By Daryl Conner
As I look around my grooming studio, I see several items that we have recently tried—and now don’t know how we did without them. The best part is that they were all very affordable.
One way to combat boredom and burnout in grooming is to try new tools and methods. Fresh products can change things up for the better, and they don’t have to be expensive to improve the way you work!
Here are my top 6:
1. Better hearing protection: I adopted foam– style ear plugs many years ago and use them when I am operating my high velocity dryer. We only get one set of ears and keeping them safe is so important. The foam plugs are ok, but I recently read about plugs that offer “attenuation filter technology.” What this means is that the plugs allow you to have normal conversations, listen to your favorite grooming podcast, and even answer the phone, but filter out the loud sounds of dogs barking and dryers blowing.
At $25 a set they were pricier than my trusty foam plugs, but they sounded intriguing, so I ordered sets for my employee and myself. Made from soft silicone, I easily forget I am wearing them. And their advertising is true; I can talk to customers, answer calls and jam to tunes while wearing them. But the higher decibels are blocked. I got mine at www.earpeace.com and am delighted with them.
2. Save your Breath: I’ve known for years that I should be wearing a breathing mask while I work. I’ve tried a variety of them. I don’t like the way the ones that hook over my ears feel. The kind that have a band that goes behind my head gets tangled in my hair and makes a mess. And, because I wear glasses, almost every filter I’ve tried makes my breath condense on my lenses. Grooming with foggy glasses is a frustrating challenge!
Then I read about another groomer that wears a face shield and checked into them. These are popular with outdoor sports enthusiasts and bikers to protect their faces from cold and wind. The brand I brought was at www.safishing.com and they say on the label that they filter particulates. We wear them around our necks, and it’s easy to pull them up to cover our noses and mouths when we turn the dryers on or buff nails. They are soft and comfortable, and our glasses don’t get fogged up when we breathe. Bonus, they come in a wide range of colors. I caught a sale and got four for around $20.
3. Pain–Free Clotting Gel: Occasionally a wiggling dog gets a claw cut shorter than intended. Styptic power stops the bleeding but does sting a little. I recently discovered a product called Super Clot. I got mine online, but they carry it at Walmart, too. It is designed for animals and contains a little Lidocaine, so it acts as a pain killer while stopping the bleeding. A one–ounce tube was under $10.
4. Color Your World: Have you ever wanted to dabble in coloring a dog, but didn’t want the hassle and mess of dealing with dye? OPAWZ has come out with Funky Color Shampoo. Just rinse a white or light–colored dog, work the shampoo in, wait ten or more minutes and rinse. The color goes on deep and bright, but leaves a nice pastel once rinsed out. My pink poodle is by my side as I write this. I love how easy it is to color her, and my customers love to see her looking like a stuffed toy. This was a fun find! www.opawz.com
5. Subscription Bow Box: Always innovative, the nice people at Bardel Bows have recently started a bow subscription service called Club Bowdacious. I can’t tell you how excited we get when our monthly box arrives. Delise Knight from Bardel says, “What makes it so unique is that it is a mixture of all of our bows geared towards things that you will use in that month from neckwear to top knot bows to ear bows to fascinators. We designed it for groomers who are too busy to sit down and make an order and we love that groomers trust us enough to supply them with all they need for that following month.” Subscriptions are only open three times a year. To get on their notification list, go to their website and register www.bardelbows.com
6. Get the Matts Out: Are you still using the same old detangling spray you’ve had for years? Products continue to improve and there are some excellent new sprays out there to make brush–outs easier. Our new favorite is Matt–x by Artero. One spritz and a little gentle work with a good slicker brush and eureka, the matt is gone! It leaves no scent to clash with your products and there is no greasy residue. Around $20 a bottle, it lasts a long time and is our new go–to.
Have you tried something new in your grooming business lately? There are so many innovative and useful products available to groomers now, and trying unique things can really make an impact on how you work. I’ve been making a habit of adding one new thing to my list every time I order supplies; maybe a different style grooming loop or type of spray bottle I have not experienced before. It gives me something to look forward to trying, and sometimes it ends up being a tool I wonder how I ever lived without. ✂️