Owner: Monika Lange
Why Bellingham? “It’s a big enough place with things going on, but small enough for outdoor access. A dog wash felt like a good fit with the community. We are outdoorsy and active in Bellingham and our dogs go on the trails with us which means mud and dirt.”
Favorite shop downtown? “The stores I interact with most are the restaurants like Brandywine, Fiamma Burger, or the Local. I also like to just stroll and enjoy window shopping and people watching. My doctor is downtown and I like to duck into Hohl’s for seeds.”
Dogs of all sizes, from chihuahuas to mastiffs (even a goat!), come in to visit Monika Lange at her business, Shake and Shine. With great access to outdoor activities and a large dog population, Bellingham certainly has a lot of muddy paws and fur. Dog owners can make an appointment to have their dog washed or they can use the self-service dog wash stations to clean their dog themselves. At this time of year, Monika gets a lot of dogs that have found the salmon runs and rolled in the dead ones, so she has a special wash package called “I rolled in it!”
Monika grew up with all kinds of animals, got her Masters in Biology, and volunteered at the local animal shelter in Bellingham, so she has a wide background in animals. However, she wanted to get more exposure to different breeds of dogs. She isn’t sure what triggered it, but she all of a sudden thought of opening a dog wash business. She couldn’t get the idea out of her head, so she took business classes at the Small Business Development Center in downtown Bellingham and in October 2013, she opened Shake and Shine. The name of her business was inspired by a book titled Shake that has photos of dogs shaking off water, and of course, because dogs shake and shine at her store!
Inside the store, pet owners will find four dog wash stations, as well as a walk-in shower. The self-service dog wash saves owners’ backs because they don’t have to bend over a low tub. The dog washes feature warm water and a variety of shampoos to choose from, depending upon the dog’s need. The tubs are also made of non-metal material, so they aren’t loud and clanky, which can make dogs nervous. Monika offers services such as dog washing, grooming, nail cutting and looking at skin issues, as well as a retail section with grooming supplies, natural flea killers, toys, collars, leashes and dog treats. On the weekends, she even has doggie cupcakes!
Monika prides herself on good service, a clean area to wash dogs and the fact that she takes care of everyone. She enjoys showing dog owners how to get their dog clean and keep up with their hygiene, which is part of their health. She loves meeting new people and appreciates all of her wonderful customers. Opening Shake and Shine was a completely new experience for Monika, and she wasn’t sure if she would like the business side of starting the dog wash. However, she takes great pleasure in running the business and learning more about dogs everyday.
Visit 1501 N State Street and leave with a soft and fluffy pup!
Today's post was written by Kristin Foster, Media Intern.