Saturday was Madisyn and Scott Morris’ special day.
The daughter and father spent a few days at the rodeo. Some Saturdays they would have coffee and rummage through antique shops. Others were for simple joys, like going in a car to watch the cows.
Now that they own Sudz Up Grooming in Anthem, they haven’t had a day apart.
“Every day is now daddy-daughter day,” said Madisyn Morris.
They bought a towable pet grooming trailer with washing and trimming stations and opened their business on April 15. Since then, the Morris has treated more than 350 dogs in the Phoenix subway. They use all-natural products and both are certified in pet CPR. They are booked weeks in advance.
Since the pandemic, Scott Morris has seen an opportunity in the mobile grooming industry. More people are buying or adopting dogs and fewer people want to take their dogs to physical grooming stores, the Morrises said.
Although they’ve only been on the road for three months, Sudz Up has been in the works for almost 35 years.
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Dad and daughter have always been a team
Montana was Scott’s home. The stockyards were right across the street, and his family ranch had horses, dogs, cats, and pigs.
At 14, he went to school to become a veterinary assistant. He nursed and cared for animals for six years until he went to Montana State University to study engineering.
Madisyn attributes her deep love for animals to her father.
“I came out wanting to kiss everything and every animal,” Madisyn said.
Scott was the rock for Madisyn and her brother. But the father and the daughter especially have always been a team. Scott took midwifery courses and gave birth to Madisyn. The family moved to Arizona in 2005, and Madisyn’s mother left the family before Madisyn was 5 years old.
Around this time, Madisyn started working with her father. When she was sick, he made a small bed for her under his desk. When it was time for her to learn to drive, he taught her how to spin a donut. And when Madisyn started grooming dogs, Scott gave her his first set of clippers and a gown.
Their lives weren’t all “sun and rainbow,” Madisyn said. Scott was fired. A Christmas was spent in a hotel so they could save some money for their next place to live. Some days they didn’t know where their next meal would come from. But there is one thing Madisyn has always been sure of: Dad would make it happen.
“I can’t give credit to anyone in my life for raising me next to him. My dad did that, ”she said.
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Sudz Up Grooming debut: “It was a blow in the dark”
There was no magical moment that sparked Scott and Madisyn’s affairs.
Scott’s sister has looked after dogs for 35 years and has mentioned the possibility many times. Madisyn was grooming dogs for one of her two jobs. And after years of driving a dump truck for a construction company, Scott was ready to become a business owner. A random ad popped up for a personalized mobile grooming trailer and he applied for a loan.
“It was a hit in the dark,” Scott said.
The loan was approved and the two left for Texas.
“I got a call and he said, ‘I have a trailer,’” Madisyn said. “And then he said, ‘We’re going to go to McKinney next weekend. Get your things ready, take the weekend off. “
It was when I got back from Texas that the business really got started. As the freshly repainted trailer – with a smiling French Bulldog in a tub and the phone number stamped on the side – sped along the highway, dates started to pour in. They were booked three weeks before they returned home.
For their first month in business, Madisyn and Scott continued to work full time. Scott worked in construction while Madisyn worked as a barista and dog groomer for another company. They groomed the dogs at night and on weekends, and while they didn’t have days off, Scott said owning their business was worth the 80-hour weeks.
“I’ve spent my whole life working hard to make other people’s dreams come true,” Scott said. “I get up and go to work everyday for a boss or someone else. When I looked at this I thought to myself, ‘This is a perfect opportunity to work hard to make our own dreams begin. to become reality. ”
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‘This is my dream’
Their grooming trailer is a rolling billboard, the two said. People call after seeing it. And the more dogs they groom, the more the news gets.
Their business model is as simple as their marketing. Madisyn and Scott answer calls and groom the dogs. Scott’s wife, Susan Smith, takes care of the paperwork.
“The only person we have to ask when we want a day off is her,” Scott said of his wife.
Madisyn and Scott drive their trailer to the customer’s home. A small table on the left inside the trailer is used to wash the dogs. A table in the middle is for decoupage. Scott and Madisyn fit perfectly into the small space.
The two remember the first dog they cared for, Gracie, a 12-year-old golden retriever. She was the “sweetest little baby,” Madisyn said – although that’s what they say about most dogs jumping in the trailer.
They talked about River, a 14 year old blind and toothless Shih Tzu. He had always been to the groomers in the store, said Candy Silvestri, his owner. River would be locked up for hours, passed by several people, and surrounded by barking dogs.
“I felt like a bad mom,” she said.
She found the Morris on Facebook and has already made five dates.
“It doesn’t seem like a job to them. It looks like they’ve found their purpose,” Silvestri said.
Madisyn and Scott say not much has changed between them since they started the business. They are as close as they have ever been. They always finish each other’s sentences. When working in the trailer, each knows what the other is looking for without even asking.
But one thing has changed. Every time they get into their red Dodge Ram Hemi towing the trailer, they know they are living their new common dream. Scott didn’t always know it would be his dream, but at 50 he said it was. Madisyn, just under 20, agrees.
“This is my dream and at 19 I made it come true,” she said.
Contact the reporter at [email protected] Follow her on Instagram @ sofia.krusmark.