It all started in 2009 when we were very lucky to adopt Betsy our Boston Terrier from Chesterfield RSPCA shortly followed by Pippa our rescue Miniature Schnauzer.
We took care of our new scamps’ needs with a passion. But when it came to finding a grooming salon for them, we didn’t feel quite so lucky.
We were looking for an inviting, clean, modern salon where the groomers were qualified to a high standard and somewhere we felt very comfortable leaving our dogs. We were looking for a first-class grooming salon where the welfare of dogs was a priority but we soon gathered that even second class was proving difficult to find.
We became aware in our search that there was a genuine need for something special, so we decided to create just that ourselves. Through dedication and training, we opened our home-based salon where we continued to develop our knowledge and skill, learning everything we could about the grooming industry.
In 2012 our salon came runner up in the prestigious Grooming salon of the Year Awards. This gave us the determination we needed for the next part of our plan.
In May 2013 we found the premises we needed to build our dream salon and the work began.
Our opening day party in November 2013 when grooming legend, Diana North did us the honour of cutting the ribbon declaring FURST CLASS LOUNGE open in the presence of family and friends.
After completing our teacher training qualifications in 2014, we opened Our Professional Dog Grooming Training Centre, delivering City & Guilds, Open College Network and In-House qualifications, in association with Heavenlyz Training Services.
In early 2016 we became part of the few elite grooming salons at that time to be awarded the Grooming Gold Standard by SAI Global Independent Auditors.
We were excited to be contacted by a Chanel 5 TV producer in August the same year to discuss our taking part in the shows versus challenge with presenters Ortis & Amy. We had a blast and met some amazing people. The show aired on the 28th of October 2016.
Just in case you were wondering, our company name FURST CLASS LOUNGE originates from our previous careers as pursers flying for British Airways at the cutting edge of customer service for almost 50 years between us. Seen here in April 2010 on the last day Concorde took to the skies. We were fortunate to be able to travel, see the world together and train to be dog groomers. We didn’t expect our love of dogs and dog grooming to permanently ground us but we are so pleased it did.
In recent years we’ve become known simply as FCL.
Sadly we lost Betsy in April 2019 and Pippa in December 2019. Without Besty and Pippa FURST CLASS LOUNGE wouldn’t have been created and we wouldn’t be privileged to do what we love.
We treasure every single memory and the endless joy and love they gave us. We were blessed to be able to take our girls to the salon with us every day because when you’re doing what you love, with those you love, you never work a day in your life.