A former health worker has swapped taking temperatures for trimming terriers after setting up her own dog grooming business.
Stella Hill, who worked for the NHS for 20 years before being made redundant in 2012, has established the Million Dollar Dog Grooming Company, based at Nanholme Mill, off Shaw Wood Road, Todmorden.
The salon overlooking the Rochdale Canal offers full grooming services by a City and Guilds qualified team.
Among the services provided is the Hollywood Hound package, consisting of a full grooming and a mounted and framed photograph of your pampered pooch.
“It’s an interesting career change,” she said.
“I wanted to do something where I could stay local, so I thought I would give it a shot.”
She thanked her husband Andy for his hard work helping to convert the mill unit in a salon.
“From installing the water heaters, the six foot tub and a cozy reception area for customers to wait and make appointments, Andy has been a big support and I couldn’t have done it without him,” she said.
“The salon is a spacious, clean and safe environment to bring your dog to be groomed.
“Business is quite slow so far but we’ve got a few bookings coming in. We’re just waiting for the phone to ring.
“I’ve had some very positive feedback.”
Stella, who has a Tibetan terrier and is also a keen artist, started her training in September and was scheduled to open the business late last year.
But Stella’s plans changed when her mum, Jean Burns, died.
Both Stella and Jean used to exhibit their artwork together in Todmorden.
“She was a wounderful artist and I know she would be so proud of what we have achieved,” Stella said.
“I will be holding a retrospective of her work at Platform One Gallery in July so people can view and remember her amazing work and talent.”
Stella, who has an art degree from the University of Salford, is combining her artwork with her new venture by painting dog portraits.
“I’m continuing with art and hopefully the dog grooming will take off too,” she said.