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updated: 4/1/2014 8:39 AM

Wadsworth animal lover helps aging pets groom in place

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  • Abbey Trobe

    Abbey Trobe

  • Abbey Trobe

    Abbey Trobe

  • Abbe Trobe's Mobile Grooming van.

    Abbe Trobe's Mobile Grooming van.

  • D.A. Stevenson

    D.A. Stevenson

  • Tom Jackson

    Tom Jackson

  • Lyba Siryj

    Lyba Siryj

  • Jennifer D'Souza

    Jennifer D'Souza


Abbey Trobe, a certified veterinary technician in Wadsworth, saw jobs in her field dry up in recent years. So she parlayed a love for animals into a mobile spa for pets.

She is an Aussie Pet Mobile franchise holder operating throughout Libertyville, Fox Lake, Round Lake, Antioch, Gurnee, Zion and Waukegan and offers a fully equipped pet spa in the back of her van.

"I think I was born to work with animals," she said. "When I was 9 months old, our Rottweiler had 10 puppies and I was obsessed. I wanted to spend every waking moment with them and then my first word ended up being doggy. From then on out everything was all about animals."

The 27-year-old entrepreneur now handles about 28 dogs and 10 cats each week with her mobile grooming business, which is based in Wadsworth where she lives. She especially caters to older dogs that may struggle climbing into and out of a car and even finicky cats who hate car rides. She comes to them with ramps and a belly sling and anti-fatigue mats.

Trobe's Dodge Sprinter Van is equipped with a deep bath, grooming table, shampoos, conditioners, clippers and more. It also features a 60-gallon water tank, filtration system, water heater, and solar panels to power her grooming equipment.

Aussie Pet Mobile started in Australia, moved to California and then branched out to all states. Trobe saw an article about the franchise which sparked her interest in mobile grooming, she said.

"This is going to sound cheesy but it really is everything I have always wanted," she said. "I became a vet tech because I wanted to work with animals and their owners. Now I get to do that and be able to run things and it is amazing. The cons are that I have never run a business before so I have had to learn as I go and it is really hard. I have been bitten twice both times by cats and both times I wasn't even in the van or grooming."

As the business progresses, she hopes to one day hire a part-time groomer so she can handle more of the office work, she said.

But that doesn't mean she won't be involved with animals in some way.

When she's not working, she has a rescue dog named Charlie that she takes to a dog park. She also does a lot of community work with Wags in Waukegan, Save a Pet in Grayslake, and Good as Gold in Libertyville.

"I always knew that if I had my own business I would want to give back to the amazing animal organizations that help so many pets," she said.

Author discusses leadership

D.A. Stevenson of St. Charles has published a new book, "Servants and Statesmen." She said the book asks, What makes for the best leaders and politicians? "The answer is a servant's heart," she said. "To serve is the first step to leadership. What qualities make for the best servants? Of course, ethical principles are expounded upon utilizing the wisdom of the ancients, Biblical scripture, and philosophical musings of the world's great authors as the foundation for raising leaders of integrity."

Photographer marks 35 years

Al Lewek said his Lewek Photography and Frame Studio marks 35 years in Glen Ellyn. Besides meeting a lot of people along the way, he notes the many changes in the photography industry, yet "(we) have had a great time doing it all -- I wouldn't change a thing, except maybe the changing economy," he said.


Jennifer D'Souza has been selected to participate with five other pharmacists in the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists Research and Education Foundation Research Boot Camp, a research skills development program. She is an associate professor of pharmacy practice at Midwestern University in Downers Grove, where she also graduated from the College of Pharmacy. ... Tom Jackson of Naperville has earned the Accredited in Public Relations credential from the Universal Accreditation Board. Jackson is a member of the Suburban Chicago Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America and is director of public relations for Sunny Ridge Family Center in Bolingbrook.

Owner Adam Garvanian of Shakou in Libertyville had just finished the first anniversary celebration weekend when he was told the restaurant has been named in the Top 100 Hot Spot Restaurants in America by Open Table. ... Luba Siryj is the new memory care manager at Oak Trace in Downers Grove. The community provides seniors independent living apartment homes, memory care and skilled nursing care. ... Eric and Elizabeth Spicher of Integrated Natural Medicine are now marking two years in Geneva.

Brad McKay, director of marketing at Ricky B's Prime Burger House, said the restaurant has launched a new concept at Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg. Chefs hand craft burgers and offer other grilled entrees, sandwiches and salads, and about 80 brews. ... Andrew Davidson, executive vice president and managing director, and Jay Beadle, senior vice president of MB Real Estate's Corporate Services said they have completed a 13,391-square-foot lease renewal and expansion for PPM America's offices in Schaumburg.

• There's more to business than just the bottom line. We want to tell you about the people that make business work. Send news about people in business to Follow Anna Marie Kukec on LinkedIn and Facebook and as AMKukec on Twitter.

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