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.
Losing your best friend comes in all shapes and sizes. For me, it was my beautiful spotted creature whose soul I named Sprinkles. I first met Sprinkles on an Amish farm as a Sprightly little puppy. She was to be euthanized because she was deaf if nobody wanted her. I instinctively knew in my heart that she was the dog I had always wanted since I was 14, listening to Sublime and them singing about their Dalmatian. It was love at first sight as she ran to my arms and I took her home. Sprinkles inspired me to become more involved in the dog world. Although I was already a dog groomer I wasn’t as devoted to it as I am now. We went everywhere together, from car rides to camping adventures. She always had my back.
I often think about my first competition. As I was headed to the completion or a trade show, I was uncertain as to what to expect exactly, causing me to be a bit nervous; and is a clear reminder of how this all started. My friend Natalie and I made a pact to do our first competition together and we chose the Bichon. Many people thought we were crazy for choosing such a challenging breed, but our hearts were set on it and we were in love with the breed.
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.
As a groomer, when it comes to building a successful relationship with the dog you are grooming the number one step seems obvious, right? Train the dog to act accordingly on the table, in the tub, with the equipment, blah blah blah. Wrong (in my opinion – even though that is very important). Of course you have to train the dog, but you also need to train the owner. Even more so with “doodles” because almost everyone that buys them seem to be first time animal owners. It’s not a bad thing whatsoever! No matter how much learning they attempt to do on the internet – at some point they inevitably need the assistance of a professional. That is our chance to shine, to educate, and to build a relationship that will benefit not only them but us as well.
You’ve been there before. Client comes into your shop and is trying to explain away some problem with their dog that usually boils down to they weren’t taking time to brush their dog, etc. No shade, that’s why we as groomers are here to help! But wouldn’t it be nice if the owner DIDN’T try to lie their way out of their shame? Wouldn’t it be nice if they were just honest? However, it does make for some pretty interesting stories …
Everyone loves a clean dog and since Tub Dog Tuesday is a big hit with groomers, I wanted to share some tips that I've found has aided me with dogs, old and young, in the tub. They may just aid you or a friend in a time of need. And as I have said, during this time of high stress in our society, a clean, snuggly puppy is what we all need!
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.
When Covid-19 regulations went into full effect, Brian “The Dogfather of Harlem” Taylor had to make drastic decisions in order to keep his business afloat. He unfortunately had to let go most of his employees, he maxed out all of his credit cards and used up most of his savings to get by. When the word got around that Brian was in trouble, some of his most loyal clients begin to give Brian donations. They asked that the donations be used to help less fortunate pet parents. With the donations, Brian decided to create the Pandemic Pup Relief Fund. Through the fund, he raised $2k and he was able to groom countless NYC pups for free. Brian was so inspired by his client’s generosity and wanted to do much more, thus the Pandemic Pup Relief Tour (PPRT) was founded.
I have been working with dogs and cats since I graduated high school in 2006 as a bather at a local boarding facility and recently got let go from an animal hospital. I started to groom on my own in October of last year. In these few months, I learned a lot about grooming and bathing. I had always stuck to the same tools: a comb, a regular brush, my 2-speed Andis clipper and straight shears. LOL. Now I know about all of the following tools that have greatly helped me refine my grooming techniques.
At Ryan’s Pet Supplies it is our mission to take care of people who take care of pets. These times are uncertain for everyone and groomers are no exception. That’s why we are choosing one groomer a month to feature on our blog. This month, we chose Sherri Klose.
Connection is the key component to success and fulfillment in the grooming industry.
I was talking with a friend the other day who also works in the service industry and she mentioned something along the lines of, “When it comes down to it, we’re a business, and we’re selling a product.” Yes, we are a business. Yes, we are selling a product. But we are also connecting with people. We are connecting with animals. We are building relationships and our clients are trusting us time after time to take care of their beloved pets. So how do we reconcile the business aspect with the relationship aspect?
There was a time where the words ‘healthy’ and ‘grooming’ were rarely used in the same sentence. That's because, let's face it- the grooming industry as a whole is a generally UNHEALTHY one! We are constantly trying to master our time booking appointments, bathing, and grooming dogs, checking out clients- ON REPEAT. But, what about YOU? We essentially get lost in the craziness and forget about the greatest asset to keep our businesses running smoothly, which is us- the groomer! And that just simply needs to change.
At Ryan’s Pet Supplies, our mission is to take care of people that take care of pets, and that doesn’t just mean fulfilling your supply orders! We are here to take care of your body and mind and maybe pepper in some humor and self-love along the way 😉. So, we’re here to provide some resources accessible to groomers for self-care. Déja has prepared 3 different yoga poses that are perfect to release all the tension in the places groomers hang onto it most and she would know best – she’s the owner of True Vibes Unleashed and a full-time groomer.
Grooming is a physically demanding career. Between lifting large dogs, standing all day, and the repetitive motions that come with brushing and shearing, you can quickly find yourself in a world of pain. Groomer Deja Pearson, from True Vibes Unleashed says that you can avoid pain in the body with yoga and has even set up her own business to combine all of her passions of grooming and yoga. Follow us on this journey of self-care and self-love for groomers.
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?
At Ryan’s Pet Supplies, our core mission is to take care of people that take care of pets. In order to promote this mission, we decided to give back to our community during COVID-19. We are giving $150 gift certificate to a groomer in need each month until the crisis is over. This month’s story comes to us from Neil and Azure Hensley from WoofworX Pet Grooming We are excited to share the next story of triumph from our groomer community. See below for how Neil and Azure made it through their crisis.
Maybe you were put out of a job because of COVID-19. Perhaps you decided you were done with your previous career and it is time for something new! You love animals, so why not grooming? Well, let us tell you, grooming is very hard yet very rewarding work. It takes a lot of training and education to cut it as a groomer (are we right)? But the benefits can outweigh the negatives for certain people. We reached out to the groomer community and we asked you! Here are some things that groomers said when asked “what would you tell someone that is just starting out?”
The COVID-19 Pandemic has had severe impacts on economic activities and has caused major disruptions in supply chains. This has impacted production and operations across all industries, including the Pet Industry. Ryan’s Pet Supplies’ leadership team and staff are working diligently with our suppliers, to procure goods, and up to date information to best serve our customers. As states begin to re-open, many producers of goods for the pet industry are still limited in their production capabilities, while additionally putting in measures to safely re-open and protect their employees’ health. Our supplier partners are working with us and using every resource available to them to expediently catch up with a backlog of demand.
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.
There has been such a debate in the groomer industry over when it is safe to start grooming again. While all states have different laws, we all know that groomers areessential and many of you have been on the forefronts of making sure that the government is aware of this. Of course, please listen to the guidelines put forth by your state. If they have declared it safe to open up your shop, just follow the proper techniques and guidelines for sanitizing and social distancing.
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.
So, you’re a new pet parent, eh?! Well, let us be the first to say CONGRATULATIONS! You are about to embark on a wonderfully rewarding journey. Adding a new member to your family is such an exciting experience but can be daunting if you aren’t sure what you might need. Well, fret not because at Ryan’s Pet Supplies our mission is to take care of people that take care of pets (and that includes you now!). We have created a checklist to make sure you have all the things you need to become #1 Dog Mom or Dad.
While there might be an end in sight, many are still affected by the COVID-19 situation. We have asked and received many of your stories on how you have been impacted. Reading through the stories submitted, each one of your stories touched our hearts. We are so grateful to be part of a community of strong men and women dedicated to pets and animal welfare. Our mission is to take care of people that take care of petsand your stories continually inspire us at Ryan’s Pet Supplies. The story that we chose this week comes from Groomer Tara Kunsman of TEK Grooming.
While the global economy has experienced an unprecedented disruption that has affected everyone, including our beloved Groomers, our friends at Andis Grooming, Barkleigh Productions, Inc. and Learn2GroomDogs are aware that many Groomers are out of work yet are at home with nothing to do. That’s why they are offering these classes and certifications for FREE!
We never thought there would be a global pandemic that would span months, putting many out of work and destroying the global economy. Amidst one of the most challenging situations any of us have ever faced, we have seen our grooming community come together and support each other. We are so grateful to be a part of such a formidable community. Each and every day, you inspire us to continue our mission. Our mission is to take care of people that take care of pets.
The health and safety of our customers and staff are our number one priority, and we are doing everything we can to ensure we operate our business safely and efficiently; amidst the rapidly changing situation surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.