It was natural for 22-year-old Francesca Sanitate to open a dog-grooming business.
From the time she was a child she liked animals. After high school she got a job at Camp Canine in Santa Barbara where she learned the basics of dog care. She was fascinated by all the different breeds of dogs and their traits. Eager to learn more, she got a job at Petco in Santa Barbara. While in their Pet Stylist program she developed her own technique for cutting hair.
Sanitate went on to learn the basics of the business, what products to use, how to keep books, what equipment to get, etc. Encouraged by her boyfriend, David Vivar, who works at Wells Fargo Bank, she drew up a business plan.
Next, she needed a name for the business. In a brainstorming session with Vivar, they came up with name, 3-C’s Dog Grooming. Francesca is very fond of her dogs — Capone, Coco and Cali — and wanted them to be part of the venture.
A friend, Jennifer Blair, designed a logo for the business which appears on the street sign and business cards.
Even though she was excited and scared at first, Sanitate now enthusiastically describes getting her business going.
“I left flyers on cars, went door to door and put myself on Google,” she said. The door to door introduction to her business was difficult but Sanitate said she “pushed through it.”
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Sanitate says that being in business is a maturing experience.
“I can’t dawdle around and have to stay on top of things. I must manage my time correctly and have the right mindset. I keep from getting stressed because the dogs pick up on that.”
Sanitate talks to the dogs to keep them calm.
“They may not know what I’m saying but I think the tone of my voice tells them it’s going to be OK,” she said.
At 3-C’s, 512 North H St., Sanitate offers a standard dog grooming including a bath, a brush, an ear cleaning, a nail trim, teeth brushing and a haircut.