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Short, Bark & Sides Dog Grooming sets up shop; St. Albert Bowling and Rec Centre makes major upgrades; and Boots & Balance Hair Studio opens

New groomer sets up shop

Sometimes when we try to trace our ideas back to a single moment of inspiration, we don't find anything.

When asked why she became interested in dog grooming, Chris Elliott, owner and operator of St. Albert's newest dog grooming business, Short, Bark & Sides, said she didn't know, but it's something she's always wanted to do.

"I wanted to open my own business when I went to Canada. I didn’t want to work corporate anymore, so I did my course,” said Elliott, an English expat who started calling St. Albert home in June.

“I handed my notice in for my job on April 25, and [the day before] I started a dog grooming course, and I did that back in the UK.

"My son’s been here 10 years and my daughter’s been here five years. My [kids] applied for the parent and grandparent sponsorship, and it took four years to be selected," Elliott said, adding that she originally heard she was selected to come to Canada in 2020.

After taking the summer months to settle into her new home and get her grooming equipment set up, Elliott officially began accepting clients on Sept. 12. Thanks to her daughter Kim's social media prowess, Elliott has been fully booked full every day since opening, she said.

“I’m quite lucky because my daughter is really good with social media so she’s doing all my social media. I haven’t got time to do that and groom the dogs at the same time, otherwise I’d be working seven days a week and I don’t want to do that,” said Elliott.

The shop's name is a play on the phrase used to describe a commonly requested hair style for men: short back and sides.

To book a grooming appointment at Elliot's home-based business in Woodlands, visit the Short, Bark & Sides Dog Grooming Facebook page.

Bowling alley makes big changes

The St. Albert Bowling and Rec Centre has recently completed some major upgrades to the facility, including a new automatic scoring system on every lane. 

Bowling and Rec Centre owner Richard LaPerle says the previous scoring system was in place for the past 20 years or so, and before that, bowlers were using pen and paper to track scores.

"We’re upgrading all the touch screens down below and the software is all going to be brand new," LaPerle said. “It’s exciting, but it’s a lot of work."

With the new software comes new graphics and displays as well.

The local bowling alley is also upgrading its point of sale system, LaPerle said. "It’s going to be a lot of re-learning how to do things but super exciting.”

Although he didn't know the exact cost, LaPerle described the upgrades as a "hefty" investment.

“We’re all super excited. It’s going to be a bit of time for us to learn the system and get it running smoothly, but we can see this being very good going forward.”

Stylist opens hometown shop 

Harley Bradley wasn't sure she wanted to open her own hair studio quite yet, but everything came together perfectly this summer as the St. Albert-raised stylist officially opened Boots & Balance Hair Studio on Aug. 27.

“It was a really good day," Bradley said of the shop's grand opening on Aug. 27, which Mayor Cathy Heron attended to take part in a ribbon cutting. "We had quite a bit of traffic in and out and we did little draws and giveaways as well, and I think it got people interested and excited and we got a lot of appointments from it.

"Being so close to the main part of St. Albert and the Farmers' Market is just such a good location," Bradley said.

The Evelyn Charles Academy graduate said her passion for working with hair originally started in high school. 

"From there, it really came to my eye that I really enjoyed it, and it was something that makes me passionate and excited to come to work every day and I really like that every day is different.”

Before opening Boots & Balance, Bradley spent a few years working at a salon in West Edmonton Mall, and then another few years in Spruce Grove, she said.

“We’re a really tight-knit group here," Bradley said. "We really enjoy coming to work every day, and all the girls are fantastic."

The studio is home to four stylists, including Bradley.

"It’s a nice, warm environment for people.”

Boots & Balance Hair Studio is located at 9 St. Anne St.

Jack Farrell

About the Author: Jack Farrell

Jack Farrell joined the St. Albert Gazette in May, 2022.
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