As a pet professional, it's easy to prioritize the needs of your furry clients over your own self-care. However, neglecting your own needs can lead to burnout, stress, and a decrease in the quality of care you provide. In this blog, we'll be exploring the importance of self-care for pet professionals alongside Erin Martin of All About Paws Pet Spa, and how not taking care of yourself can negatively impact your day-to-day work. We'll also be sharing some tips and tricks to help you prioritize your self-care routine and maintain a healthy work-life balance. So, whether you're a veterinarian, dog walker, or groomer, this blog is for you!
As a pet groomer, you have a unique and rewarding career that allows you to work with animals and their owners daily. However, like any profession, it's important to continue investing in your skills and knowledge to ensure that you stay current and competitive in the industry. Whether you're just starting out or you've been grooming pets for years, there are many reasons why investing in your career is crucial. From improving your techniques to expanding your client base, the benefits of investing in your career as a pet groomer are numerous and can help you achieve long-term success in this fulfilling field.
February is probably most recognizeable as being the month to celebrate love as couples, but for Sharita Goode, owner of Fluffy Tails Dog Grooming, it was the love from the dogs she groomed and her grooming family at work, who ultimately helped in saving her from Domestic Violence.
I prefer to think I was always a part of the pet industry; I just didn’t accept it as my career for a long time. I was born into a show dog/cat family. From a young age, I had to help prep the dogs and cats my parents were actively exhibiting and assisted in keeping the animals that were out of the ring in tip-top condition. So, I like to say I was born with a brush in my hand. I was a working pet groomer for show people I knew and also pet owners that were referred to me. I loved working with the animals but never thought grooming was a “real” career, just a hobby that I loved. In the late 90s, I decided to make it my “real” job and took all I learned from the other previous careers I pursued and created a more natural holistic way of grooming.
When you are a new business owner it seems like you must answer the phone every time it rings. It may sound like a good idea to accommodate every request or demand from new clients when you are trying to build. You may get anxious to turn away potential income if you say no to a demand.
When you are inexperienced in the world of business it is a huge amount of pressure to make everyone happy (clients, landlord, family, etc.). The awesome part of being a business owner is you get to decide everything! The worst part of owning a business is you have to decide everything! But freedom comes with major responsibility.
What makes this industry unique is that many of us come from so many backgrounds. We may go to college, get a degree, and end up on a totally different career path. For Frazel Jefferson, owner of “The Gun Show Groomer” located in Midwest City, Oklahoma, he’s the exact example of adaptability and flexibility. With a career path that ranges from the Military, to working at a Root Beer Stand, Frazel used those opportunities to learn and create a foundation to pursue his passion; pet care. Overcoming obstacles is a part of most of our lives, and thankfully for Frazel, he used his obstacles for the greater good. We wanted to learn more about Frazel and how he became “The Gun Show Groomer” and here’s what he had to say.
For some of us, starting a business may be one of our goals in the New Year. However, the whole thought process of how to start, how to get money and how to have faith that it will all work can be the most daunting part of the process. For Zakayla, owner of Pawpin' Pawz Luxury Mobile Grooming located in Cincinnati, Ohio, keeping faith and perseverance was at the forefront of her vision of what being a business owner should be. We caught up with Zakayla to learn more about her vision for being a business owner and her journey to becoming one and here's what she had to say.
As trade show season quickly approaches in with Groom Expo West in California next February, some may have made the promise to themselves that "this is the year I'll compete." However, for many industry professionals, considering entering into competing may be something that fills us with not only excitement- but also anxiety too. Luckily for Kayla Scott, owner of The Groomery, in Waco, Texas she was able to overcome those mixed emotions about hitting the competition floor earlier this year at the annual Pet Pro Classic and Pet Quest tradeshows. We caught up with Kayla to learn more about her journey to the competition floor, and here's what she had to say.
For many in the pet industry, grooming has been a blessing in disguise and also, a surprise to the overall impact that it can have on one's life. For our good friend Reggie, coming from a small town in South Florida and getting in some trouble in his younger years, pet grooming entered his life at a pivotal time while on probation back in 2018 and he hasn't looked back since. Since then, Reggie a.k.a. "Reggie Scissorhands" has established a prominent presence on various Social Platforms acting as a true inspiration and motivation to others. We sat down with Reggie to learn more about his story and journey, and here's what he had to say.
Contrary to popular belief; working in the service industry is hard. Many think that because a service provider is the owner of the business, that they keep all of the money that's earned when realistically, factors such as home and business expenses, payroll, taxes, supplies and more, all are deducted from the daily income.
Finding a great groomer can be tough to navigate as a pet owner. Especially when you have so many options that exist. Unfortunately, not all grooming salons are created equal. While some prefer the traditional cage-style experience, many pet parents prefer to bring their pets to a place where they can receive full attention in a relaxed setting. That’s why our good friend Duke, from Duke’s Grooming Studio Pet Styling in Chicago, branded himself to creating a luxury grooming experience and emphasizes the importance of implementing an “experience” vs a visit. We caught up with Duke to see if he’d share what makes him unique, and here’s what he had to say.
In a white, female dominated industry, men are often underrepresented and normalized as groomers. In fact, men are often faced with mistrust and resistance from prospective clients due to stereotypes that associate men with animals. As a black male in the pet industry, negative associations from the media and lack of representation of positive relationships as black pet owners, often make it hard for Black men to excel. As a Black, Gay male in our industry, the job is harder, as one must be prepared to continuously prove themselves or risk the stigma of being labeled or stereotyped. As a prominent Black, Gay male in our industry, our good friend Brian aka “The Dog Barber” has endured his own set of challenges. While Brain can be seen in Vanderpump Dogs; a show featuring Lisa Vanderpump and her rescue and also Haute Dog, a Grooming competition series from HBO Max, the journey to get there hasn’t been easy. We sat down with Brian to learn more about his journey navigating the Pet Industry as a Black, Gay male and here is what he had to say.
Janelle Russell is the owner of Chateau 4 Paws Pet Spa, located in Fayetteville GA. 12 years ago Janelle opened her shop and is still going strong today! Last year, Janelle made her publishing debut with her book, "How I Make Six Figures Playing with Dog Hair." In her book, Janelle highlights how she started her journey in the Pet Industry and how she created a path to lead her to optimize work life balance, while maintaining success. We caught up with Janelle to see if she'd drop some gems for her fellow grooming community and here's what she had to say.
I honestly didn’t think I would make it onto the show. I know there’s a lot of groomers that are better than me. I’ve only been grooming around 8 years. And yeah, when I did the interview, I was excited to hear back from them and tell them that I’m going through the final process. I did another interview, and they were like “we love you, you’re in!
In a dream world all the pets we groom stand perfectly on the table and we play with puppies for the remainder of the day. In the real world we have some who love to be groomed, that it becomes an everyday part of life. Then we have others we remember more. Those are the ones that are fearful, that will bite or snap, that are wild and will not stop thrashing around. Usually they’re the ones who are not a good fit for salons. But, where do those clients go next?
I have always loved animals, in fact in the very same place I chose to set up my “Grooming Garden” this summer is where I used to have my childhood chicken coop and baby rabbits. If someone would have told me that in that same place a few decades later I would run my own professional business and people would be paying me to make flower crowns for their puppies, it would have blown my ten-year-old mind.
Partnering with local shelters, rescues, and black-owned pet businesses, the Pandemic Pup Relief Tour (PRT) is a nationwide initiative to help pups and pet owners who are experiencing hardships during these unprecedented times. Originally including a road trip for pop-up grooming events to 6 cities, the PRT has now grown ever larger. Gloria Hardaway aka @GloriaTheGroomer participated in the PRT and wants to share her experience with the grooming community.
While working in the pet salon I was getting a lot of good comments from clients and other groomers and that pushed me to step out of my comfort zone and take another step in my career which was grooming competitions. When I competed for the first time it was really stressful because I didn't know how everything goes and on top of that I have a language barrier. During that competition I felt so many emotions, met new people and learned a lot from the judge's critique that it made me want to compete again and again.
Everyone knows about brick & mortar grooming shops and mobile grooming. While mobile grooming has begun to take off in recent years, brick and mortar stores are probably the most popular. Owners are very familiar with dropping their dog off at the shop and then picking them up. For both elderly humans and pets or those that can’t leave their home, mobile grooming offers a valuable service by bringing the shop to the front yard. But is there a third option?
We wanted to spotlight one of our favorite groomers, Katrina Short. Hailing from Northern California, many of you might know her from her creative grooming skills that she puts to work on Zeus and Kevin aka her Giraffedoodle and Zebradoodle. And if you don’t know who she is, it’s time to hop on the train: with 18.3k follower on Instagram and counting, she has quickly won over the hearts of groomers and non-groomers all over the world.
As part of our Groomer Appreciation, we’d like to spotlight Groomer Jess Rona. We found her Instagram and website sometime last year and were blown away by her creativity. We then met Jess about a year ago at Super Zoo and truly enjoyed high-end yet mellow, down-to-earth approach to grooming. We got with Jess to ask her a few questions about her career in the grooming industry.