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Category: Groomer Interviews

Diamond in the Ruff: How Grooming Saved Me

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. Now, Sharita currently gives back alongside her grooming community through her non-profit, Diamond in the Ruff Tour, which gives complementary grooming services for individuals in low income housing, and those on SNAP or Medicaid, SSI, Disability, and victims of Domestic Violence. We are fortunate to have a community were the love and value is shown in so many ways and without the love from her team, there's no telling how Sharita's life would be. While not easy for some to share, we were excited to learn more about Sharita's story, and sat down to chat with her, and here's what she had to say about her amazing journey to self-love.

How I got into the industry:

Hi everyone, my name is Sharita Goode, owner of Fluffy Tails Dog Grooming located in Cary, NC where our saying is, “It’s Not Just a Job, It’s A Love.” My journey with dog grooming began in June of 2003 at PetSmart where I was a supervisor in the Pets Hotel and was approached and asked if I would like to cross-train to be a groomer. At that moment I said YES but was super nervous at the same time because I knew nothing about dog grooming. I begin to start studying the anatomy of the dog and learn the outline of the many different breed cuts there are.

My grooming family saved me:

I remember it like it was yesterday, my 1st day of grooming school!! About 3 months after beginning grooming school, my marriage at the time took a turn for the worse and I was a victim of domestic violence, I begin to second-think about my decision of being a groomer and just life period.

Every day waking up was just a struggle to just get out the bed and do my regular routine. I would go to work and at the end of my shift, I would try to prolong it to keep from facing what was at home. I never knew what would trigger him and cause him to be physically abusive. There were so many days that I tried to smile to keep from crying. Not many knew my situation until one day, one of my co-workers asked me if everything was ok and the tears begin to roll down my face. I began to talk to her and let her know what I was dealing with at home. I had lost my car and was 3 days from being evicted with 3 kids because of no support. I had no clue where I was going if I was going to be able to keep my job, and even how I was going to feed my kids. I remember it like it was yesterday, the next day I was sitting on my couch, and I heard a knock on the door, and it was the owners and my coworkers at the door. They had all put their money together for me to put a down payment on another car and enough money to put a deposit and 1st month’s rent down on a new place. That day is when my life took a change for the best. I thank God for placing them in my life at the right time. As the days went by, I felt more relieved each day from walking away from that situation. No, it wasn’t easy because it was a change and I had been so used to that situation, that what was right, felt weird. I begin to realize that when I would groom, it gave me a sense of peace and I would begin to meditate and give myself goals to achieve each month. I knew if I wanted to further my grooming career with entrepreneurship, I had to walk away and don’t look back to my yesterdays.

It gets easier:

As the days went by, it became easier and easier to get through each day and to start focusing on my career. In 2011, I stepped out on faith and begin a grooming salon inside Lucky Paws Boarding and Daycare in Clayton, NC where I had begun my path as an independent groomer. I had customers coming to me from my hometown which was an hour away from me to groom their fur babies. So many kept asking when I was going to go out on my own and in 2018, I decided to be solely independent with my own business. I started out in a 600 sq ft building, to some, it would seem small but to me it was perfect, and it was mine. My business began to grow rapidly to where I needed a larger location and was able to move to a 1700 sq ft building and offer daycare. Along with this came another blessing, a close friend whom I use to groom alongside, came to me and asked if I would like to buy her mobile unit for an irresistible price, I jumped on it!!! At that point, I could only just cry tears of joy because my dreams were beginning to become true, and doors were opening. I remember just thinking about where I started and where I was right then. I wouldn’t change anything because it made me a stronger woman and business owner. To anyone interested in becoming a dog groomer, go into this industry thinking about the quality of the groom and how you are helping each pet you touch. Learn your pet parents and their pets and you’ll have a customer for LIFE. Finally, dog grooming takes a lot of patience and time management, and always REMEMBER IT SHOULD BE LOVE TO YOU, NOT JUST A JOB.

My advice to you:

Every day waking up was just a struggle but what I begin to realize is when I would get to work, all my worries would go away. Thinking back on my situation, I must be honest my kids, dog grooming, and the pets saved my life. When I would groom, it gave me a sense of peace and I would begin to meditate. This encouraged me to push harder to get out of my situation and make life better. I left that situation in 2011 and have been an independent groomer since then.

My advice to anyone reading this, life is a journey in that we never know the ups and downs, take every situation you’re in whether it be good or bad, and turn it into a testimony for someone else, take each step one day at a time. To anyone dealing with domestic violence, get help or talk to someone. Sometimes in these situations, we get comfortable with our surroundings and it’s hard to leave. Abuse isn’t just physical, it’s emotional and mental. Take each step day by day. I can’t say it will be easy, but I promise the outcome will be beautiful and all worth it. Stand up for yourself and change your FUTURE!!

Thank You🐶❤️🐶

*If you, or someone you know is experiencing issues with Domestic Violence, please visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline website for help and to learn more.*