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Groomer Community Outreach – Tara Kunsman Finds the Bright Side During COVID-19

While there might be an end in sight, many are still affected by the COVID-19 situation. We have asked and received many of your stories on how you have been impacted. Reading through the stories submitted, each one of your stories touched our hearts. We are so grateful to be part of a community of strong men and women dedicated to pets and animal welfare. Our mission is to take care of people that take care of petsand your stories continually inspire us at Ryan’s Pet Supplies.

The story that we chose this week comes from Groomer Tara Kunsman of TEK Grooming.

“I have been grooming for 6 years and couldn't be happier to land in a career with animals and be able to use my artist skills. I knew this was where I wanted to be. Having kids has taken me away to focus on them which I love but miss grooming. After moving into our home and finding out I could open a salon from my home I decided this was absolutely the right move for me. The launch of TEK Grooming began. I started gaining a few house call clients whole obtaining my business license. I found a grooming tub and finally attended my first expo, the West coast grooming expo in Feb [Groom Expo West] (so fun!). I picked up a tablefrom Ryan's Pet Supplies at the expo, finished my plumbing at home, and was ready to jump out there and get clients! I was so excited because word of mouth had already started to spread, and I had a loan to pay back. Just about ready for my grand opening and CORONAVIRUS! Just like that, I became non-essential and had to put everything on hold. The excitement turned into just feeling really down and like maybe I had lost my momentum, and this won't work out. Then I started getting the calls, can you take my dog. I had several calls in one week and realized, no, this is it...I am doing this! I had to turn those clients away for now but told them to reach out with any questions. I will continue to use my grooming page to support and educated clients and be here for them. Plus, what a great time to fine tune everything, get ahead of the books and have the best grand opening ever when things open back up. I have used this time to gain education and get some AKC Certificates (Additional resources can found here. I have found some free ways to advertise in my community because everyone is in this together and helping everyone and I will not let this virus get me down. It will be a stressful few months, especially because I owe money on creating a salon yet have no income from that salon, but I will be there for my current clients in this time of need (in the ways that I can be such as brush recommendations) and ready to take all the pups who need a nice good cleaning when this is over! Bright side of this is other salons will be so full that maybe this will also help build my clients! So, stay strong, stay healthy, and clean and oil your equipment so we can end 2020 as the year it should have been!”

When we emailed Tara to inform her that she was this week’s blog feature, she informed us “Since today happens to be my birthday this is AMAZING NEWS!!!!” - (We’re not crying, YOU’RE crying)! A groomer dream come true! We will be sending Tara a $150 gift certificate for her to spend at Ryan’s Pet Supplies. We hope this can assist in getting her shop open and ready. Tara, thank you again for submitting your story of strength and positivity!

While there is no denying the negative impact of COVID-19, your positivity really spoke to us and reminds us that attitude can change everything. We can only change the things we can control, such as our mindset and outlook. A welcome reminder during these uncertain times to let go of what we cannot manage and focus on what we can.

You can follow Tara on Facebook or on Instagram.

For those of you still working, we are happy that you can continue to do what you love. For those that are not, we will collectively get through this! The end will be here before we know it and we can get through this by directing our attention at growing ourselves from the inside out. The curve is flattening and soon we will be back to grooming and taking care of our beloved clients.

We are still accepting stories and want to know how COVID-19 has affected you. Please email [email protected]. We will continue to regularly feature your stories and send the author a $150 gift certificate.

Follow Ryan’s Pet Supplies on Facebook and Instagram for blog updates, groom submissions, positivity, giveaways, contests and more.

Thank you for reading and stay safe pet lovers!