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 Abby Jaskolski




Grand Opening of The Salon – A Grooming Project set for May 4

Kansas City nonprofit opens Lee’s Summit pet grooming salon to further mission of lifting local families from poverty.

Lee’s Summit, MO, April 29, 2019 –Empowering the Parent to Empower the Child (EPEC, Inc.) announced the grand opening of its first expansion project, The Salon – A Grooming Project, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, May 4 at 1650 SE Blue Parkway in Lee’s Summit. A ribbon-cutting will take place at 10 a.m.

The Salon – A Grooming Project is a full-service pet grooming salon that will train high-performing graduates of The Grooming Project, EPEC, Inc.’s grooming school in Kansas City, Mo., to become pet salon managers and owners. Operating as a nonprofit, The Salon will funnel all profits back to the organization’s grooming school, which trains struggling parents in the art of pet grooming while also providing multiple wrap-around services.

“About 25 percent of our graduates leave the school wanting to own their own grooming salons, but their life circumstances have in no way prepared them to do that,” said Natasha Kirsch, EPEC founder and executive director. “The Salon in Lee’s Summit will be an internship program to give them access to opportunities that many of us take for granted.

“When I opened The Grooming Project in 2016, I was equipped with a college education, a network of mentors, and I knew how to apply for funding. For women leaving generational poverty, these things are next to impossible to find on their own,” Kirsch added. “Our interns will learn the skills necessary to own and manage a business in a hands-on way, mentored by experienced pet grooming business owners, while also receiving a living-wage paycheck to support their children.”

The Salon – A Grooming Project will offer pet-owners quality pet grooming services for their dogs and cats, while also supporting local parents who have worked hard to stabilize their lives and leave behind a life of poverty, domestic violence, and substance abuse.

Grooming Project graduates Lindsey Massoth and Christine Banks are The Salon’s first two interns. “I was a teen mom, and I’m proud of the path I took to get where I am today. I didn’t let my struggles define me—I turned them into lessons and power,” Lindsey said.

 Jill Champoux, who previously owned and operated My Darling Dogs in Lee’s Summit, and Theresa Hauck, former business owner and Goodwill Industries District Manager, bring a combined 50+ years of experience to their mentorship roles at The Salon.

The Salon – A Grooming Project will be open Tuesday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. To schedule an appointment, call 816.525.2440. For more information about The Salon and The Grooming Project, visit or find us on Facebook at


About EPEC, Inc.

Since 2016, Empowering the Parent to Empower the Child (EPEC, Inc.) has operated The Grooming Project, a state-certified grooming school at 5829 Troost in Kansas City, Mo., dedicated to lifting families from poverty into self-sufficiency. To date, The Grooming Project has trained and graduated 42 adults with a history of generational poverty, chronic unemployment, domestic violence, substance abuse, and repeated trauma in the art of pet grooming. The Grooming Project has maintained a 100 percent job placement rate for graduates, with 70 percent maintaining employment at six months post-graduation.  Sixty percent of 2017 graduates are already able to support their families without help from assistance programs.  Visit for more information.


Empowering the Parent to Empower the Child (EPEC) is a 501c3 organization dedicated to reducing generational poverty in Kansas City.

Through our state-certified grooming school and our Lee's Summit grooming salon, we train struggling parents to be pet groomers and salon managers, both in-demand, living-wage trades.

The School

5829 Troost Ave, Suite B.

Kansas City, MO 64110


Open Tuesday - Friday

8 am to 4 pm


The Salon

1650 SE Blue Parkway

Lee's Summit, MO 64063


Open Tuesday - Saturday

8 am to 5 pm