Many customers and their dogs came out to help Barbara Gleeson, owner of the Bow Wow Salon, celebrate 30 years in business.
The Bow Wow Salon, located at 122 Ridge Road, in North Arlington recently celebrated its 30th anniversary of being in business. Owner Barbara Gleeson couldn’t be prouder, she said. Gleeson has been involved in the art of dog grooming since age 12, so it was only fitting that she delve right into it after high school. She attended the New York City School of Dog Grooming, located on 2nd Avenue. After she graduated there, she stayed on as an employee. It was within that time that Gleeson, with the help of her sister, Cathy Gleeson Rafferty, was able to open up the Bow Wow Salon, and the rest is canine history.
Unlike those who acquire skills online these days, Gleeson is a highly educated groomer, who takes her career very seriously. “I’ve become very close to my customers. I’m married to my business,” Gleeson said. Looking around her corner shop, she added, “I’m the luckiest person to be able to come here everyday. It’s always been my dream to work with dogs.”
Gleeson’s mother, Barbara Gleeson, was an intricate part of her daughter’s success. She spent about five years helping Gleeson until her sudden death a few years ago. Everyone in the family helps out though, said Gleeson. “It’s like a family run operation. And family means everything to me.” Her cousin Deidre Sullivan said, “I’m so impressed and amazed at how long she’s been here. I thought 20 years tops. Her Mom is the smartest person I ever knew.” she added, “Her heart and soul is in this. She gets phone calls 24/7, many calling asking questions about their dogs.”
This full service dog grooming shop measures approximately 600-square-feet, but it does such a big job as it also offers a boutique with dog clothing, bakery items made at a bakery company, and a selection of toys. Her hours are Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays book up fast, so Gleeson urges customers to book in advance. For more information check out their Facebook page at Barb’s Bow Wow Salon or call 201-997-4320.
Many customers came out to help Gleeson share her special day with her. Raffles were won and food such as pizza from Pizza Land was offered as were various desserts and refreshments including champagne. Gleeson’s customer base extends numerous years, which only solidifies the fact that her work speaks for itself. She’s not only good, but she’s also quick.
Ken Vargas, 12 year customer, who owns a Labrador and a Yorkie said, “I’ve never had a problem here. Barbara is amazing with both big and small dogs. She should have been a vet.” Tom Liebold, who takes his Shih Tzu, Dori, to the salon said, “This is the only groomer she sees, and it’s the only groomer she has ever been to.” Nat and Monica Tripodi, who have been customers for 12 years taking their Shih Tzu, Emma, and their Pomeranian, Peanut, to the salon said, “You can just tell she loves what she does.”
Councilman Richard Hughes said, “We’re very happy celebrating here today with Barbara her business after 30 years. It’s an integral part of our business community.
The barber next door, Pat Paolini, who owns Pat’s Place Complete Hair Center, has been working side by side with Gleeson for as long as the Bow Wow Salon has been there. But now Paolini is retiring, and he had some heartfelt words for his neighbor next door. “It’s been nice working next door to her all these years. We got along very well and have since become good friends,” Paolini said smiling.
Standing in front of the Bow Wow Salon are Councilman Richard Hughes
Barbara Gleeson, salon owner, Cathy Gleeson Rafferty, owner, Councilwoman Allison Sheedy
Bow Wow Salon owner Barbara Gleeson toasts a glass of champagne with Pat Paolini, the owner of Pat’s Place Complete Hair Center. Paolini will be retiring after 33 years at the same location.