Now You’re Clean Self-Service Dog Wash Spa
By Brian J Pape and Joy Pape
While planning for our dog celebration, we visited both the Leroy and the Washington Square Park dog runs. Then we wondered, “How can we ask folks to bring their dogs to a party where they get so dirty?”
So, Joy contacted “Now You’re Clean” (NYC) a self-dog wash and they immediately offered free dog washes after the party. We went to check things out at both spas and we watched an owner washing her dog. All were happy and clean, including us!
We also met with the co-owners Nicola Leggo (NL) and Arlette Sarkissians (AS), and her dog Ayla.
Village View (VV): Tell us about how you created Now You’re Clean.
AS: Back in 2020, we were in Williamsburg when COVID hit. I am a jeweler and designer from a Milanese family of architects, traveling for my product shows. One evening Nicola and I were discussing where to wash her dog, Mia, and recognized the need in this city for this service.
NL: I worked for Ernst & Young in Australia when I was offered a position in New York in 2018. When COVID hit, we found ourselves quarantined, kind of like “Accidental Roommates.” I always wanted to run my own business, and when we came up with this concept, I knew it was the one! The name came to my mother in a dream!
VV: What’s unique about Now You’re Clean?
NL: As New York’s first automatic self-service dog washing spa & boutique, our focus was on creating a great experience for both humans and dogs. Owners can enjoy washing their dogs in an easy and fun way. A touchscreen provides step-by-step instructions and owners can select pre-mixed hypoallergenic shampoo and conditioner or other products. Brushes, towels and after-wash products are all provided. The equipment is carefully cleaned between each use. It’s like, “wash your dog and leave the mess behind.”
AS: We have worked to create the most comfortable environment for the dogs. For example, we offer optional treats ranging from a peanut butter licking pad to a ‘happy hoodie’ (ear covers to reduce dryer noise). Over time dogs can go from “brakes on” to “jump right in” when they come.
VV: What did it take to open your spas?
NL: While we worked on our business plan, we searched for spaces for months. We liked the energy around Tompkins Square Park and rents were a little better there.
AS: We remodeled the interior and did our own decorating to make it as open and inviting as possible. Six months after opening the first store, we opened our second store.
VV: What has been your most outstanding customer experience so far?
AS: A married couple had a problem with their dog, Lucy, since one of them wouldn’t allow her to sleep with them. Thanks to the convenience and ease of regular grooming and baths, now they are both comfortable with Lucy sleepingin their bed. They told us we saved their marriage!
NL: One of our first customers, Raven and her dog, Buddha, suggested we start a social club in our Zen backyard. That fit well with our desire to make more community connections, so we created “The Buddha Club.” Now, members can have playdates and folks in the community can schedule private events in the space.
279 E 10th Street
near Tompkins Square Park
113 W 10th Street
opposite Jefferson Market Library