A 22-year-old woman connects with the community through her dog grooming business

BROWNSTOWN — A Tampico woman has taken the skills she learned from trimming goat and sheep hooves for 4-H shows when she was young and turned them into a fast-growing dog grooming business.

At age 20, Sydney Kidd opened Waggin’ Wonders Boarding and Grooming right behind Blondie’s Pizzeria in Brownstown.

Two short years later, Kidd’s business has grown to a new location to offer more services to its clients.

Since opening her business, she has made a name for herself in the community and made many connections with furry friends and their people.

“In the beginning I had customers I didn’t really know or hear of, but now we’re really good friends and I consider their dogs my own. … It’s like one big family,” she said.

After graduating from Jennings County High School, Kidd was hesitant about going to college, but she went anyway and completed a degree in agriculture.

Growing up in a rural area, she was introduced to agriculture and ranching through FFA and 4-H shows. After obtaining her diploma, it was difficult for her to find a job related to her profession, so she decided to focus on traveling to the surrounding countries to take care of livestock.

While this position brought good income for Kidd, it took a physical toll on her body, and the long hours became difficult.

Thanks to her connections and experience with livestock, people in the community began asking her to do other things, such as clipping dogs’ nails. This led her to work at a small dog and other animal grooming business in Crothersville, where she learned the basics of dog and other animal grooming.

When the COVID-19 pandemic began, Kidd worked in various beauty salons, but she always knew she wanted to start her own business.

“I’m an outgoing person and I like to do my own thing,” Kidd said. “My parents will tell you that I was the kid who didn’t have to be told to do something because I was most likely already doing it.”

After countless searches for a place to start her business, she finally found a space to rent behind Blondie’s Pizzeria where Country Pups — another grooming company — was once located. The finances to start her business were covered solely by her and her immediate family, who came together to bring her vision to life.

Once her business was established, it took off immediately.

“I really didn’t have a slow period and I still don’t have it. The business has really taken off,” she said.

It didn’t take long before she outgrew her small store and was able to move to a larger location just off the Jackson County Fairgrounds east of Brownstown. In the process of moving to a new and larger location, the business continued to flourish.

“I still had grooming appointments before I officially arrived at my new location,” Kidd said.

Since opening her new shop, Kidd has been able to expand her grooming and boarding services to more residents in the community. With this expansion, she was able to hire several employees and start a volunteer program to introduce young people to the field of animal care.

In her spare time, she likes to give back to the community through local animal shelters. For Mercy Rescue in North Vernon, she provides free animal care to increase their chances of adoption.

In October 2022, she hosted a Halloween party at her company and invited the Humane Society of Jackson County to bring in some adoptable dogs for pictures. Kidd said those experiences are one of the many benefits of owning a small business.

“I feel more connected to the community through my small business and small town. I want to do things that will help my small town,” she said.

Another advantage of starting a business at an early age is that it will allow enough time for the business to grow and change as it matures.

“Having a business is really positive because as I get older and my life changes, I can change the business to suit my needs at that time,” she said.

While Kidd has many advantages to owning her own small business, there are also some challenges for the new business owner. In any business, it can be difficult to maintain a work-life balance.

“I’m there every day, and if I’m not there, I feel like I should be there,” she said.

Another factor when owning a business is establishing a steady income. For some business owners, the uncertainty can be very stressful.

“If something goes wrong, you are the entire financial backer of the business. As a small business, I still accumulate my savings so that I have something to fall back on in an emergency,” she said.

With the continued growth of her business and her dedication to keeping it successful, Kidd is always reminded of why she started this venture whenever she feels like giving up.

There are hard days, but when I see a dog doing something funny, I just have to laugh, she said. “I realize that’s why I’m doing all this.”

Kidd said she hopes to see more small businesses grow and younger generations get involved in the community.

Waggin’ Wonders offers complete grooming services, from dogs to cats to even smaller animals like ferrets and rabbits. The shop is open Monday through Thursday from 7:30am to 5:30pm For information, check out the Waggin’ Wonders Grooming & Boarding Facebook page.

Tribuna plans to publish Malogradska Saturday as a series. If you know a small business or individual who is involved in the community, please get in touch [email protected]

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