Spotlessly Chic in the press

Spotlessly Chic - P&J Feb 22

We were delighted that the Press & Journal ran a feature on Julie from Spotlessly Chic today.

See below the interview in full. To see the full article online, click here.

Julie spotted a gap in the dog grooming sector

Each week, we ask small businesses key questions.  Here we speak to Julie Hunter, who runs dog-focused Spotlessly Chic from her home near Alford in rural Aberdeenshire.

How and why did you start in business?

I was made redundant from my Department Lead Role in Logistics from the Oil & Gas sector in 2016 after 11 years. I have always loved dogs and wanted to make a living from it . After a bit of research wrt Dog related Businesses it became apparent there was not a lot of dog groomers in my area so decided to train as a Dog Groomer and set up the business from rural home location.

How did you get to where you are today?

After grooming for about 6 months I decided to apply for my dog boarding license via Aberdeenshire Council so I could also add this service to my existing clients. Then one day whilst in the shower I had a ‘lightbulb’ moment and realised that I could combine the grooming and boarding along with a ‘Wedding Chaperone service’. When we got married we had no-one to look after our dogs as all of our family and trusted friends were at the wedding. I researched more and found a niche in the market as no-one else in the North East offered such a service so the Wedding Pet Chaperone Service with Spotlessly Chic was born.

Who helped you?

Friends who are also self employed have been really resourceful and Business Gateway have been great from the very start. I’ve attended seminars/workshops from the very basics to more complex material all of which has been free of charge. It was there that I was introduced to FSB when I did a digital boost workshop. I'm in the early stages of my membership and still exploring all the FSB has to offer.  There is a wealth of knowledge and resources at my fingertips.  My FSB membership gives me that sense of community that you just don't get working on your own.

What has been your biggest mistake?

Initially it was not investing in quality equipment as they say "buy cheap buy twice!"

What was your greatest achievement?

Buying our house out here in the country.  After all, if we didn't have our property in such a great setting, I wouldn't have been able to start Spotlessly Chic.

If you were in power in Government, what would you change?

More harsh sentences for Animal Cruelty Offences.

What do you still hope to achieve?

I would like to expand my Wedding Pet Chaperone Service to wider audience outwith the Aberdeen/Shire area and be the most recognised in my field.

What do you do to relax?

I like to socialise with my friends and family and ofcourse spending time with my 3 rescue Dalmatians.

What are you currently reading, listening to or glued to on the TV?

I only get time to read when I’m on holiday so that’s been a wee while now for obvious reasons but I’m an avid fan of Singer/songwriter Jack Savoretti and love his new album ‘Europiana’. Ive got tickets to see him live in April and again in Croatia in August for my ‘milestone’ birthday so really looking forward to it.

What do you waste your money on?

I wouldn’t say waste but I love my holidays and try to get away a couple of times a year with Dubai being top of the list.

How would your friends describe you?

I'm honest, trustworthy, thoughtful, hardworking and great fun to be around

What would your enemies say about you?

To be honest I don’t care but let’s just say I will defeat them with my success

What do you drive and dream of driving?

I drive an Audi Q5 but would love an Aston Martin DBX 707

What's the best thing about working for yourself?

I have the best boss ever ! Joking aside you can work as hard as you want, when you want and still achieve a great work life balance.

What piece of advice would you give to someone who wants to start their own business?

Get involved with FSB and Business Gateway as they can provide lots of encouragement and support and continue with personal development as your business grows

Have you used any of your FSB benefits/How has your membership helped you?

As I have recently just became a member I haven’t had the opportunity yet to use many of the benefits on offer but feel safe in the knowledge that FSB are there for me should I need anything. Also being featured in the FSB Small Business Focus Feature will be hugely beneficial to me to gain that wider audience showcasing what my business is all about.