Bark and Sparkle: Recognition for the dogged pursuit of a dream

WHAT STARTED as “a bit of a hobby” for Kate Foster has resulted in national recognition for her dog grooming business. Kate, and her Bark and Sparkle business on Thorn Road, Hedon, has achieved a place in the Animal Star Awards final. At stake is the Pet Groomer of the Year title. The winners will be revealed at an interactive virtual awards ceremony held on Sunday 28 March 2021.

Kate Foster, Business Owner and Salon Manager, has been grooming since 2015. She started the business after completing a City and Guilds Dog Grooming course. Kate says, “What started off as a bit of a hobby, soon grew to be a successful business. We now have two amazing members of staff, Liv and Ellie”. This has become a dream-job for Kate. “Dog grooming is much more than a job, it is my life. I am so grateful to work in an environment that is so rewarding. I love dogs, I love my job and feel blessed to have such wonderful staff who share the same passion.”

Kate Foster.

Bark and Sparkle provides a calm and quiet, home from home environment. It caters for a wide range of breeds, including elderly and nervous dogs. It’s important to reduce stress. From a simple bath to an ultimate pampering experience, the business offers a complete range of works. It even offers spa treatments. New for 2021 is the Ultrasonic Teeth Cleaning service, which will assist in promoting good oral health.

In common with other businesses in town, Covid-19 and lockdown have been challenging. Restrictions placed on the dog grooming industry saw appointments stop. Kate has kept in touch with her clients through regular welfare assessment forms, messages, and phone calls. Grooming products and equipment have had to be delivered. She has even offered online grooming training sessions to help support clients. Meeting the clients dog’s grooming requirements and welfare needs has been her priority.

This is the second time that her complete dog grooming business has reached the finals. In 2019 it was for Best Dog Related Business and Best Pet Related Business. This year it’s as a finalist for the Pet Groomer of the Year category. Kate says, “We are up against some stiff competition. To win would be amazing. But reaching the finals is an achievement in itself. I am immensely proud”.

The virtual event, with entertainment and celebrity guests, takes place on Sunday 28 March at 6 pm. The judges will choose a winner and a highly commended place for each category.

We say GOOD LUCK KATE and BARK AND SPARKLE. Hope the virtual champagne flows on the 28th.

The Animal Star Awards were founded in 2015 by Mary Burgess. They acknowledge animal and humans alike for the extraordinary things they do. This year’s 2020 Awards saw 481 Nominees over 15 Categories. The awards help to raise funds for a range of animal charities each year, raising over £1,200 in 2019/2020.

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