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Category: Business Tips

Practice makes PROGRESS: Build YOUR own comfort Level!

Embarking on a career as a pet groomer can be both exciting and challenging, whether you're a newcomer to the profession or a seasoned expert. The key to success lies in continuous learning, practice, and finding your unique groove. No one knows this better than groomer Britney Mack, whose journey in dog grooming has been a testament to the power of perseverance and self-promotion.

Britney has not only honed her grooming skills but has also become adept at showcasing her work on social media platforms. Her journey has inspired many aspiring groomers, and she generously shares her knowledge and experiences to help others thrive in the industry. In this blog, we delve into Britney's remarkable story and highlight some of her invaluable tips for all groomers. From mastering the art of handling different breeds to building a strong online presence, Britney's insights are invaluable for anyone seeking to excel in the world of pet grooming.

Whether you're just starting out or looking to refine your techniques, Britney's tips are sure to guide you toward building your own comfort level and achieving success in this dynamic and rewarding industry.

My name is Britney Mack, I’ve been professionally grooming dogs since 2017. 

My family & I always had dogs when I was growing up in CT. I’ve never known life without a dog. Once we had 5 dogs, my mom mentioned that I should look into dog grooming. I eventually found work, and started as a bather at Petco, and then worked as a groomer at PetSmart. Once I moved down to NC in 2018, I worked at a franchise for almost 3 years, and since October of 2021 I’ve been working at a privately owned local shop in Jacksonville, NC, called Lush Pet Spa, and now my family and I have a combined total of 6 dogs, (2 of which are mine!) This February I was added to the amazing Wahl Grooming Brand Ambassadors team, and I’m beyond thrilled and grateful to be a part of such an incredible company! It’s been an amazing journey so far! 


How I got into social media:

I first created my dog grooming Instagram in January of 2018, roughly 6 months into my grooming career, I was mainly using it as a public portfolio. It wasn't until I moved to NC, that I really started posting consistently. When I worked at the franchise after leaving PetSmart, I was always making posts in local Facebook groups, and creating ads on Facebook, to help put my name out there and start growing a clientele. Between 2019-2020 I would frequently participate in dog grooming Facebook group posts that said “follow for follow! Everyone, what’s your Instagram handle?” and I gained some followers, and grooming friends that way. It wasn't until Reels came into the picture on Instagram that I really started growing my account. I didn’t make a TikTok account until January 2021. For both Instagram & TikTok all it took were a few videos to go “viral” with a popular sound, and some hashtags related to the videos for my follower count to grow. I still don't really understand the algorithm at all! With some of my videos over the years, I was definitely inspired by quite a few groomers on social media out there, JessRonaGrooming, CattheDogGroomer, AmysPoochParlor, BethSoullieregrooming, ilikedogsmorethanyou, Zoomgroom_Anna, thek9stylist, and more! I first started making these videos to show my clients “behind the scenes” because I felt that not many pet owners really got to see what goes on behind the grooming doors, and my clients loved it! But my main reason for posting everything that I post now, like “how to line brush your dog”, “it's more than just a blow dry”, “shaving a matted dog is no easy feat” and more is to help educate dog owners and my clients, as well as to help educate groomers that are just starting out.


No need to rush:

When it comes to grooming “fast” I used to always think I was so slow. But over time, and with finding a routine that works best for me, I eventually got a little faster. Now, am I a speed demon when it comes to grooming? NO. But I work at my own comfort level, and you also have to take into consideration the dog on your table. You don’t want to just rush through the groom, and you should pay attention to how they are acting and reacting to how/what you’re doing! I mean we are working on living, breathing, moving, animals! Don’t get me wrong, there are still some dogs that take me 3+ hours, but it also depends on their coat type, size, behavior, and how much scissor work I’m doing (I’m personally still working on perfecting my scissor work) nobody’s “perfect”! But we are our own worst critics. 



My current routine is: 

*Take a before photo (if I remember)

*Bathing the dog

*Towel drying/blow drying 

*Brush/comb out

*Clipping & filing nails & cleaning ears

*Face/feet/sanitary trim

*Full haircut or tidy/outline trim

*Bandana & After photo


This routine works well for me, because even if I’m bathing a dog that has a lot of coat to work with, when thoroughly bathing and rinsing, & making sure there is no residue or dirt left on the dog, and using a quick dry spray before drying, followed by the brushing/combing out, it will help leave a smoother overall finish. Everything that comes after the bath/blowdry, is just the order I personally like to do things. At this point in my career it's like second nature to me. It may change sometimes depending on if the nails are extremely long, they will be trimmed before bathing the dog, so the dog is more comfortable. And if the dog is extremely matted tight to the skin, it will have to be shaved down before the bath. If the routine goes smoothly, it will typically take me 45min-1 ½ hours to groom a dog between 5-25lbs, 1 ½ -2 ½hrs to groom a dog between 26-50lbs, and 2 ½ -4 ½ hrs to groom a dog between 50-80+lbs. Like I said, I’m not extremely fast compared to most groomers, BUT that's okay. I’m grooming at my own comfort level. Don’t compare yourself to others. You are your own competition.


Now, I’ve posted a lot on social media, and I’ve gotten lots of comments from other groomers saying “how do I speed up?”, “I wish I was faster at grooming”, “I feel like I groom too slowly”. And the answer is: You’re only as fast as your own comfort level! But the important thing is… not one groomer out there does everything EXACTLY the same. Everyone is different and works at a different speed and comfort level, AND everyone has a different level of experience. You shouldn’t ever compare yourself to someone else. Your only competition is YOU! Take photos of your work and make an album in your phone! That’s what I’ve always done, and when I look back and see the photos I took in the beginning, I can see SO much improvement in my work! You can watch webinars from other groomers out there or attend grooming expos! Soak up all the knowledge you can! I’ve done it, it really does help! There’s still plenty out there that I’d love to learn more about! I’m also even offering a subscription to my Instagram for tips/tricks showing how I personally do things. 


Some of the ways I’ve learned:

Is by taking online webinars or Zoom classes, (I especially did a lot of online continued education in 2020). And when I went to my first ever groom expo, I attended the Hershey Groom Expo in 2021, I took tons of classes:

“Difficult Dog”- certificate course with Blake Hernandez & Maci Pisa

“Super styling the poodle” with Jay Scruggs & Sue Zecco

“Poodle pet trims” with Michelle Breen

“Shed Happens” with Dave Campanella

“Asian Fusion” with Mindy Dinwiddie

“Goldens” with Jay Scruggs

and “Solving the doodle Problem” with Corina Stammworthy

Since then I've attended the All-American Grooming Show in Schaumburg IL. last August, and taken A.K.C. Safe Certified Grooming course, Sanitation & Disease prevention certificate course, Puppy Handling 101, Barkleigh First Aid & CPR certificate course, and multiple webinars from ZoomGroom_Anna, JessRonaGrooming, ArisatheGroomer, House_of_wolves_dog_grooming, Thek9stylist, GroomHaus, Pupscale_Pet_Salon & more!

I can’t tell you how incredibly thankful I am to constantly be able to continue my education in this career. Because, let's face it… there’s literally ALWAYS something new to learn, no matter how long you've been grooming.

I have the fullest intentions of attending Hershey Groom Expo this September but that isn't set 100% in stone just yet, but my incredible bosses are bringing the entire shop on to the Barkleigh Pro Pet Cruise this year!! It will be my first cruise ever, and the fact that I also get to learn more is a bonus!


Here are some quick tips to help you find your groove:


*Take photos!

*Find your own routine, the more you stick with a routine, the more you’ll notice a change in your momentum.

*Stop comparing yourself to others!

*Make a vision board for what your goals are for what you’d like to learn, and make it happen! (There’s always something new to learn, no matter how long you’ve been grooming!)

*Listen to music that gets you pumped up! Or listen to podcasts/audiobooks. Whatever gets you in the zone!

*Don’t look at the clock. There’s no “set time” in which you need to complete a dogs groom. (Unless you’re a competition groomer of course!) 

*Always remember “Quality OVER Quantity” 


Here’s a BONUS tip:

If you’re trying to achieve that “perfect face”… take a moment, step back, look at the dog from another angle/distance, and even look through your phone’s camera. Sometimes looking at the dog from a different perspective can point out things you may not have noticed when you were standing close to them. If you see something that looks off, go back and tweak it. We’ve all been there when we send a dog home, then hours later we look at the photo we took and see that one spot we could have trimmed! 😅


Just remember… YOU GOT THIS!! Believe in yourself! 

And don’t forget… Practice makes PROGRESS!🙌🏼♥️