Entrepreneur Amanda Floyd established a thriving luxury pet care business that is anything but.
It’s one thing to adore animals. It’s another to translate that passion into a thriving, high-demand business—something that even the most seasoned businesspeople struggle to do. In 2011, twenty-four-year-old St. Francisville native Amanda Floyd took the perilous step of launching her dream business -- a luxury pet grooming and boarding business called the Royal Treatment.
The gamble paid off. Amanda launched on the leading edge of a trend in high-end pet care that was just beginning to build up steam around the region. “The Bank of St. Francisville took a chance on me when no one else would,” Amanda says. “There weren’t many lenders out there willing to listen to a twenty-four-year-old.”
Now seven years after opening, Amanda’s Royal Treatment has flourished into a thriving enterprise. The business has grown from two employees to eighteen, and has expanded from an original location of 2,000 square feet, to occupy a 7,000-square-foot Baton Rouge landmark that will hold fond memories for many area residents. “Many of our pet parents tell us they want to stay here instead of their pets,” Amanda says. “It’s a beautiful space.”
Bank of St. Francisville supported Amanda not only on the opening of the first location in 2011, but on the 2018 expansion, too. The loan helped her convert the former Enchanted Mansion Doll Museum on Baton Rouge’s Lee Drive into the only locally-owned grooming, boarding and day care facility for dogs and cats in the Capital Region. Word has spread like wildfire about The Royal Treatment’s services, which include high-end grooming, therapeutic skin and coat products and treatments, suite-style boarding, and indoor/outdoor play areas for supervised pet day care. Amanda’s list of clients has grown from handwritten list of about fifty, to a database of more than four thousand.
The Royal Treatment’s popularity mirrors widespread growth across the country in high-quality pet care. Nationwide, pet owners spend more than $6 billion annually on grooming and boarding alone, with increased demand for posh grooming options and luxury overnight stays. “Dogs and cats are a huge part of people’s lives,” says Amanda, “and pet parents want to feel good about where they’re taking them.”
The idea for the business came when Amanda was an LSU student working part-time at The Petz Plaza. There, she learned grooming. In 2010, she developed a concept for for a luxury pet grooming and boarding facility and submitted it to the LSU Student Incubator program, part of the Louisiana Business andTechnology Center. With mentoring from the LBTC, Amanda refined her business plan. With a loan from BSF, she opened her business on Essen Lane and Perkins Road a year later. Space constraints kept her from working with both dogs and cats, but she build a thriving dog grooming and boarding business. Her reputation spread among pet owners about her gentle ability to work with the most anxious pets, as well as her grooming talents. It wasn’t long before she outgrew the space.
At the Royal Treatment’s expansive new location, Amanda plays host to far more canines. She and her team can groom about thirty dogs a day, and board up to forty dogs overnight in specialty suites. Finally, she can also provide comprehensive services to felines, too. “Cats often get the short end of the stick in Baton Rouge, because so many services are offered to dogs,” Amanda says. “But cats also need to be engaged and made to feel comfortable.” The Royal Treatment features a cat climbing wall for playing and comfort nooks for relaxing. Cat suites look into a two-hundred-gallon salt-water aquarium filled with tempting tropical fish.
All of Amanda’s groomers are accredited by the National Dog Groomers Association of America, and provide AKC breed-specific cuts as well as high quality cuts for all dogs.
Therapeutic skin care is another big service area. “Gone are the days of throwing your dog in the bathtub and using dish soap,” says Amanda. “I’m really picky about the products we use in our spa line.” Pets can sit back and relax while receiving a blueberry or white tea facial. “It helps with tear stains and gives a really nice soothing tingling feeling,” Amanda says.
The Royal Treatment’s boarding services takes the stress out of the experience for both pet and owner. Overnight dog suites are bedecked with chandeliers and aromatherapy pillows. Soothing music plays at night, and owners can observe and talk to their furry babies over Petzi cams. They can also dispense treats directly into the suite with a quick remote command. Amanda makes it easy for owners to build a custom package that keeps pets happy, and helps them relax while they’re away, too.
“This business was a dream come true,” Amanda says. “It’s a passion and a real love.”
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