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.