Franchise Times – August 2010
Featured Franchise: Zoom Room
Dogs bored with agility training can always switch their class schedule and take the Therapy Dog Class to help children become better readers. Or a scent-training class so they can sniff out mom’s lost cell phone or dad’s misplaced remote control. Helpful dogs – and really what dog doesn’t want to please its master – can learn to clean up their toys and to pick up dirty laundry and place it in the hamper. But don’t expect them to sort it, they’re color-blind.
Zoom Room is not a franchise for lazy dogs – or people who think their dogs are, well, dogs. It’s for people who see nothing odd about attending a singles-only event to meet other singles as their four-legged wingmen chase the laser-light show on the floor.
Jaime Van Wye came up with the idea for the dog-training franchise when she discovered doggy day care was not her cup of kibble. “I ran it for four years,” she says about her luxury boarding facility in Los Angeles.
“I had been a dog trainer and the assumption is that you get to hang out with dogs.” Not true. Instead, she found herself managing a large staff and liabilities. And even when Tom Cruise’s and Kelly Clarkson’s dogs were guests, it was the stars’ assistants, not the stars themselves, that came out. Van Wye made a list of what she liked about her business and what she disliked. The end result was a business where she could interact with both the dogs and the owners – having the owners around lessened the fear of liability.
As the daughter of L.A. Lakers-great Gail Goodrich, Van Wye understood competitive sports. She had coached the rowing team at UCLA and was a dog trainer. The combination play: “We coach people to train the dogs,” she states. The dogs maneuvering the agility course aren’t the only ones getting exercise. “We sponsored a study to see how athletic it (agility training) was, and it was really good exercise” for humans, too, she says. Franchisees form leagues, similar to youth soccer leagues, where people and their dogs can compete and practice.
View the full article in the August 2010 edition of Franchise Times.