How Sunderland dog groomer is battling narcolepsy as she sees her business thrive

A Sunderland entrepreneur has overcome a rare health condition to be a business success.

Wednesday, 24th July 2019, 11:45 am
Updated Wednesday, 4th September 2019, 11:23 am
Groomers Has It salon owner Colleen Minto has been nominated for the Wearside Women in Business Awards.

Colleen Minto, 32, runs Groomer Has It which is a dog grooming service in Moran Street, Fulwell. It has work until September and is totally booked up for the Christmas period.

“The business is growing year on year and it is doing really well,” said Colleen who, runs Groomer Has It with her husband Ian.

But behind her story is Colleen’s fight with narcolepsy, a condition which only affects one in 2,000 people.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Groomers Has It salon owner Colleen Minto has been nominated for the Wearside Women in Business Awards.

Narcolepsy is a rare long-term brain condition that causes a person to suddenly fall asleep. The brain is unable to regulate sleeping and waking patterns and Colleen explained how it has affected her.

“It came on from nowhere,” said Colleen. “I didn’t really know what was wrong. I thought I was just feeling tired. I went to a doctor and they gave me iron tablets at first.”

But Colleen later had tests at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle where she underwent an MRI scan and a lumbar puncture which determined her condition.

“I am now taking a lot of medication which is how I get through the day,” she said. “But as soon as I am done and I can switch off, I am out like a light.”

Groomers Has It salon owner Colleen Minto has been nominated for the Wearside Women in Business Awards.

Colleen’s condition means she could be asleep for anything from a few minutes to half an hour.

She said her condition ‘affects me physically and mentally every single day’.

“Since December 2017 I’ve struggled and suffered with narcolepsy and my doctors are amazed that I’ve continued working throughout all of the tests and medication trials.”

But determined Colleen has succeeded in achieving her dream and now she is bidding to win a trophy in the first ever Wearside Women In Business Awards.

The line-up of sponsors.

She joins an ever-growing list of entries.

We have a line-up of six great organisations who are all sponsoring the first ever Wearside Women In Business Awards.

They are Sunderland BIC, Gentoo, Club Zest, MBC Arts Wellbeing, TCL At Home and UK Fostering North East, and they have all joined the Sunderland Echo in the quest to find the Mentor of the Year, Rising Star, Business Woman of the Year and lots more besides.

We are hoping for many more entries before the deadline arrives.

Perhaps you know a female who has launched a company and it has got off to a storming start. Then you should choose the ‘Start-up Business Woman of the Year category’

The Rising Star section is for those who are making people sit up and take notice of their rise up the entrepreneurial ladder.

And we want to hear about new starters who deserve to win the Apprentice of the Year category.

Then there’s the people who make a difference in their neighbourhood. They stand a chance of winning the Contribution To Community category.

We’ve got the Women In Education Award and the Mentor of the Year section for those who tirelessly give them time to help others.

If you’re the person who everyone looks up to, you could be our Inspirational Woman of the Year.

And if you’ve made a difference to the business world over a long time, you could be our first ever winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Do you know someone who deserves to be the Business Woman of the Year? That’s another of our categories.

Watch out for much more on all of the categories in the weeks to come.

For now though, we want your nominations.

You have until September 2 to send us your entries and the judges will meet to draw up a shortlist three days later.

Then it is on to the grand finale – a lunchtime awards ceremony on Thursday, September 26.

But for now, we need your nominations to make the event a big success. Email [email protected] and tell us the name, address, business of your nominated person and why you feel they deserve to win.

Or alternatively, send your entries to