a very long time.”

Larew said there is room in the county for more groomers. She said she is currently booked until October.

“It’s been quite busy. I have another groomer here helping me.” Larew said. “I have people bringing their dogs from Morgantown, Fairmont, Bridgeport, Pennsylvania, and all over. If things go well I hope to train more groomers. I have another one training so there will be three of us in the near future”

Larew said she doesn’t have a standard price list to share. She said instead she goes by the size of the dog, the kind of hair it has, and other information she gets when speaking with the owner.

Larew said when she was in high school she volunteered at the animal shelter.

“They had dogs, some were all matted and I thought if they were groomed so people could see them, they would be adopted.” She said. “Later, I dropped out of college and went to grooming classes.”

Larew said she believes she is one of the lucky people who gets to do a job they literally love.

“I get to work with dogs all day. Sometimes it can be challenging,” Larew said. “But it’s a very nice job if you love dogs, and I do. I have five of my own. I have a Great Pyrenees, a German shepherd, a husky, a border collie mix and a springer spaniel.”

The Love Tub Dog Grooming Salon is open Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday by appointment. To make an appointment call 304-892-3330. More information about the salon can be found on its Facebook page.