Humans celebrated Sunday the opening of a new downtown Tonganoxie space that caters to four-legged clientele.
Wizard of Paws, which has been in the 600 block of Fourth Street for several years, expanded its business and opened to the west a couple blocks Jan. 2 at 406 E. Fourth St.
On Sunday, owners Monica Gee and daughter, Hannah King, welcomed the community into their news space with an afternoon open house.
Gee estimated that more than 100 people visited the new Wizard of Paws, which spans 2,300 square feet between indoor and outdoor space.
Gee, who has groomed dogs for several years, expanded the family business with her daughter at the new location.
Visitors meandered through the new location Sunday as information about the business and it amenities could be read at various stations.
For instance, the history of the business, which spans several generations, could be seen in the grooming room.
Gee used a loan from her grandmother Mimi to purchase a kennel bank, dryer and groom table, which Gee said is still used at the new facility. The business started as From Bows to Toes in 1994 as a home business in Newton and a few months later opened in her parents’ home in Basehor. Linda Thoele, Gee’s mother and King’s grandmother, became bather and receptionist for the dog-grooming business.
In 2000, the business moved to Monica and Shaun Gee’s home in Tonganoxie before eventually becoming Wizard of Paws in November 2010 at 612 E. Fourth St. in Tonganoxie. A little more than a decade later, the business moved to its new location where it offers dog grooming, doggie day-care, dog obedience, with other services planned down the road. The mother and daughter started their new joint adventure when they purchased the current building this past June. Gee also recently became a grandmother, as King and husband, Austin, welcomed their first-born, daughter Charlie Alice, in December.
Wizard of Paws features an entrance area featuring works from local artists, dog accessories from an area business and dog treats from Three Dog Bakery in Leawood, which are offered to clients each visit. The new Wizard of Paws also features a play area that can be divided into two spaces, a reproduction of a dog mural at the former location and then five stay pens in another room for the animals.
Gee said state law requires that dogs at day care facilities have an hour of rest for every four hours of play, so five stay pens are available to accommodate the dogs.
In addition, the new space has a kitchen and an outdoor area. The outdoor space is used for dog obedience classes.
Gee said local artist Marti Anderson, whose works appear as customers walk in the front door, will be offering some pet-themed art workshops for interested people down the road as well.
Gee and King used local businesses for materials inside the new locale and in products they offer when available.
On a regular day, Wizard of Paws grooms 15-20 pets, Gee said. The grooming takes place with the help of another assistant, Cami Jo, another member of the family. Cami Jo is the family’s poodle, a pooch who often can be found near the front window, as was the case at the previous location.
Wizard of Paws celebrated the open house with a drawing for several giveaways and offered food and drinks to visitors.
“I think we had a great turnout,” Gee said.