•Grate Lengths Hair & Nail Artistry, 2037 Reed Road; 422-7222.
•Miss Emily's Pet Salon, 3426 N. Anthony Blvd.; 443-3432 and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MissEmilysPetSalon.
They both use scissors, combs and brushes on their clients. And after a thorough shampooing and conditioning, the patrons of this unique father-daughter grooming duo proudly exit their respective salons, each one perfectly styled and coiffed.
But Michael Scrogham — the dad — and Emily Young — the daughter — do not work in the same building. Neither do the longtime Fort Wayne residents' clients, um, have the same number of legs.
Scrogham enjoys his human clients at Grate Lengths Hair & Nail Artistry, while Young delights in her canine and feline patrons at Miss Emily's Pet Salon.
An independent contractor who rents salon space, Scrogham's first career choice was to be a teacher.
“According to my high school guidance counselor, however, I would not be likely to find a job upon graduating because of the glut of teachers back then,” said Scrogham, a hairdresser / hair colorist and part-time color educator for Framesi. “I took a couple semesters of accounting thinking that might be my life's calling, only to discover that it wasn't.”
“I had started working for Maloley's grocery store when I was 16 years old and worked there through high school, and the two semesters at International Business College,” he said. “I turned full time for a year after IBC and decided I needed something a little more gratifying than stocking shelves, so my hairdresser, Nancy, who was cutting my hair, suggested that I try hairdressing — and here I am, nearly 36 years later, and still loving it!”
According to Carolyn Grate, Scrogham's presence has added value to her business.
“Having Michael in our salon has truly made it more joyful,” said Grate, who co-owns the salon with her hairdresser husband, Glen.
“He always has a smile and kind words for our guests,” she said. “Michael's mischief can get him into trouble with the 'girls' now and then; however, his professionalism and talent as a hair designer are second to none.”
Young, a passionate animal lover since age 5, grew up with Cagney and Lacey, two golden retrievers. Now the owner of two female pit bulls, Maze and Ayla, she dedicates her time to the critters that patronize the salon.
“Most of my clients are dogs and cats, but I also have done nail trims on rabbits and guinea pigs,” said Young, who previously worked at a veterinarian's office.
“My mother, Penny Swope, and I are the only employees as of right now, but we are currently looking for another groomer,” she said. “We just have to make sure we find someone who is going to give the customers' pets the same loving treatment we strive to have in our business.
“I'm usually not able to take walk-ins because I offer a hands-on, limited-stress grooming; I don't use any kennels or kennel dryers – just hand-held velocity dryers,” she said. “All appointments are made ahead of time, and the animals picked up as soon as they are done. My appointments book up about one to two weeks out.”
The Bishop Dwenger graduate, whose spa opened last August, has been grooming dogs since 2004. Her father's human grooming didn't influence her career choice.
Are there any special challenges when pet grooming?
“Cats, usually they prefer to lie down, so sometimes you have to roll them from one side to the other to complete the grooming,” said Young, who offers a full-service experience for her four-legged clientele, including ear cleaning, massages, brushing teeth and gland expression.
Because her sister “highly recommended” Scrogham as a stylist, Barb Slyford has been a “very satisfied” patron of his for more than 20 years. Two years ago, she began taking her yellow lab to Young at Scrogham's referral.
“I needed a groomer who would be able to take care of an elderly canine that could not be caged,” said Slyford, “and Emily is so caring toward my dog that I truly cannot say enough about her.”
Both Scrogham and Young get tremendous satisfaction from their customers, according to the former.
“The highest compliment for me is repeat clients and their referrals of family members and friends,” said Scrogham, “and I have some clients who have been with me throughout my whole career. That is a huge compliment.”
The majority of Young's customers also come from word of mouth, but she additionally gets many patrons who are driving by and notice her sign.
“I treat my four-legged customers just like they are my own, and especially enjoy it when they are excited to see me and can't wait to give me kisses!” said Young, laughing.
“We both love our clients,” said Scrogham, “and while I have verbal contact with my guests, Emily has wagging tails and happy eyes. She's very good at her business, and I hope people think that I am good at what I do.
“However, the difference between Emily and me is that my clients rarely scratch or bite,” he joked.