My name is Gabriella Brown, and I’m the owner of the Paw Spa Luxury Pet Grooming Salons in Alexandria and Arlington, VA. The Paw Spa is a Black-owned business. Years ago, I began working as an accountant; I didn’t love accounting, but it came easy to me. Besides, as a young woman, I was taught to find a stable job that would make me decent money. But I was definitely a square peg in a round hole. I didn’t want to sit behind a desk; I didn’t love it. It was getting harder and harder every day to wake up in the morning and get myself dressed to go to work. Finally, my wonderful husband said to me, “You’re not happy with your job, so figure out what you want to do.”
Just like that, my journey to find the right career fit for me was underway. The first thing I did was go see a career counselor, and through our conversations, a theme of beauty and animals emerged. It kind of hit home because, when I was younger, I would cut my hair all the time to my mother’s great displeasure. So, the next thing I did was find a grooming school out in Manasass, VA.
I knew right then and there; this was it for me. I’ve always been an animal person. So, I dived headfirst into training, and I found myself rushing to get up to go to grooming school every morning. After getting certified, I got a job at a private salon. Mind you, this was very rare.
However, the experience at this private salon really sped my process along. There was something about the live, hands-on experience that cannot be found in a school setting, and this shaped me as well as motivated and excited me to want to keep going. I was learning, laughing, and bringing so much joy to pets and their owners. It was such a rewarding feeling knowing you are making an impact on a person and their pet’s life.
I didn’t realize how much goes into being a groomer, such as figuring out how to check in clients and how to identify if the pet is nervous or uncomfortable and put their emotional well-being first.
But most importantly, my experience taught me that everybody is supportive, and that definitely translates into the type of care you provide for your clients’ pets.
Never in my wildest dreams did I think “let’s start a grooming business!” But sometimes, your path finds you instead of you finding your path. The opportunity presented itself, and my husband and family supported me every step of the way.
My Paw Spa crew is family. We take care of each other. We laugh together, we cry together, we celebrate together. We’re literally family, and so are the pavilion dogs that we treat; we love each and every one of them.
This has been an exciting journey, and I am looking forward to what the future brings for me and my Paw Spa family and fur babies.
They took superb care of my pup and he looked fabulous. I will be returning for sure.
I was so excited that I found a new groomer! The Paw Spa Va exceeded my expectations! ...
We recently adopted Mr. Flash into our family. As new cat owners we are in the learning faze and weren't sure how comfortable ...
This friendly, efficient and adorable pet spa was exactly what we needed in our first grooming experience. My little fur girl loved her visit ...
Excellent experience for our Boston terrier puppy — thank you!!
Best pet spa EVER! My Prince is treated like royalty! I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything. Highly recommended if ...
These ladies were professional from start to finish, did amazing work, and handled my pup with care. Will definitely be back again!
Amazing groomers that will treat your fur babies like their very own!! Check them out, you will most definitely be glad that you did!
First time, they greeted us right as we walked in the door and knew who we were! Kennedy our Westie went right back, Nixon our big boy ...