Born and raised in Kitimat, Abigail Steponavicius, 24, has began her journey of proudly owning her personal enterprise and grooming canine full time. Steponavicius was born within the previous Kitimat hospital and had a typical childhood rising up in northwestern B.C.
She hung out outdoors along with her associates in addition to occurring tenting journeys along with her household.
Steponavicius went to Roy Wilcox Elementary faculty earlier than making the transfer to MESS for highschool. Her expertise was just a little totally different than common.
“Nicely, my mother was my principal for many of my education. She was my vice principal in elementary faculty after which when highschool got here round she mentioned ‘I’m coming to highschool with you’, so she was all the time round,” mentioned Steponavicius.
Although her mother, Janet Meyer, who’s retiring this 12 months as the college district superintendent, labored on the faculties, Steponavicius nonetheless didn’t get pleasure from faculty. Throughout her highschool expertise, she labored at Rosario’s as a chef’s assistant, serving to put together meals and doing no matter was wanted within the kitchen.
“It’s neat to see how a restaurant truly runs, it’s hectic as there’s lots occurring,” she mentioned.
Steponavicius loved cooking so following highschool she accomplished culinary coaching at Northwest Neighborhood Faculty in Terrace.
Nonetheless, there was a slight bump in her profession ambition. “I’m a really choosy eater, going to highschool for cooking is just not simple whenever you don’t like a number of meals,” she mentioned.
Steponavicius labored on the White Spot in Terrace making breakfast after which at Wings in Terrace for a quick time earlier than deciding it was time for a change.
She returned to Kitimat the place her boyfriend on the time had a job and started working on the Chalet, a job she held for a few years. Finally, her work on the Chalet moved to part-time.
“And I made a decision that I didn’t need to spend the remainder of my life in a kitchen,” she mentioned. “It’s too sizzling in the summertime.”
Steponavicius then started work at Pet Valu and that was when she realized that she wished to do one thing else.
“I’ve all the time actually appreciated animals,” mentioned Steponavicius. “I had my first canine who was named Harley and he sort of began my actual love for canine.”
Her household all the time had animals even a canine that her mother had named Jake that terrorized her. Regardless of the unhealthy expertise along with her mother’s canine, her love for canine grew.
Whereas working on the pet retailer a possibility offered itself for Steponavicius to get some coaching in grooming canine.
“A woman got here into the shop someday and was speaking to us and advised us about her faculty known as Northern BC Faculty of Canine Grooming,” she mentioned.
The thought of attending the college went to the again of her thoughts earlier than she lastly made the ultimate determination to enroll.
She went to the college, situated in Endako, with Blair Stoneman, a pal and colleague from Pet Valu. There they lived in a trailer for six weeks, grooming greater than 125 canine.
However attending to Endako proved probably harmful as Steponavicius forgot to torque the tires on her automobile and one was on the verge of falling off. “It began shaking and I’m like one thing’s fallacious,” she recounted.
Fortunately, sister Kayla Steponavicius and her boyfriend have been transporting the trailer and the boyfriend was ready to have a look and safe the wheel so they may end their journey.
“Our plan, once we received again from faculty, was to do grooming at Pet Valu however the contract that they had was not price it,” she mentioned. “On the time I had been taking a look at homes in Kitimat to see what I wished to do.”
Her father, Mike Steponavicius, additionally agreed she mustn’t take the contract however as an alternative begin her personal enterprise, saying that if she received a home they may construct one thing.
The home she purchased had a bigger laundry room which she says could have been a storage prior to now. She purchased a stackable washer and dryer to unencumber some house and put in a bath to create her personal canine grooming space.
Steponavicius continued to work on the pet retailer and started operating her enterprise, Step by Step Grooming, part-time simply over a 12 months in the past.
When she was deciding whether or not or not she would do grooming full time, she spoke to Jenn Jonkman who owns Hale Holistics in Kitimat. Jonkman helped break down a number of the numbers for her and defined what it was like proudly owning a enterprise.
Final month Steponavicius expanded from three days per week to full-time.
“It is determined by the canine, a shepherd is one thing you don’t lower its fur, I like grooming large canine as a result of there’s a lot extra room,” Steponavicius mentioned. “However with a small canine you must choose it up and work your means round it.”
She has additionally realized that most of the canine she has handled are very well-behaved as soon as their house owners depart, regardless of their house owners cautioning Steponavicius that they could not behave.
The enterprise has taken off for the younger canine groomer as she has now begun reserving her appointments into Could.