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Cool Cats and Canines hero Carroll Community College

Christine Slater began an apprenticeship at a pet grooming salon in 2013. She worked at the salon for seven years, getting promoted to manager during that time. In that position, she learned many of the do’s and don’ts of owning and operating a pet grooming business. She also developed the clientele and confidence to eventually branch out on her own.

Cool Cats and Canines Carroll Community College
Christine Slater of Cool Cats & Canines

In March 2021, she opened her own pet grooming salon Cool Cats & Canines in Eldersburg. The first steps to launch her business were registering a name, developing a business plan, building a website, and securing a location. Once that was covered, she had to design the workspace, complete the build-out, purchase equipment and start building a reputation in the community.

“It was exciting to have the opportunity to create a business from the ground up that would reflect my own hard work and values,” Christine said.

Some of the challenges she faced while starting her business were negotiating lease and loan contracts, tedious permit regulations, and backordered equipment. As the salon grew much faster than expected, she also faced the challenges of hiring staff, managing the high demand for its services, and finding a balance between being a business owner and having a personal life with her husband, family and friends.

She originally reached out to Miller to help facilitate the purchase of an existing pet grooming business. When that fell through, they encouraged her to move forward with opening a business from scratch.

“Tom Mazerski from Miller played a big role in helping me face some of the initial challenges of starting my business,” Christine recounted. “I really didn’t know where to start, but he helped me develop a business plan and encouraged me to have patience throughout the process.” Mazerski reviewed several of her documents and contracts, advising her how to go about negotiating favorable terms.

“Tom’s practical advice and guidance made me feel like my goals were attainable, even when I felt overwhelmed by it all.”

Free Consultation

In addition to our courses, events and funding options, we can also assist with business plan preparation and provide opportunities to promote your small business. Scholarships are available.

Tom Mazerski, Director, Miller: Resources for Entrepreneurs

410-386-8393 |