A lifelong dog lover has used her redundancy from Honda as a springboard to her dream career.
Karen Webb had always dreamed of running her own dog grooming salon, and decided that her departure from Honda was the perfect cue to launch her new business.
In February 2019 Honda confirmed the closure of its Swindon plant, and although Karen, 46, was initially shocked she immediately began making plans for The Mutts Cuts Grooming Salon.
She enrolled in college at weekends to become qualified and volunteered at a local dog groomer's around her Honda shifts.
Karen said: "I was shocked and quite sad really when I heard the news about Honda. But I saw it as a new beginning and the chance to set up my own business.
“I just love dogs, and being a dog owner myself, it’s the perfect career for me.
“I could have saved my redundancy money or spent it on something like holidays or a car, but I wanted to invest it for our future.”
Karen’s new business meant husband Justin's 'man cave' had to be sacrificed but he was completely supportive.
She said: "Justin understands my passion for dogs and saw the investment potential in the business."
The Mutts Cuts Grooming Salon in Haydon Wick is now officially open and bookings are flooding in. Karen puts her popularity down to the fact that she treats her furry clientele as she would want her own dog, Dudley, treated.
“My Dudley is my fur baby, so I understand what it means to be a dog owner,” said Karen. “Dogs are part of the family, so I will always treat my clients as I would treat my own dog.
“I believe this means I provide a superior service.
“I’m extremely pleased with how it has started. I can see the business growing but no matter how busy we get, I will always provide the same caring, patient, quality and friendly service.”
The Mutts Cuts Grooming Salon offers services such as full groom, nail clip, bath, de-shed and blow dry. The salon works on a one-to-one basis unless dogs are from the same family. All equipment is fully sterilised between jobs.
“We cater for all dogs,” said Karen. “For nervous dogs we ask owners to come in 10 minutes before the groom to familiarise them with the surroundings.
“I am about to start a course on teeth cleaning, so that will be another service that I will offer in the near future.”
The Mutts Cuts Grooming Salon on their website is https://themuttscutsgroomingsalon.co.uk and its Facebook page is @themuttscutsgroomingsalon