The owner of Zen Den Doggie Spa in Friendswood has 12 years of experience as a groomer and is coming up on 18 months as a small-business owner.
The first glimmerings of her career path started in a tomboy childhood spent outdoors.
“I grew up with horses and dogs and all kinds of animals,” Kisé said. “I’ve always loved animals.”
While talking, she deftly clipped the hair on Winnie the goldendoodle, who was at the spa for a nail treatment, a haircut and a bath.
“I get a lot of dogs that other grooming shops have kicked out,” she said. “I like working with more challenging dogs. They need more patience.”
However, Winnie, a golden retriever and Standard poodle mix, typically tolerates being groomed well, Kisé said.
Fees for Kisé’s services usually depend on a dog’s size, she said. Small dogs start at $42 for a full groom, including a complete body haircut, nails, ear grooming, a bath and expressing anal glands. Baths alone for small dogs start at $20.
Kisé uses mostly organic products for grooming, she said. She has four dogs of her own at home and three fosters.
Her 14-year-old son Julius helps out at the shop answering the phone and doing other chores.
Becoming an entrepreneur freed Kisé from the tyranny of a set schedule, she said. The business is set by appointment only.
“I can have my own hours, work when I want, [work with] as many dogs as I want,” she said. “It’s just way more relaxing.”
Two other groomers, Debi Cox and Sarai Silva, rent space from her.
Kisé said she always encourages people to come look around and meet her. A lot of customers end up staying, and she has a couch in her shop so they have somewhere to sit.
“It just feels like that hometown beauty shop, but it’s about dogs,” she said.
Zen Den Doggie Spa
2407 W. Parkwood Ave., Ste. 111, Friendswood
Hours: By appointment only