Partner Spotlight: Wags on Willow, Socially Responsible Pet Salon and Boutique

Mary and her co-owner Ernie (Photo courtesy of Wags on Willow.)

Wags on Willow knows that once in a while, we all need a spa day. The Wags team of groomers and stylists gives every four-legged customer an unparalleled personalized experience, sending them home happy, healthy, and looking sharp!

Meet Wags on Willow Owner Mary Bowler. She and her pug Sushi co-founded Wags nearly five years ago. We asked Mary to tell us more about the mission and passions that drive her dedicated team:

pet salon: Wags on Willow Owner Mary Bowler

Owner Mary Bowler (Photo by Framed Write Media.)

Make It Better: Briefly describe your business philosophy.

Mary Bowler: Do good for our clients, our employees, our neighbors, our community: that is our philosophy and it encompasses every aspect of our business. We want to be the best provider of quality service to the people who trust us with their most precious possessions — their family pets. We want to be the best employer providing a nurturing work environment for our staff, who are the keys to our success.

We want to be part of a vibrant community of merchants as we work to provide partnerships and leadership with our neighboring businesses. We also want to give back, whether it is through being active with the Chamber of Commerce, providing unique pet-related events, and, most importantly, supporting those organizations that rescue and care for and provide adoption opportunities for pets.

In summary, we want to do good for customers, their pets, our employees, our neighboring businesses, and those special volunteer organizations that aid animals.

Which product (or service) that you offer is your favorite, and why?

We offer a unique range of pet-related services, but perhaps the one that stands out is our exclusive facility for elderly and physically challenged dogs. We have installed a unique walk-in hydraulic tub that eliminates the stress and minimizes the discomfort these pets experience when visiting groomers. We are also proud of our unique summer program for kids who have an opportunity to learn about their pets and pet care in discussions with local veterinarians who partner with Wags on Willow, helping the next generation of responsible pet owners.

pet salon: Wags on Willow

Mary interacting with a happy client. (Photo by Framed Write Media.)

Tell us about how your business gives back to the community and which organizations or initiatives you’re most passionate about supporting. Why is that important to your organization?

Giving back is an important part of our business philosophy. Most recently, we held a food drive to benefit Northbrook’s Heartland Animal Shelter, collecting enough food from our clients and our vendors to feed 80 dogs and cats for one week. We believe we are unique in sponsoring this program and plan to repeat and grow it in the years ahead.

We are also active members of the Chamber of Commerce and participate in a number of their initiatives to grow local businesses.

How has your business adapted to support the demands of consumers for more sustainable and socially responsible products and services?

Virtually, all of the products we offer are safe for pets and do not harm the environment. We offer biodegradable waste collection bags, use sustainable products for bathing pets, and follow the best practices for disposing waste.

We believe that we’re all better together. Tell us which businesses or individuals in the community you love to work with and support.

One of our first initiatives when relocating to Northfield’s downtown business district was to reach out to our neighboring businesses to see how we can partner to increase their traffic flow and expand their customer base. We have been in touch with every neighboring business from the knitting store and local restaurants (Three Tarts, Happ Inn, U Dawg U) to the chocolate store and the gift emporium.

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