New dog grooming business in Arnold hopes to build momentum for city
Sometimes a bad thing turns out to be a good thing.
Case in point: After Arnold resident Aubrey Borowitz, 25, lost her job at Giant Eagle a few years ago, she found another at PetSmart.
That job led to a training class in dog grooming and position as a groomer at the national pet store chain.
“I found out you go to this grooming training that they pay for, but you have to work for them for two years after,” Borowitz said.
Fast forward through those two years to Thursday, when Borowitz and her boyfriend, Austin Kuffel, 25, of Arnold opened a pet grooming and photography business called Paws & Effect.
Positioned at the corner of Drey Street and Alcoa Drive, at the former home of Suzy's Market, the business is like a hair salon and Glamour Shots studio rolled into one — except for dogs and in Arnold.
“We will cut your dog's hair, and take their picture, too,” Kuffel said. “Being on one of the main roads through Arnold is a good thing. Everyone drives by, so they will see our signs and what we write on the window. We are basically in the middle of all the action.”
Both Borowitz and Kuffel have formal photography training; they met at the now-shuttered Oakbridge Academy of Arts in Lower Burrell. And Borowitz brings years of dog grooming experience to the table.
Together, they hope to have a positive effect on the city as a whole, and Kuffel said starting a business in his hometown may help with the city's reputation.
“We wanted to keep it close to home and see more and more businesses coming into the Arnold-New Kensington area,” Kuffel said.
That's the kind of thinking that Mayor Karen Peconi said Arnold needs.
“It's very exciting, and I'm hoping you'll see more soon,” she said. “I said when I got into office we would make some changes and get things turned around, and you're starting to see that.”
Peconi said the business climate in Arnold has noticeably improved in recent months.
For example, she said Pirollo Transport, a nearly 60-year-old trucking company, bought 17 vacant lots on Third Avenue in January ahead of a planned move of company operations to Arnold.
Peconi said Pirollo will be hauling the wares of another new business, Simpson Rebar, and that two other businesses are “in the works.”
Peconi said there is a reason people are coming to Arnold to work: its people.
“The area has always been friendly,” she said. “It has been that way my whole life. People who grew up in Arnold are always cordial and welcoming to people coming into the city.”