Groomers, start saying yes. To trying new things. To continuing your education. To self-care. To encouraging others. Say yes to Grooming!
Say Yes to Investing in Yourself
How many times have you looked at that pair of shears, brush, undercoat rake or product and thought, “Man, do I really have the money for that?” I mean there is always a cheaper alternative. There is a reason it’s cheaper, just like barber tools and mechanics equipment. Better quality costs more money. They don’t go to the dollar bargain store and get a cheaper set of tools. You are going to be using these tools for a long time, some will last your entire career. They’re going to last you so much longer than the half-priced version. Start investing in yourself and get those chunkers!
Say Yes to New Brands and Tools
Going into the way back when I first started grooming. I didn’t know a thing as far as the difference in what came in my grooming kit and what my colleague of 20 years was using. I saw and heard the names like, Les Pooch, Coat King and Kenchii etc. In my youngster head I was thinking, those are for the elite, the professionals. Truth was, I was totally selling myself short. Sure, I was a new groomer still learning but that didn’t mean I couldn’t have nice things. Things that were going to help me develop my skills, save time and help with my overall health. So, I took a chance and ordered my first set of metal attachment combs. Game freaking changer!! I was now able to glide through the hair smoother than those plastic dinosaurs I was using. Cut my grooming time in half, gave the customers more length options and gave me more confidence with the work I was putting out. I needed to try more tools like these. New scissors were on my radar, but the thing was, the internet wasn’t full of grooming information 20+ years ago and I didn’t know what to order.
Say Yes to Trade Shows
This is when it all changed. I went to my first grooming trade show in Orlando. BOOM!! A whole new world of grooming. There were demos, classes, people like me that geeked out on brushes, sprays, work clothes that didn’t make me look like I was wearing a garbage sack, how to set an angulation on a pattern. You were able to speak to brand ambassadors about the products, touch and feel the tools. This is where I became a professional. I wanted to buy it all and learn as much as I could. This is where to learn the how’s and why’s, the answers to all my questions. I left there with a new cordless clipper, dryer and some classes under my belt. When I returned to that first day back in the shop, I was like a new grooming warrior. My drying time was cut in half, the clippers were lighter than the old square heavy ones I had been using. I noticed no hand fatigue anymore. Mmm could that mean there are other tools out there to help with the wear and tear our awesome bodies endure when playing with dogs all day? YES! There are a ton, and you need to start investing in yourself.
Say Yes to Your Body
It’s time to go ahead and pay the extra for those classes, buy the anti-fatigue mats, use the groomer helper, buy some de-mat products, and stop tearing our bodies apart. Truth is, there is a shortage of grooming warriors out there. We must keep our bodies from breaking down and have the knowledge to make sure the next generation of groomers are educated in tools, tricks of the trade and proper handling techniques.
Say Yes to Encouraging Others
Encourage new groomers to continue their grooming education. Hopping on social media and complaining about the new groomers isn’t going to do our industry any good. We work in an incredibly amazing trade that requires skill, patience and the ability to keep evolving if you don’t get in a burn out. To keep from doing so, invest in training a bather your way, buy the adjustable dryer and keep on learning. Charge what your time and skill level are worth, don’t feel bad about your schedule being full and take the time to educate owners on how to properly maintain coat, getting on a schedule rather than scolding them. Chances are they didn’t do their homework and the breeder didn’t tell them.
Say Yes to Grooming
I can honestly say going to the trade shows still rejuvenates me and I always come back with that refreshed and ready to kick ass attitude. So, say Yes and buy the ticket, take time off and mingle with your fellow groomers. You won’t regret it. This is one of the hardest trades out there and we should all feel proud we do what we do.
Amanda Hatfield lives in Ashburn, VA with her husband and thirteen-year-old daughter. They lost their husky/malamute, Koira, back in January. She was their bratty attitude filled princess and they still miss her dearly. Cancer sucks! She did her due diligence as a bather, and it made her respect bathers once she became a groomer. Amanda believes that a good coat prep makes or breaks a haircut. Most of her grooming career was spent in Florida, where she is originally from. Since leaving there, she has owned and operated a successful pet spa of her own. She closed it to move to Germany, survived the outbreak while living abroad, and now she is currently living her best life grooming at a doggy daycare. She has been grooming for a little over twenty years and still gets excited about watching someone set a Schnauzer pattern. She LO VES grooming! She passionately believes in setting regulations in the industry (the right way) to help with proper professionals becoming groomers and not just anyone that wants to pick up a pair of clippers. Follow Amanda on Instagram @amanda.ashburnsgroomer.
Check out all the trade shows that Ryan’s Pet Supplies will be at in 2022:
Groom Expo West (Pasadena, CA - Feb 17-20, 2022)
SuperZoo (Las Vegas, NV - Aug 23-25, 2022)
Groom Expo (Hershey, PA - Sep 15-18, 2022)