Shines Stories: Wags on Wheels

by | Jun 9, 2021 | Careers, Stories | 0 comments

Five years ago at this time, Raylene Johnson was a cosmetologist but had her sights set on dog grooming for over a year. She started working on a business plan, saving for a trailer, and training to become a dog groomer. You may have seen her around town because she’s a mobile dog grooming business; Raylene started Wags on Wheels in 2017.

Raylene Johnson - Wags on Wheels “I started thinking about a mobile dog grooming business in 2016. That spring I started to explore grooming and that summer I started my business plan. In the fall of 2016, I received my business loan. Then I had to wait for my trailer to be built in TN. January of 2017 I went and picked up my trailer in TN. By the end of January or beginning of February 2017, I was grooming part-time and working at my salon job as a cosmetologist. By the end of the summer of 2017, I was only working 1 evening at the salon as a cosmetologist. Then by Thanksgiving of 2017, I was able to have Wags on Wheels as my full-time job. I was very surprised and grateful for how fast it took off!”

If mobile grooming is new to you, you’re not alone. But the list of benefits is long! An obvious one is that it’s essentially ‘delivery’ of a service! “I come to you! If your pup has anxiety with car rides, other dogs, or it’s just hard for you to get your puppy to the groomer in general, I can provide that convenience. The grooming appointment itself is faster, too, because it’s just me and your pup – no other interruptions. The owner doesn’t have to be home either (kind of like having a housekeeping service.)”

Raylene is originally from the Iron Range in Northern MN but moved to the St. Cloud area when her family relocated when she was 16. She finished her high school years at Sauk Rapids High School and still lives in Sauk Rapids, with her husband. “I couldn’t have been so successful so fast if it wasn’t for my husband. I like to call him Wags on Wheels Maintenance Man. He has helped insulate the trailer to make the grooming experience for the pups more comfortable in the winter, and to help the trailer not freeze. He also made some adjustments to the trailer to make it easier for me to groom. And when something goes wrong with the trailer, he is taking on the stress with me on how to get it up and running so I don’t have to cancel grooms.”

Grooming - Wags on WheelsInspiration can come from many places, and in Raylene’s case, it was a friend in the industry who got her thinking about a mobile dog grooming business. “I have a family friend – Billie Jean – back home on the iron range that had a mobile grooming business who I knew was really successful. I realized that St. Cloud didn’t have one and thought it would most definitely be a successful business in this area. So, I started doing my research. I also went home and shadowed Billie Jean and instantly fell in love with everything. Then, a friend of my husband mentioned a free program called SCORE that guides women in the right direction of starting a business. They helped me make a Business plan and how to go about all the steps.”

“As much as I would love to groom all the pups in the area, I am only one person! Currently, about 80% of my clients schedule their pups grooming appointments for the whole year. It’s hard to say what the average “wait time” is once you are on my waitlist to become a client.” Although Raylene and Wags on Wheels is not currently accepting any new clients, she is looking for a Groomer to hire! “It’s tough finding a groomer in general, and I need one who can haul a trailer and who I can trust to uphold my business name.” If you’re a good fit, you can get more information on the Wags on Wheels website.

Kissing Puppy - Wags on Wheels

“I would love to take this opportunity to thank the St. Cloud Community for getting the word out about my business and helping me grow this business into something one of a kind and special. I truly love what I do and spending my days with all these amazing pups. I have an amazing clientele and I love getting to know them and their precious fur babies.”


Recent Posts

Shines Stories: Whit Fit at Whitney Rec Center

The Whitney Recreation Center, located on the northside of St. Cloud, was donated to the City by Mrs. Alice Whitney in 1933. It was originally an airport - donated in memorial of her late husband. When the City Council had to move the airport in 1962 due to zoning...

Shines Stories: SOS – Smart Organizing Solutions

The New Year brings new priorities for many - among them, decluttering. If your home, office, or space has you feeling like yelling SOS, we get it. So does Julie Braun. In 2019, she started Smart Organizing Solutions - S.O.S. right here in Sauk Rapids. Julie grew up...

Shines Stories: Krillan

Tron Swanson grew up in the Upsala and Pierz area of Central MN, and in 2013 he started Krillan. Located in Sartell, they offer screen printing, embroidery, heat press, and online storefronts. They partner with a number of local businesses in the area, with a...

Shines Stories: Whit Gallery

Earlier this year, St. Germain Street in Downtown St. Cloud became home to the Whit Gallery. Heidi Jeub, the owner, has experienced life downtown and sees its bright potential. And when she opened the gallery in April, she began helping others see it, too. “I spent my...

Rising to the Occasion

St. Cloud-Based Pan O’ Gold Baking Company on Serving So much of what makes communities like ours special is reflected by how we serve one another, and that includes the companies that serve and support the people who live in Central Minnesota. When it comes to...