Mother of three Sue Lewis was barking up the right tree when she set up Wash & Wags, a mobile dog grooming business in May this year.
Powys Business Awards judges were so impressed by Sue’s story that they rewarded her with the Sole Trader Award, sponsored by the Powys County Times, at the annual awards ceremony held at The Hafren, Newtown.
Organised by Mid Wales Manufacturing Group (MWMG) with support from sponsors, the coveted annual awards, which began in 2009, are open to companies, organisations, social enterprises and charities.
Sue, who lives in Libanus, near Brecon, took the plunge to launch her business, Wash & Wags, having achieved an AIM Diploma in Dog Grooming at Heavenlyz grooming training school in Beddau.
“Being a dog owner and having a long-standing interest in dogs and their welfare, I recognised that most groomers in my area had their books full and I saw that an opportunity existed, especially for mobile grooming,” she said.
“I am delighted with the reception my work has had and the level of business generated through recommendations. My business is, astoundingly, growing quickly and I couldn’t be happier. It’s the best job in the world.”
She said it was a daunting prospect to embark on a new career as a professional dog groomer at the age of 48, but it has been so rewarding and has changed her life.
“I am a widow of 10 years and have been totally committed to being around for my three children, but now it’s time to get back to being self-employed and show them my work ethic.”
Her children, Rhiannon, 18, and twin sons Ben and James, 15, are proud of their mum’s achievement.
Sue, who was unable to attend the awards ceremony, received the award from MWMG manager Ceri Stephens this week and said: “I still can’t believe it. I entered the awards after somebody tagged me into a social media post and I have only gone and won it.
“The award is going to be great advertising for the business and hopefully help me to get enough customers to close by books – I am about 60 per cent full now. The kids are really proud of me.”
Powys Business Awards judges said: “Wash & Wags is a sound business model which is growing rapidly. Sue’s customer feedback has been great and the business is going from strength to strength with income targets being exceeded both through return and new business recommendations.
“A highly motivated, hardworking, self-start, family focused, caring lady who looks after all her customers, both the two and four legged varieties.”
Award runners up were The Prized Pig, Montgomery and Dark Sky Escapes, Brecon.