Hartlepool dog groomer who started business in family kitchen scoops national award
A Hartlepool dog groomer – who started her business in the kitchen of her mother-in-law – has scooped a national award.
Georgia Cook, who runs the Bark and Bone salon, in Murray Street, has been highly commended in the category Best Dog Groomer in the Animal Star Awards.
The 29-year-old groomer, from the Fens area of Hartlepool said: “I wasn’t expecting it at all. I was quite shocked. It’s nice to be recognised when you’ve put hard work in and poured everything into your work.”
Georgia first started grooming family and friends’ dogs in her mother-in-law’s kitchen in 2017.
She then went on to volunteer at a dog grooming salon before setting up her own business later the same year.
"I’ve definitely grown,” she said.
Georgia, who struggled with depression since her early teens, has said her love for dogs “saved” her life.
"In 2015 I moved to London to do a masters degree in history of photography. I completed it, but by the end of it I was really struggling and I had to move home, which wasn’t my intention at all.
"It got to a point where I couldn’t leave the house, I couldn’t really talk, or eat or do anything. I just felt like everything was an impossible task.”
It all changed when Georgia’s therapist asked her what makes her feel good in her life.
Without hesitation, she answered it was her dog and picked up the courage to embark on a career transition.
She said: "It’s been a lifeline really. I always say my own dog saved my life.”
Georgia, who treats her four-legged clients as her family, added: "Sometimes I have to step back and take the time to be proud of myself because of how far I’ve come from literally being sat on my own couch, not being able to do anything, to then making that first step to now how quickly it’s grown.
"It’s hard to believe to be honest.”
Her Jackhuahua dogs, Hugo, 10, and Sock, five, who are a cross between a Jack Russell and a Chihuahua, are set to become big brothers when Georgia and her partner welcomes their first child in July.
She said: “I think they’re going to be brilliant big brothers. Sock’s already been trying out the cot.”