Lesley White is the latest in a new breed of Borders entrepreneurs turning their passion into solid business success.
For the 42-year-old from Lauder, who launched the Dog and Bone Mobile Grooming service last month, has returned to her first love.
“I had retrained as a complementary therapist, having worked for more than two decades with top-class competition horses throughout the UK,” explained Lesley.
“But after moving to the Borders, my love of animals made me take stock.”
Now with the help of Business Gateway Scottish Borders, her mobile dog grooming venture is up and running.
“My father was a greyhound trainer, so we had greyhounds and a wide variety of other dogs whilst we were growing up around the house,” recalled Lesley.
“For as long as I can remember I have always groomed my own dogs and those of family and friends so it made sense to get some formal qualifications and pursue it further.
“I enrolled on a City and Guilds course and thoroughly enjoyed it.”
She added: “I knew Business Gateway offered free advice, but I wasn’t prepared for just how much information was on offer. I took full advantage of the one-to-one advice and of the workshop programme.
“I have done most of the free courses, including website development and business planning.
“I felt overwhelmed at first when I realised just how much I had to learn, but knew I needed to start my business the right way and all the advice offered was brilliant.”
Having invested in a van which is fully kitted out with top-of-the-range equipment, including a heated, massaging hydro bath and high velocity dryer, Lesley has already built up an impressive client list in Lauder, Jedburgh, Selkirk, Kelso and Duns.
She offers a comprehensive range of grooming services and a five-point health check before using low-stress handling techniques and hypo-allergenic products.
Lesley told us: “I have found, particularly for dogs of a nervous disposition, that one-to-one attention and no other distractions helps them feel comfortable, and this makes the whole process more enjoyable for them.
“Handing a dog back to its owner looking and smelling fantastic is a great privilege and I am really enjoying driving throughout the region as it is such a beautiful and picturesque place.
“I may even start a blog about all of the hidden gems that I discover on the road.”
To find out more about Dog and Bone Mobile Grooming call Lesley on 07956 510 075.
For more information on how Business Gateway Scottish Borders can help you start and grow your business visit www.bgateway.com/scottishborders or call 01835 818315.