Johnny Ray Gearhart had some rough times in his early years. “My father put me on the street when I was 12 … I was an addict. Then I started to attend a 12 Step program. I still go to this day. Someone put me in their house, set some rules on me, taught me a new way to live. He had me look for a job, and he wanted me to take an HIV test.
Living at home with six siblings, you grow up very quickly, and you learn how to do things on your own at an even quicker rate. Otherwise, you would never accomplish anything. When I groomed my first dog at the age of 13, I didn’t wait to be taught or supervised; I just did it. I had watched my mother and grandmother do it so many times.
Groom & Kennel Expo 2014 was a record-breaking affair that introduced new seminars and contests to the West Coast groomers. With 88 vendors at 113 booths filling the Pasadena Convention Center’s sold-out exhibit hall, GKE 2014 was not only an educational event but also a shopping hot spot for groomers looking to stock up and find bargains.
I love being a pet stylist. It’s difficult for me to comprehend doing anything else, but sometimes I just can’t bring myself to tell some people what I do. First, you have to say it twice, like they didn’t hear you the first time. “You’re a what?” they ask with a deer-in-the-headlights look on their face.
The grooming industry is filled with kind, patient, generous people. Todd Shelly knows this better than most. He has been involved in the grooming industry much of his life. Shelly, however, recently became discouraged when he found that a handful of strident, negative voices on Internet grooming sites were drowning out what he knew was the real spirit of our industry.
New Hampshire groomer Sarah Comeau was getting her own hair “groomed” at her favorite salon when she overheard the stylists there talking about a fundraiser they were involved in. The salon was offering a shampoo and blow dry event to raise money for breast cancer awareness. Sarah found the idea to be an exciting one and took it back to discuss with her grooming friends.
Trade show season is opening soon! Just thinking about it puts a smile on my face. I adore going to trade shows: the people, the vendors, the classes, and the driving. Yes, the driving. I love to drive and think it’s a treat to travel two days to the Atlanta Pet Fair. In fact, I have been known to break out in song.