Local pet salon hits the big league

Michelle Franco-Mar and Greg Mar pose with a furry client at their recognized business "Pooches Corner." By Elsa Cavazos/Valley Morning Star

HARLINGEN — Michelle Franco-Mar has always been a dog lover.

But when she moved to Harlingen with her husband Greg she decided she did not want to be a housewife and looked for something to do.

“ I knew I wanted to create a business that had to do with dogs since I love them so much, and we decided to open up our business where I could work and be with pets that I love,” Michelle said.

The Mar’s are owners of Pooches Corner, a pet styling salon in Harlingen at 116 N. 77 Sunshine Strip.

The pet salon was featured in Pet Age magazine, a national pet magazine.

“ I always wanted to be featured in that magazine and I said one day, you will. I don’t know how but you will. And then the editor messaged me,” Michelle said.

“ We do a lot of promotion through our social media and I think that is how he found me. He told me he wanted to feature me and I thought there would be a catch. I would have to pay or something. But he truly just wanted me to get featured.”

After the magazine article was published, the Mar couple noticed an increase in clients and they noticed old clients were coming back.

“ My job is not a job, it is like a dream come true, because I love to work with dogs,” Michelle said.

They opened their business 10 years ago and they said it has grown tremendously since then.

Michelle is a certified groomer and went to grooming school in Houston to make sure she had the preparation she needed to hire her staff. But she also has a business management bachelor’s degree, which has come in handy.

Michelle wants to continue working with her favorite animal but says she would like to open another Pooches Corner in the future.

“ I still have customers from 2009 that continue to come and if they see me on the street they recognize me,” she said.

Greg, her husband, said he did not used to be a big dog lover, as he is now. But his wife’s influence has made him fall in love with their clients.

“ I used to be the kind of guy that did not want dogs inside the house but our genuine love for dogs and she changed me,” he said.

Michelle mentioned they pay special attention to older and disabled dogs, who in her eyes deserve special attention.

“ We know that these are the most special beings for many people, which is why we try to protect them and treat them like they deserve. These are beings that deserve our kindness, which is why our motto is paws above the rest” Greg Mar said.