Top 40: Local business owner goes to the dogs

Briana Jacques figured out what she loves to do and how to make a living doing it

Briana Jacques

Briana Jacques

Hair of the Dog Grooming Salon came to be as Briana Jacques desired to work for herself and with dogs.

The four-legged friends were always a big part of Jacques’ life growing up in Kamloops.

Struggling to find her career path, a friend helped Jacques, 32, make her discovery by asking Jacques to close her eyes and visualize doing something that makes her happy.

“That day I decided I wanted to work for myself  and I wanted to work with animals, primarily dogs,” she said.

In 2006, she began doing research on dog businesses that existed and figured out what she could do that Penticton would support.

Grooming pets seemed like the logical step so she took a six-month grooming course and opened in 2008. Jacques admitted it was scary at first.

“I surprise myself everyday when I take my deposit to the bank,” said Jacques, who worked three jobs while getting her business going. “I made it through another week.”

Hair of the Dog is based in Jacques’s home at 182 Granby Ave. and employs one person alongside her.

What Jacques loves about her business is she can stop at any time and watch dogs wrestle each other and do the strangest things.

“It’s so entertaining,” she said.

Jacques enjoys seeing how goofy the dogs get.

“It’s pretty hard to have a bad day,” she said.

Trying to give dogs a haircut can be challenging as they never stop moving. Then there are their teeth to watch for.

“They want to chew on your face, chew on your tools,” she said smiling. “It’s definitely a test of patience. Some dogs are more work than others.”

Jacques, who owns three dogs, including a Japanese Chin named Soba, said shih tzu’s are the best for her business. Anything with short hair, including Boxers and Frenchies, she doesn’t see much.

Jacques said her salon receives lots of positive feedback.

“She is a great young lady for what she has been able to accomplish in her life,” said customer Leigh Follestad. “She’s fantastic.”

Jacques worked for Follestad in the past and he said it was a natural progression when she became a dog groomer for him to take his pets to her.

“She spent the extra effort and the extra time with her,” said Follestad. “Treated them unbelievably well. She really has a way with animals.”

Follestad added that Jacques has been great professionally.

As Penticton embraces Jacques’s business, she gives back.

Jacques provides free grooming and has volunteered time to the Boston Terrier Rescue Canada, Habitat for Humanity and Hug a Bull.

Hair of the Dog also attends and donates to dog-related events such as the SPCA’s Paws for a Cause, Critteraid Mutt Strut, See Ya Later Ranch Dog Days and last year the Peachfest Parade.

Jacques’s selection into the Top 40 Under 40 comes off her Chamber Of Commerce Home-Based Business Excellence Award given to her two months ago.

“I’m just trying to pay the bills like everyone else,” said Jacques. “It’s really nice to be recognized for the work.”

Penticton Top 40 under 40 is presented by the Prospera Credit Union and White Kennedy LLP Chartered Accountants in partnership with the Penticton and Wine Country Chamber of Commerce, JCI Penticton with support from Community Futures Okanagan Similkameen.  Nominations should be sent to with the subject line ‘Top 40 Nomination.

Please include nominees contact info and a brief reason for nomination.