Charlotte, NC May 6, 2020
“If not for our long standing and loyal clients, we would not be here right now”, said Emily Nolan, co-owner of The Dog Wizard Charlotte, a local business that has been a part of the community for over a decade. “They quite literally have kept the lights on.”
It should come as no surprise that many small businesses in Charlotte have been faced with navigating extreme circumstances amidst the recent NC shut down due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. The Dog Wizard of Charlotte was no exception and although “Long Term Pet Care Facilities” are deemed essential business, the possibility of an irreversible outcome remained.
Emily and her business partner Danielle Kharman prepared to make drastic changes to stay afloat, quickly creating procedures and safety protocols to keep clients and staff safe while remaining open and providing services for many, including frontline workers helping in the medical industry.
The Dog Wizard facility closed off their lobby, they outfitted their staff with masks, developed curbside services and adopted virtual methods to adjust to the times. Kharman, who recently developed a virtual classroom allowing her clients to continue the dog training work at home, says, “The hardest part was minimizing our staff. Our team is a true family and to limit hours or furlough some is a position you never think you will have to be in.”
On top of the abrupt changes and difficult decisions, the phones went silent and all new business came to a screeching halt. Understandably it was an uncertain time for all Charlotteans, and seeking out dog training services was not on the top of the list during the first several weeks of the “Stay At Home” order.
“It was our current and past clients that kept things going, they showed up in the most amazing ways for us,” says Emily who became the main point of contact for the business.
Training clients who had plans to train their new dogs in the future were calling and paying in full for services to be rendered at a later date, sending assurances to Emily and Danielle that there was no way they would back out. Their daycare and boarding regulars were requesting additional training as a gift to their bored dogs who were stuck at home with them. In the midst of such uncertainty, there were incredible outpourings of love and support from their clients and the two business owners decided to dump that same love right back into the few but important dogs that they were entrusted with.
In mid-April, just as times seemed to be getting even more precarious, The Dog Wizard of Charlotte was informed that they had won Best of the Best, Dog Trainer in Charlotte according to Charlotte Magazine.
The Best of the Best Awards (known to Charlotteans as the BOB Awards) is a twenty year tradition put on by Charlotte Magazine for local Charlotte residents to vote on their favorite businesses.
“I’ve never experienced this before,” says Kharman “To see this level of support while also the very real consideration of closing our doors was looming… we are completely overwhelmed with gratitude. We really can not express that loud enough, THANK YOU and we love you all so much. You are the reason we are here.”
Like every other business, The Dog Wizard Charlotte is hoping they are on the back end of the pandemic and can get back to business as usual soon. However, the reality is no one knows when, if ever, they will get back to “business as usual”, but the two Dog Wizard owners claim to have experienced several silver linings that will make their business even stronger at the end of it all.
“It’s the clients that made us,” says Emily. “And it’s the clients that kept us here.”
*The Owner’s Emily Nolan and Danielle Kharman are available for further comment and can be reached at:
Emily – 704-724-0837 [email protected]
Danielle – 704-724-0837 [email protected]