By Angela Kumpe
Well, another year has come and almost gone. The busy summer grooming season is winding down, and just when we think we can take a break and relax, we come to the realization that the holiday season is just around the corner. Every groomer knows what I am talking about. The season when every customer forgets about getting Fido groomed until three days before Thanksgiving or Christmas and then assumes you can squeeze in just one more when you are already triple booked.
The holidays are the best times to hook clients on creative grooming and reel them in. There are many creative services you can offer even during your busiest time of the year. The best part of it is you will also be adding extra income to help you enjoy that slow start to the New Year. You know, the two weeks after Christmas when it should be mandatory for all groomers to take vacation because we groomed everyone’s dogs just before Christmas. How do you have time to add on extras? There is no time for playing around with creative! Wrong!
I’m not only going to tell you how to earn extra money in almost no time with some creative services that your customers will be bragging about for months to come, but I am going to tell you how I prepare ahead of time for the holiday season. To prepare, you need to make a shopping list and either go shopping at a local craft store or get online and start making orders. If you get everything you need now, you will save time by beating the rush of holiday shoppers. You will also have a much better selection, because holiday items are seasonal. Stores will not restock many items once they have sold out. A few things that I start stocking ahead of time are:
- Assorted sizes of holiday colored loose rhinestones
- Aleene’s Tacky Glue
- Swarovski Crystals
- Rhinestone embellishments
- Glitter in holiday colors
- School glue
Although I make most of my bows for my clients, this time of the year, I either order extra nice bows or spend extra time making extra special bows. This is the time of year when my clients tend to be more generous with tips, and I personally like to encourage that type of behavior. I purchase my bows from www.aglamourbow.com. These bows are extremely elegant and will hold up very well. As a matter of fact, many of these bows are reusable when the dogs come back for their next appointment. When the holiday season is over, I can sell any of the bows I have left over as retail with no problem.
The assorted rhinestones, found at craft stores, I use as earrings and facial bling on the female dogs I groom. Simply apply a drop of the tacky glue to the back and apply the stones to areas with short coat. Female dogs that have naturally short hair on their ears or dogs that get their ears shaved or tipped get earrings. Dogs with naturally short hair on their face or that get the bridge of the nose shaved (we all have them!!!) or get a clean face get facial jewelry.
The Swarovski Crystals, found at www.acreativecollection.com, are on a tiny rubber bead. These are used on my dogs with longer coats and especially on dogs that get a ponytail or pulled up topknot. To apply these, you select a strand of hair, pull the hair through the threader, and slide the bead over the hair. The rubber bead holds the Swarovskis in place. I use these on male and female dogs. I figure if a male dog gets a ponytail, he probably won’t be offended by a little sparkle.
The rhinestone embellishments, found at craft stores and www.acreativecollection.com, are what I call booty bling. Simply apply a thin layer of tacky glue and press onto short coats. These also are great for male and female dogs.
The glitter and school glue, both from craft or retail stores, are used to apply glitter body art designs. Mix a small amount of the school glue with equal parts of water. Mix in desired amount of glitter and paint on designs using a small craft paint brush.
All of the creative services above are non-toxic and temporary, so they can easily be removed at home after the holidays are over or if the pet simply doesn’t like being bedazzled. Both the tacky glue and school glue will wash off with warm water and soap or a little rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball. To learn many more creative tricks and add-on services, check out my new book, The Ultimate Guide to Salon Creative published by Barkleigh Productions, Inc. It can be found at www.barkleighstore.com or www.acreativecollection.com.