Karla Perez- Franco, owner of The Pet Shop Club in Cambie Village, is only 25 years old but has already had a big impact for the dogs of Vancouver!
Born in Mexico City, Karla moved to Vancouver with her family in 2015. During her first year in Vancouver, Karla helped her family navigate the immigration process including finding a business, creating a business plan, and submitting all necessary documents to obtain visas.
It was during this transitional period that she realized following her gut would be best for her and her family, which meant running a business that was grounded in family values of community and service.
This led her family to their first Canadian business in West Vancouver grooming dogs. In 2018, after two years of being in the dog grooming industry the opportunity to take over ownership of The Pet Shop Club (then called The Pet Shop Boys) came up through an industry connection and Karla knew it was the right move. Or as she would say, “Things happen for a reason and the timing of God is impeccable.”
The close community that she felt in Cambie Village became part of the decision, as the community reflects her own personal values of supporting one another. The location is also beautiful with easy access to other parts of Vancouver – which is necessary for parts of The Pet Shop Club services like their “Adventure Beach Run” program.
All of this meant it was easy for Karla to fall in love with both the business and the Cambie Village community.
The Pet Shop Club is a story of resilience, quick learning, and modifications – especially throughout the pandemic. However, the pandemic gave Karla the space to make her mark on the business with a name change to make it more inclusive while showcasing The Pet Shop Club as the woman-run business that it is!
With many frontline worker clients and work from home clients, new and adapted services were implemented including Puppy Socialization and Puppy Kindergarten to keep up with the new dog-owners in the community. This program is designed to help socialize puppies since dogs who miss out on socialization young can develop anxiety and other fears as they age. Staff at The Pet Shop Club are properly certified for all their programs.
This is the same for the grooming services offered: both North American and hand-scissoring styles are offered. North American is a little bit more affordable and less detailed the difference is that at The Pet Shop Club all drying is hand blow-dried meaning that the dogs get blow-outs! This is done to ensure the best experience for the dog and create a bond with the dog and the groomer.
The Pet Shop Club and Karla provide daycare, walks, and grooming services in a safe, fun, educational environment that allows a community to be based on respect and care that extends beyond the dogs. For Karla dogs are selfless souls that are here to help humans and as such they deserve unconditional love back.
Her love for dogs extends back to her childhood and family dog, a border collie named Hachi, that moved with the family five years ago! In her role as owner, Karla has created a standard in dog care and grooming that has been recognized with awards for Best Doggy Daycare and Second Place in Grooming by the Georgia Strait in 2020.