These 6 People Will Bring Mobile Services to Your Door
These days, just about every service comes in a mobile truck version. You may never have to leave your house again!
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In today's modern world, convenience is king. Why drive all the way to a pizzeria when you can simply pick up the phone and have a freshly made pie arrive right on your doorstep? These days, it’s getting easier and easier to have goods and services come to you, rather than the other way around. We found people who will sharpen your knives, mix you a high-end cocktail and even cure your inevitable hangover—all from tricked-out vans and trucks. Here’s to the mobile heroes who brave rough traffic and tight parking, so you don’t have to! We spoke with a few of these heroes to find out what drives them.
Whitney taylor, right, and Ronni Davis, left, can beautify any dog, big or small.
PHOTO: Olivier Koning
Some people move to Hawai‘i for the weather, or the waves, or the food. Whitney Taylor moved for the pets. “I was in San Diego, and I had heard that no one was doing mobile grooming in Hawai‘i,” she says. “I was working out of a storefront, but I had a couple of clients who I would go to their homes, and I just noticed how much calmer the dogs would be, compared with having them come into the store.”
She knew there would be a market for her services when she moved to Honolulu, bought a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van and founded Busy Scissors Mobile Pet Spa. But she was surprised by the demand. “I was doing everything by myself at first. Grooming, bookkeeping, everything,” she says. “I was overwhelmed, so I called up my friend Ronni (Davis) and convinced her to move to Hawai‘i to partner with me on this.” Five years later, the duo has two vans and is planning for a third.
Busy Scissors specializes in animals who have been traumatized, or who can’t go to a traditional groomer. The self-contained vans are packed with everything needed to clean and trim two animals at a time, including hot running water, a tub, and a hydraulic table that adjusts to fit both large and small animals. “Last week we worked with a 220-pound mastiff,” Taylor says. “We do everything. Cats, guinea pigs, rabbits. Once we did a chicken. Anything that won’t bite me, I’ll try.”
Taylor says she’s built up a loyal clientele. “A lot of them, we see every other week, or every month. They’re part of our family. We get to know their pets and their kids. It’s great.”
Living on the Edge
PEGGY KAAHANUI KEEPS EVERYONE ON POINT.
Photo: OLIVIER KONING
If you need to stay sharp, Peggy Kaahanui is the one to call. From a truck that she’s personally customized into a mobile sharpening workshop, Kaahanui can hone just about any kind of blade, anywhere on O‘ahu. She has a minimum fee of $30, but it’s not a call charge. “That’s for $30 worth of sharpening,” she says.
Kaahanui bought the business in 2009 from the previous owner, who retired and moved back to the Mainland. There was a little bit of a learning curve—the truck that came with the business promptly died—but she gradually built up her expertise. “The most satisfying part,” she says, “is to take stuff that people were going to throw away and make them useful again. Just yesterday, I did 12 beautician shears for a woman who just kept buying new ones because she didn’t know how to get the others sharpened.”
Kaahanui says one of the charms of her mobile business is how appreciative people can be. Many of her clients have gotten wise and organize little neighborhood sharpening parties for her visits. All the aunties and uncles, friends and neighbors bring her their knives and machetes and anything else that needs sharpening.
One new service Kaahanui offers is a knife rental exchange for commercial kitchens. Once a week, she goes by restaurants like Yard House and California Pizza Kitchen and swaps out their dull knives for a fully sharpened set. While she’s there, she says, “if they have anything else that needs sharpening, like Cuisinart blades, I take it right out to the truck, sharpen it and get it back to them the same day, instead of a week later.”
That’s the advantage of being mobile.