Over the past few months, The Instagram account of Southern California dog groomer Jess Rona has blown up (pun intended). Her slow-motion videos of dogs being dried to music have gone viral. She has been mentioned in everything from Huffington Post and Dailymail.com, to Marie Claire, and featured on the cover of the June issue of Groomer to Groomer magazine, just to name a few. However, those 20 second videos are only a small segment of what Jess has done as an entertainer.
Jess has done everything from writing and staring in videos for Funny or Die.
To directing a music video for Canadian indie pop duo Tegan and Sara (above).
Jess Rona has been acting and doing comedy for the past eight years. But before that, she started her grooming career. “I got into grooming when I applied as a bather at a Petsmart in the San Fernando Valley when I was just out of high school,” Jess explains. ”I wanted to make money but I didn’t want a 9-5. I bathed pups for a few years before I started grooming. I had a wonderful mentor, Kate Garcia, who taught me my first lessons on how to groom. Then I hopped from shop to shop for years working with a lot of great groomers that I picked up tips and tricks from. I got the Super Styling Sessions DVDs and learned a lot from Sue and Jay (and went to their seminars and annoyed them with a million questions). I also got a Learn2GroomDogs subscription and took every seminar I could at the Expos. I competed three times in grooming competitions which was also very helpful. I also follow Korean, Japanese, and Chinese groomers on Instagram and I try to copy their style.”
When asked how she got her idea for her videos, Jess replied “I was blow drying a Pekingese and her ears flew into the air and I grabbed my phone and filmed it. Then I got a new iPhone 6 which has the slo-mo option so I started making slo-mo versions of it. Then I put music to it and it was the most fun thing on the planet!”
Her videos have helped her grow her business to the point that she is now not able to take any new clients until she gets a larger space. She’s then likely to hire someone and start an internship program.
Jess says that she’s liked to direct and act forever. “It fills my soul and makes me happy. I also love grooming so I think my main goal is to make money as an entertainer and groom for fun.”
“I would also like to one day have either my own product line or work with someone who has an incredible product line to help pups with skin issues. Something fancy and luxurious like Iv San Bernard. There’s nothing like ISB out there that I’ve found. I use their Argan Oil mask on all the dogs’ faces after the shampoo and its heaven.”
Jess is combining her skills as an entertainer and groomer by writing a pilot based loosely on her life as a groomer. She is also creating a photography book that will be a blend of both worlds.
So, what is the next thing we can look forward to seeing from Jess? “I just shot a video for the Standard Hotel. It’s a bunch of dogs running around the hotel, loving it. It’ll be out next month!”