Lisa Collinge has always loved the building at 62 Albert Road in Colne. She dreamed that one day she’d have a business in the stunning period property; fast forward to 2023 and she’s achieved her goal.
She is the new proud owner of the impressive building in prime position in the town centre and has relocated her dog grooming business Pet Angels from Barrowford to the new Colne location.
“Everyone has been so lovely; fellow businesses, residents and my loyal customers. I’ve had presents, cards and well wishes and people who don’t even have pets have popped their heads round the door to say they love what I’ve done with the exterior,” Lisa proudly says.
Whilst Lisa has more than 20 years of dog grooming experience, her journey to her dream career actually began in Antigua. Lisa was working for a huge insurance company in the West Indies, as well as managing a bar and restaurant and running a trekking business with nine horses. It’s clear she’s always had a determined and entrepreneurial spirit and her career in marine and aviation insurance took her across the world.
In 1998, Lisa came back to the UK and secured senior roles in retail management, being responsible for opening stores such as Zara in what was then the new Trafford Centre.
The long hours and commute meant Lisa wanted to work closer to home and she secured a senior role at Boundary Mill.
“It was a great job, but after running a business in Antigua, I missed that entrepreneurial spirit and had always wanted to establish a dog grooming business. Whilst working at Boundary Mill, I began training at Myerscough College and doing work experience in a groomers. I also had two young children, Alice (now 19) and Keira (now 18) and the long retail hours and work over Christmas just didn’t fit with where I was at that point in my life,” Lisa explains.
A leap of faith
After completing her training and work experience, Lisa took the plunge and opened Pet Angels in a small unit in Nelson. Back then, advertising was via flyers rather than social media, but Lisa quickly grew a strong reputation and most customers came via word of mouth.
“I’ve had dogs since I was two when my dad bought me a Labrador called Burtonwood (named after an ale, Burt for short!), who lived for 18 years. I love dogs and my ethos has always been that I set the bar to the level I’d expect for my own pets,” Lisa continues.
After ten years in Nelson, Lisa moved to her former premises at Barrowford, which she shared with Barrowford Pet Store and was her home for ten years. Her loyal customers followed her and she loved working alongside the pet store team.
However, when she saw 62 Albert Road was up for sale, she knew she had to act, even contacting the estate agents every month, despite the sign saying sold to someone else, to see if the sale was going through!
“It was fate. The sale didn’t go through, I agreed a price in December 2022 and had the keys by March 2023. I gave myself two months to open the doors because of course, I had bills to pay and wanted to get going!”
It is Lisa’s late Labrador Marley that adorns the front of the building, although she has a new Labrador puppy Reggie to also keep her busy.
It was certainly a local effort to get Lisa’s business open in time. Laneshawbridge graphic designer Cathy Hargreaves did the Pet Angels rebrand and logo. Earby’s EPES – led by John Cooper – project managed the renovations and continues to transform three large rooms upstairs, which will be available for businesses to rent from July.
Lee from Woodborn Crafts painstakingly removed seven layers of paint and restored the joinery at the front, a mammoth task that took seven weeks.
A bright future
Lisa’s team is ever growing; there is Grace, who has 14 years of experience, whilst she has taken on two young apprentices – Honey and Sadie.
“I was only planning to hire one apprentice, but it’s a relatively new apprenticeship and they were both so good I couldn’t choose!” Lisa is keen to thank everyone who has supported her to this point, including Colne BID, who have helped her settle in. She hopes to welcome new customers alongside her loyal ones, and is looking forward to seeing which businesses wish to move into the beautiful period rooms upstairs when the leases become available this summer.