MEET THE LEADERS

OF THE PACK!

Joan Schmuecker


Joan grew up on a farm outside of Norway, IA. Anyone who knows her will tell you, she is an animal whisperer! On the farm she always connected with the animals in a way that inspired others. Whether it was the family dogs and cats, farm animals or rescued wild animals like a crow, pheasants, and a raccoon. She was the go-to person for any animals that needed nurtured or trained. She knew then that she wanted to make a difference in the lives of animals someday.

She received her education through the Small Animal Services program at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, where she later became an instructor for the pet grooming classes. She began working at a local animal hospital in 1985, where she worked in the kennel taking care of boarding dogs and sick animals. She began her grooming career after a few short months of working there.

After working for that same animal hospital for 23 years and learning and understanding every aspect of the business, Joan decided it was time to take her expertise out on her own. In 2009 Peiffer Paws Pet Grooming was born. She opened her first shop in Walford, IA and added a limited amount of boarding and daycare for her customers.

As her passion for understanding and communicating with animals grew, Joan wanted to better understand and learn how she could better communicate with them to improve their grooming experience. Through this process Joan became a Reiki Master Teacher, learning to read and understand the animal’s energy and how to calm them during their grooming experience. Becoming a Raindrop Technique Specialist gave her the tools through essential oils to know how to calm those dogs who struggled with their grooming experience, this has been extraordinarily successful in the salon. And after a yearlong Modern Shamanism course Joan was able to better understand both the dogs and her own energy and how it all impacts their experience together.

In 2015 Joan chose to move Peiffer Paws Pet Grooming to Cedar Rapids where it is currently located. consistently at grooming capacity and wanting to expand her business to add Lodging and Daycare, she decided to have her son, Shawn join her in building a place for dogs that can come and feel good about themselves. Together they are creating a family-owned business where everyone can feel at home.




Shawn Peiffer

Shawn’s love for animals and business has been a part of him for all long as he can remember. Dogs especially were always a part of the family and helping at Peiffer Paws was something Shawn always looked forward to. You could always find him spending time playing with the boarding and daycare dogs. When he was not doing that you could find him helping his Dad and Grandpa run the family businesses which taught him mechanical maintenance, business laws, customer service and entrepreneurial skills.

Shawn always has a passion for entrepreneurs, how they started, how they grew their business, what businesses were successful and why. A part of him always knew he would follow in his Mother’s footsteps one day and become an entrepreneur himself. While in high school he started his own lawn mowing service for a residential development in Walford. After high school, he began to take jobs where he could gain specific experience in the areas, he knew he would need like customer service, building, and general maintenance.

Shawn began with a construction company where he gained 2 years of construction experience which included framing, carpentry and seeing how a small construction company is run and managed as well as assisting in building a student-built house. 3 years ago, Shawn joined McGrath as a sales professional, where he truly learned the art of exceptional customer service, how to do what it takes to please the customer and how simple professionalism and service can bring a deal together or have it fall apart.

Shawn and Joan began discussing and dreaming of opening a facility someday where they could put both their talents together. Expanding on the Peiffer Paws reputation of offering the best grooming in Cedar Rapids with Shawn’s passion for business. Offering grooming services, and adding daycare, boarding, and dog training. The more they talked about it, the more it became a viable plan and not just a crazy Idea! As they shared their plan with business professionals, bankers, and builders, they all agreed. It was a great plan! Shawn cannot wait to get started rolling out this dream and making a difference in the lives of animals and the community.


Larkyn Aldrich

Larkyn grew up on a farm near Vinton, Iowa where her family had all sorts of animals like elk, llamas, peacocks, goats, potbelly pigs, ponies, bunnies, fallow deer, lots of cats and dogs and even more. Larkyn and her family knew at an early age she had a gift with animals. They loved her and she certainly found peace with them.

Along with caring for her small zoo, Larkyn and her mother would travel all over the midwest for her club swim meets. She was a competitive swimmer since the age of 5. Larkyn was on the Varsity swim team all 4 years of high school, also earned to be one of the team captain’s her senior year. She ended her swimming career after she graduated from Kennedy High School in 2015. Through her swimming career she earned her CPR, First Aid and Lifeguard certification.

Larkyn worked as a respite caregiver with special needs children doing in-home respite care or taking them out into the community to do fun activities. Growing up with a sister who has special needs this was a job she dearly loved. Larkyn later became the Manager of a supplement and smoothie business in 2016, learning the ins and outs of running a small business, including managing people and setting an example for exceptional customer service. It was during this time she met Shawn. Shawn and she have been together ever since and have always wondered what their futures would look like.

With Larkyn growing up on her family farm, her bond with animals was strong. She never seemed to make use of that gift until her boyfriend, Shawn, and his mother, Joan, joined together and created the Eastern Iowa Pet Resort. Larkyn knew right as she heard the news, she was going to be back at home again to the animals she so dearly loves!


MEET OUR GROOMERS!

Courtney

I graduated from Anamosa high school in 2006. I took a job at PetSmart in 2007 as a bather. April of 2008 I went through the PetSmart academy, learning to be a power groomer and also got certified in cat grooming. Working at Petsmart also gave me the opportunity travel to the different stores in our district to set up grooming salons and also to help out with grooming when they were short staffed.


Wanting to leave the corporate world of Petsmart In 2019, I decided to take a job at K9 Cuts where I worked for 2 years. When I heard that Ashley, my sister was taking a job at the Eastern Iowa Pet Resort, I decided to join her. I am extremely excited to start this next adventure!


I've been married for 8 1/2 years. We have a daughter that was born in August of 2017. We also have one fur child, Hugo. He's a 13 yr old toy poodle and is still rambunctious as ever! 🐩


In our spare time we like to go on vacations, be outdoors and go on motorcycle rides

Ashley

Growing up in Anamosa I always had a love for animals, especially dogs. I knew once I graduated high school in 2000, wanted to attend Kirkwood community college and take their pet grooming program.

I did my first grooming internship at The Pet Stop where I was hired on full time learning many of my grooming skill and perfecting my customer service abilities. When they sold the business and I decided to open my own groom salon called Ashley's Pet grooming in Springville.

I closed my salon when Petsmart came to Cedar Rapids in 2005. I decided to take a job there. They had great benefits and I was offered an opportunity to travel to different grooming salons in the district to help set up their salons and make sure they were ready for their grand opening. I also helped the grooming salons that were short staffed. I worked at Petsmart for many years.

In 2019 I decided to leave the corporate world of Petsmart and work at a small business called k-9 cuts.

I met Joan through my fiancé, Matt as he is the Forman for the Eastern Iowa Pet Resort construction. I knew immediately when I heard about this amazing idea that I wanted to be a part of it all. I am looking forward to growing with their facility and can’t wait to see where this goes.

I pride myself on taking care of each client I groom by treating them as if they were my Own. Paying special attention to grooming instructions and details and always letting pet parents know about any medical concerns I see that may need Veterinarian attention.

My family consists of 2 boys, a fiancé, 3 dogs, and a cat. In my spare time I love spending time baking, having family cook outs, spending time outdoors, with my kids and dogs. And motorcycling with my fiancé.