Salon Spotlight
a Yorkshire Terrier with green furr paws wears a gold chain color and a velvet blue hooded sweatshirt

Photo by Los Angeles Times Magazine

by Kathy Hosler
Photos provided by Dogue Spa
Located in heart of West Hollywood, just five minutes from Beverly Hills, is a trail-blazing grooming salon that is really turning heads. Dogue Spa was the brainchild of Joshua White, a groomer who had a dream to open his own salon but do it in a way that would improve the grooming experience for the dogs, as well as for the groomers.

Josh was an experienced groomer and creative stylist, and Dogue’s Co-Founder, Mehdi Rezig, was an entrepreneur with a Master’s in Finance. After some planning and saving, Josh and Mehdi found a wonderful up-scale location, and in March of 2018, Dogue had its first customers.

Photo by Mariah Tauger, Los Angeles Times

“We felt that we needed to bring in people who represented Josh and I in some ways, through inclusivity and diversity.”
– Mehdi Rezig, Dogue’s Co-Founder

“When we opened, we were the only black-and-brown-owned business in West Hollywood,” says Mehdi. “It was only natural that when we were ready to hire employees, Josh and I had the same vision. We felt that we needed to bring in people who represented Josh and I in some ways, through inclusivity and diversity.

“The stylists we hire come with their own identity and they each have their own areas of expertise in the field of grooming,” he continues. “We wanted to convey the idea of, ‘come as you are with your own style.’ As long as you are a good person, good with the dogs, and are talented, the rest of your shell doesn’t matter.”

Dogue’s team members are true artists who have the freedom to express themselves through creative styles and colors while giving the owners the look they want for their dog. Moreover, the atmosphere in the salon is not “strictly business.” You might see one of the stylists break dancing for or singing to their canine client.

Anyone who wants an appointment at Dogue Spa has to fill out a form that has to be approved before they can even make an appointment. When they are approved, the client comes in to have an in-depth consult with a stylist to determine what they want for their dog and to see if it is doable.

Photo by Mariah Tauger, Los Angeles Times

a white standard poodle with rainbow hair cuffs photographed atop a table and wearing a pink super hero mask, a vibrant yellow rhinestone collar and a flowing pink and purple cape
“We want to provide unmatched customer service in a positive, enjoyable atmosphere, and to give the dogs and their owners a unique grooming experience.”
– Joshua White, Dogue’s Co-Founder

“We want to provide unmatched customer service in a positive, enjoyable atmosphere, and to give the dogs and their owners a unique grooming experience,” Josh shares. “We structured Dogue to be cage free. We wanted to stay away from kennels and a high-stress environment. The dogs can just walk around in relaxed surroundings that include a small area of grass where they can relieve themselves.

“We knew that being cage free would reduce the volume of dogs we could take,” Josh continues. “But it was important to us. I saw the anxiety level of dogs when they were caged when I worked at other salons. The owners love cage free because they want their dog to have a positive and less stressful experience.”

The groomers take a limited number of dogs per day to allow them to connect with the dog and focus on its comfort, safety and quality of groom. They adapt to the dog’s energy and pace, giving breaks when needed.

“We also do a lot of coloring of dogs,” Josh adds. “It’s really important that communication during check-in is there. We get as much information as possible so we can provide the best service. I like to make the dogs look like an extension of their owner.”

close up of a long haired, floppy eared white and brown dog, sitting on a pink cushioned chair and wearing a chicken patterned tie
Dogue caters to many celebrity clients such as Usher, Awkwafina and Cardi B. One thing that attracts them is the boutique atmosphere and the personal attention each client receives. But, Josh’s Standard Poodle, Snow, is also a big part of how these personalities and others discovered Dogue and the unique coiffures they can produce.

Josh executed many creative hairstyles on Snow and colored her hair for every holiday, season or just on a whim. As they went about their daily activities, Josh and Snow became a walking advertisement for Dogue. The duo has appeared on multiple television shows and in magazines and newspapers. You can follow their adventures on Facebook and Instagram @doguespa.

Josh and Snow became an internet/TV sensation in 2020 after competing on The Pack, a dog travel competition series hosted by Lindsey Vonn on Amazon Prime Video. All of this has given Josh great marketing opportunities on TV and in the media for himself and for Dogue Spa.

Dogue has won multiple awards, recognitions and accolades, including “Best Grooming salon of L.A.” by Los Angeles Magazine in 2021. In addition, they received a proclamation from the City of West Hollywood for “pushing the boundaries of creativity and providing a unique dog grooming experience for West Hollywood residents and the larger Los Angeles community.”

So how have they skyrocketed to such success in just a few short years?

“Understanding how social media works and knowing how to use it to your advantage is a big part of it,” Mehdi shares. “Knowing who are your clients, who are your followers, and knowing what they want in terms of image and services has helped make a huge difference in our salon. You see talent everywhere, but to stand out, you have to learn to brand yourself.

a Yorkshire Terrier with a short cut and side swept asymmetrical bangs wears a cut sleeve patterned button up shirt and sits on a white chair
interior view of the Dogue Spa reception area
“Many groomers post before and after photos of the grooms they do,” he continues. “But Josh puts himself in the photo with his works of art when he makes his posts to give a human dimension to the grooming. Josh was also one of the first groomers to put himself out there. He shows his image of being cool, being bold, and being of a diverse background.”

“Yes, you’ve got to learn how to brand yourself,” affirms Josh. “It’s not only a post of a cute dog—it’s I’m behind this. Let me show you how I’m going to do this groom and dye this dog, and see how I connect with the dog. Before and after pictures are great, but showing who is behind the groom and giving a voice and an image to them really tells the story.”

The story of Dogue Spa is far from over. A big dream and much hard work, coupled with the desire to be bold, inclusive and diverse, has put the spotlight on Joshua White, Mehdi Rezig and Dogue Spa. Their recipe for stress-less grooming, an all-inclusive business and branding themselves promises a future with no limits.