Cell phones are a way of life in our culture today. In a few short decades, the cellular phone device has become a necessary personal mobile data center for most hard–working adults…as well as students of all ages, cranky toddlers and everyone in between.
The All-American Grooming Show, which took place from August 23rd-26th in Schaumburg, Illinois, was a huge success and the fourth largest grooming show in the world, following Groom Expo, Groom Expo West and Intergroom.
While some fear the feline claw as a dangerous weapon, others admire the beauty and functionality embedded at the base of the cat paw. The extension of the skeletal system allows cats to mark their territory, kill prey and gently get the attention of the ones they love.
One of our most common problems in the salon every day is finding a trim that suits our client’s maintenance schedule needs but also still allows us, as groomers, to express ourselves creatively. I often hear, “I don’t want to be just a shave down groomer”, but recognizing that we can still give style and flair to our short pet trims is a great way to build a client base.
Hello Michell. I am finally opening my own dog grooming salon. I am so excited! I am very strongly leaning toward a cage–free salon. There are many reasons for my decision; cages are expensive, the owners don’t like to have their dogs in cages, dogs don’t like being in cages and it brings me joy to watch them run around and play with each other.
“Should groomers be licensed?” is one of the most highly debated questions in the grooming industry at this time. Most groomers believe that there should be some way of separating them from a person who simply reads a book, watches a YouTube video or two and thinks they can be a groomer.
Every time someone makes a purchase from your business they should get an email receipt. Even if you deal in cash—you know that green paper stuff no one ever has? You should have an automatic receipt template set up to send after the service is over.
Who does not LOVE to buy new tools? Especially when you are at a trade show where you can try everything out! As a former elementary educator who learned how to groom cats as a “bucket list” item and turned my cat grooming education into a successful house call business, my tool list is very minimal.
Many misconceptions exist about how, where and why our pets shed and what we, as groomers, can do about it. There are many products on the market to address this very real concern but still so many questions about which is the best one and if they really even work.
Oversized index cards, reminder phone calls and hours of handwritten notes have served our industry well for many years. But with today’s technology, consumers expect businesses to keep up with the times, providing quick responses and modern experiences.
“I can’t tell you the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone.” — Ed Sheeran As professional pet stylists, we are members of a service industry. This means we do work for customers rather than providing goods or manufacturing things. And this, by its very nature, means that we […]
There are many keywords and catch phrases being thrown around in the industry these days. In our quest to find the healthiest cleansers and conditioners for regular and therapeutic care, we are constantly bombarded with the keywords “Organic”, “Natural”, “Botanical”, and the ever present “Holistic”. Here is a simplified guide to help you define these […]
As a long time, homeopathic pet groomer, I have always happily been on the outside of the “regular” grooming circle. I have been called the granola groomer, the hippy groomer—I prefer The Oily groomer. As a certified aromatherapist, essential oils and plants play a central part in my practice.
Intergroom, which took place in April at the Meadowlands Expo Center in Secaucus, New Jersey, continued the Barkleigh trend of double digit growth for the 2018 year. This year’s show prevailed with a 14.9% financial increase, a total of 2,841 attendees and over 100 vendors, making it the 3rd largest grooming show in the world, behind Barkleigh Production’s Groom Expo and Groom Expo West.
“Dear Michell, I have been a bather in a dog grooming shop for over a year now. I see that the groomers make more money than I do and that frustrates me because I spend so much more time on the dogs than they do. I would like to make more money, but I am perfectly happy to continue bathing dogs.
“Last September I was walking through the Groom Expo trade show with Sam and Cynthia Kohl,” says Vicki Zwart, owner of Heritage Pet Center in Parker, Colorado. “Strolling toward us was the industry renowned ‘Dogfather’, Joey Villani. When Joey spotted Sam, he called out to him—“Here comes the legend!” As Sam and Joey shook hands, I began to think about the story behind Joey’s comment.”
Temporary coloring is one of the most popular color mediums among our clients, as many of them do not want long term color, and with airbrushing it’s pretty easy to do detailed designs as well. You can get in lots of practice and if you mess up your design— no worries — it’s temporary so you can wash it off and start over.
Donna is a groomer at a busy salon in a busy burg. She works with several other groomers and they enjoy a vibrant workplace with happy clientele returning regularly. Her salon is like most—it has tubs, tables, gates, some cages, dryers, grooming equipment and pets.
“Life hacks” have been quite popular in the last few years. This term is used to refer to a shortcut, trick, or novel method of accomplishing something in a way that makes life more efficient and productive. Sometimes “hacks” describe a method of using ordinary things in creative ways.
“Hi there Michell. I have been trying to find a sporting dog to use as a model for my certification exam. We have lots of Labs and Goldens but hardly any Springers, Setters or Cockers. The few sporting breeds we have ask us to shave the whole darn dog with a #10 blade. I want to talk a few of my customers into letting their dogs grow out but I don’t know where to start. Any suggestions?”
There is so much talk lately about licensing for our industry. We have many different wonderful grooming associations to belong to. We have many ways to become certified in breeds, breed groups and even in species specific grooming. We do have some options for those that choose to continue to educate themselves as pet groomers/ stylists.
Ask any groomer, and they will tell you that their tools are their lifeline. Many talented groomers recognize that they can achieve better results by utilizing better tools. Groomers love discussing their tools: clippers, shears, dryers, slickers, even nail trimmers.
Dear Michell, I am the owner of a small grooming salon in Tennessee. I have six groomers. We are running almost at capacity but my net profit/take–home pay is just not what I want it to be. I’ve been looking over my prices, payroll, supplies, and other expenses to see if there are places that we can improve profit. My groomers are slow. They could all do at least one more pet per day, if you ask me.
Over the years I have always done modified grooming. It conforms to the dog and comes from my heart, head and hands.
There is no right or wrong way to these styles as it is the job of the groomer to bring out the best in every pet and make the owner smile with delight when they see what we have been able to create with their beloved pet.
In my decade of experience behind the grooming table, I have come across hundreds of “difficult” dogs. You know the ones I’m talking about; the tap dancers, the shut down, flat pancake of a dog that can’t bring itself to stand up, and my personal favorite—the snarling, lunging dog trying to bite the scissors out of your hand.
For the past decade, I’ve made my living in the bustling metro area of the all–mighty Mickey Mouse. With hundreds of physical storefronts and an additional slew of mobile units, one might think that—due to the immense local competition—Guerilla grooming warfare was either in full swing or lurking in the eminent future.
As groomers, it’s been drilled into us to have spares of our equipment—spare blades, clippers, and don’t get me started on the number of spare scissors I own. But as mobile groomers, that list grows. There is nothing worse than having to reschedule a day or three over a simple fix just because we don’t have what we need on hand.
I remember how excited I was when I was able to purchase my very first pair of custom shears. It had taken six months to save for them and I babied them and cleaned them and had a special case to house them in. I also remember arriving at work one day and I couldn’t find them anywhere.
The Samoyed is a double–coated breed that requires extensive coat care to keep them in good shape. This can prove to be a challenge for the average pet owner who may desire a tidier, cleaner appearing dog adorned by coat furnishings that are less likely to attract every sticker, twig and leaf in the yard. This heavy-duty maintenance places them on our Bread & Butter list.
Just imagine that after 25 years of hard work, your business is no longer there; maybe it burned down or was swept away in a flood. What if you were in a horrific accident and lost a limb or two? Or a natural disaster totaled all your equipment and supplies?
It is easy to become frustrated with the huge demands that are made of us at this time of year. Here are some tips on how to combat overwhelming schedules which can lead to hot tempers, client miscommunication and perhaps mistakes and injuries.
As groomers, as much as we would like to finish a pet to our standards, it isn’t always possible. I have three such dogs as clients.
Cher is a 15 year–old Yorkie, whose limitations are due to her age. The aptly named Iffy is both geriatric and cantankerous. And then there is Pica. Pica is a 6 year–old Rottweiler.
How do you create a viable self-sustaining business that will endure and thrive? Chances are, if you own a Pet Service Business, your livelihood depends on you showing up to work and customers showing up to pay for your services. This segment focuses on learning to implement basic money management strategies to help you thrive today, tomorrow, and long into the future!
Razor Pens are the newest creative carving tool hitting the grooming scene. Like many tools in our industry, they are a cross over from the beauty industry. The small pen–shaped tool holds a very thin, very sharp razor blade that is folded and inserted into the shaft of the pen that holds it.
During the holiday season, I spend more time than usual thinking about things I am grateful for. One of those things is my long-time career of pet grooming.
Even though groomers deal with more poop and odiferous bodily fluids than most professionals, and beside the fact that pet grooming is not very glamorous, there are a lot of amazing things that come along with being a part of this industry.
I have just returned from a trip to Pooch Styles Pet Grooming in District Heights, Maryland where I met with the owner of Pooch Styles, Kyonna Brown, and her staff for a fun filled day of Creative Styling. Kyonna has some very enthusiastic and trusting clients who happily entrusted their fur kids to us for a “who knows what might happen kind of day”.
Groomers are some of the hardest working people on the planet. From morning till night, you multi-task—and then, you do it all over again the next day. Do you need a break from your hectic routine? Do you find yourself wishing you could take a little trip and get away from it all?
Management of any business can be intimidating and exhausting for even the most seasoned Pet Professional. After all, many of us started our Pet Businesses because we preferred interacting with Pets rather than People. There is no shame in knowing where your passion lies—this series will spotlight common issues and solutions to help you manage your Business and staff more seamlessly and effortlessly.
Five years ago, Milena Bermudez of South Amboy, New Jersey, never dreamed that her creative grooming would be featured on the Netflix original series, Orange is the New Black, or that her skills would be showcased in the new Hugh Jackman movie, The Greatest Showman.
I have worked with dogs since 1977. I have handled tens of thousands of dogs—many of them dangerous. There is an old piece of folk–wisdom I have heard hundreds of times. The ‘wisdom’ includes a term that is almost universally accepted and rarely challenged.
In the old days, us groomers used Dawn dish soap, Johnson’s baby shampoo, Goop, alcohol and other unhealthy ingredients on cats. Thankfully we have come a long way and shampoo manufacturers have stepped up to the plate and designed safer alternatives for us to use.
There are quite a few breeds that fall into the small “drop coat” category and most of them are on our Bread & Butter list. There are many ways to style the drop coats into a user–friendly trim so the client can comfortably maintain the coat at a medium length and still respect the tied-up top knot look.
Carol works in a salon with two other groomers. The groomers in her salon get along great, and each have their regular clients as well as time to take new clients as they come calling. They pride themselves in relating to their customers and completing quality grooms.
Dear Michell. Our salon is so busy. We are trying to keep up with the demand but I am working fifty hours per week and my other groomers are working as much as they would like. We need to hire a groomer but we keep hiring groomers who don’t fit in and who don’t stay with us.
Grooming can make a big difference in the lives of pets, and in some cases, it may even save lives. For New York dog and cat groomer, Mark Imhof, also known as “Mark the Dog Guy,” It was a pit bull named Cleo that started him on the path to becoming a groomer for shelter animals in desperate need of his services.
As part of my business model, I have implemented an incentive to owners of recently adopted cats in the area. When a cat is rescued from any local shelter, I offer my initial service for free. This has proven to be a win-win approach in gaining customers as well as caring for their new family member for years to come.
Pet grooming is a unique career, and because of that, we have the opportunity to gain knowledge from many places. One of the most important being Conformation shows. Conformation shows, or Dog shows, were created to evaluate the breeding stock for each breed recognized by a kennel club.
How can I groom faster?” This is a question both newer and more seasoned groomers often ask me. My first, best answer is this; develop a routine and stick with it. You can and should create a method of doing things that makes sense to you and works well for you, but if you’d like an example, here is the routine I follow on almost every dog that I groom:
The English Springer Spaniel and the English Cocker Spaniel, although originating together, gained distinction in the early 1900’s with the Kennel Club of England. The American Kennel Club went on to recognize the English Springer Spaniel into the sporting group about eight years later.
At the same time we want to keep our facilities clean and sanitary, we do not want to breathe in noxious chemicals several times a day. There are many studies that link long-term use of such products to chronic health concerns. However, we still have many choices. Differentiating Between Cleaning & Disinfecting Cleaning removes the […]
Writing an operations manual or a standard operating procedures manual can seem like an overwhelming task, but clearly defining the process of everything that goes on within your business is important for both large and small businesses, and even the solopreneur.
“Hello Michell. I have been grooming for five years and I just attended my first grooming show, Northwest Grooming Show. I was fascinated by the grooming contest. I think I would like to try it but it seems so impossible. I know you used to compete. Do you have any advice?” –Sheila
Cairn Terriers rank somewhere mid–range of all breed registrations with AKC. Even though not a common breed, Cairn Terriers have graced the silver screen as far back as the mid 1930’s, making notable appearances in dozens of films along side such blockbuster stars as Shirlee Temple, Judy Garland, John Wayne, and Nicole Kidman, to name a few.
When your parents and their parents were young—they chose a career. John became a plumber. Steve was an electrician. Donna became a secretary or a teacher. They trained for or found an opportunity and accepted a job. That job became their career. In short, their career chose them.
There are four basic requirements for all living organisms, and nutrition is one of them. Food Water Oxygen Protection Food provides the building blocks that, in turn, provide the energy for the cells processes: reproduction, growth, and maintenance. We assume if we feed our pets “healthy food” then all these processes will occur without any […]
Pets have long been considered part of the family, but now more than ever, owners are actually treating pets more like they are people—a trend called ‘humanization’. So it follows that as more and more people are turning to all-natural and organic products for themselves, they want the same for their beloved pets.
How are you keeping your grooming facility smelling fresh and clean? Is it formaldehyde, ethanol, phenols, and petroleum-based artificial fragrances in a can with flowers on it? Those aerosols use neuro-chemicals to numb that part of your brain that controls your sense of smell. What they don’t do is eliminate the source of the odors.
That’s a tricky question requiring an in depth understanding of the word “Natural” and how products are made and marketed.
When we look at labels of grooming products and pet food, the term “Natural” in some cases misleads us into a false sense of security. Natural products are marketed to convey the message that the product or food is safe because it contains natural ingredients, as opposed to artificial.
“Hello Michell. I have been grooming for five years and I just attended my first grooming show, Northwest Grooming Show. I was fascinated by the grooming contest. I think I would like to try it but it seems so impossible. I know you used to compete. Do you have any advice?”
There is never enough time in a day for busy groomers. But managing time well and knowing how long each step of the grooming process should take, from intake to check–out, will allow you to be fully present and do your best work without your clients feeling like they are being rushed out the door when they drop off or pick up their pets.
Ginny the Groomer walks into the local grocery store and leaves with two new request clients and the promise of referrals for an entire neighborhood. We all know her—and marvel at the ease with which she introduces herself to prospective clients, strikes up conversations with strangers, and solicits her Pet Styling services. Ginny is a natural Networker.
On any given day, there are over 3.5 billion searches on Google, each looking to be directed to a website that can help them. It’s safe to say that websites rule. But did you know there are rules that websites need to follow in order to be 1) found in a Google search, and 2) compliant with FTC (Federal Trade Commission) regulations.
The lowly comb. It’s often treated like the Rodney Dangerfield of the grooming industry. It’s used & abused, but “It don’t get no respect!” The basic comb is a workhorse of a tool. In fact, you can’t complete a groom without one. But, it seldom receives much in the way of recognition or glory. It’s a simple tool that we take for granted. A comb is just a comb—right? No, not any more.
When I have a cat on my table, the first thing I do is evaluate the skin and coat. I check for tangles and mats. And by using my hands first to feel for troublesome areas, I am also preventing a painful tug of a comb. Once I have a better idea of the condition of the cat, I know whether to use a clipper or a comb.
O Glorious ear! How lovely it is to pet and touch the velvety ears of our animals. Such a beautiful and loving gesture it is to touch the ear of a loved one. There are so many nerve endings and blood vessels, touching them communicates love and friendship and calms the giver and receiver of these caresses.
I need advice on how to update my salon. I have been open for 14 years and have never changed a thing. I have been noticing that it looks cluttered, dingy and just does not have a fresh smell anymore. I wondered if you have any ideas for how to update without breaking the bank. I have been pretty good about keeping up with equipment replacements and repairs but it is desperate for a face lift.
I spent the first ten years of my grooming career working for veterinarians. Because of this I had the unique opportunity of caring for dying pets and grieving customers. There were times when clients couldn’t manage being with their pet during euthanasia and since I was close with their pet, I would offer to take their place so their pet could have someone familiar at their side.
Simple renovation construction or a complete new salon build–out is an exciting adventure. Unfortunately this can also prove to be a stressful process. Hiring the right contractor can make or break that experience. Researching prospective contractors is vital!
When I was a new groomer, it was common practice for customers to bring badly matted dogs in, fully expecting that we would dematt the animal. And we did. It was a routine event for groomers to invest hours removing tangles, and rarely did we charge extra. It was all in a day’s work.
The field of canine physical rehabilitation has grown tremendously over the past 20 years. Many veterinarians and pet owners have come to find rehab therapists as valuable resources when pets are injured, recovering from surgery or having difficulty with mobility.
When I was starting a private behavior practice, I had already trained two working dogs for my municipal animal control agency. I knew dogs. I knew training. To broaden the scope of my services, I spent a great deal of time learning about behavior modification.
Toby is one of my favorite little poodle dudes. He is a faded red, oversized toy that I just happen to adore. I have to laugh when he is being checked in and my husband, who runs the grooming salon check–in for a few hours in the morning, asked Toby’s mom if she would like the same haircut as last time.
Needed not just to save time, but also to get “the right look”, pet grooming dryers are some of the most important pieces of equipment in a pet grooming salon. The decision of which to buy can be complicated. The type of dryer, available utilities, length of hose, intended location of the dryer, tolerance for sound, performance, and budget—along with a host of other factors—need to be considered.
There I was again, on my knees, bent over my bathtub, trying to give my two uncooperative Cockapoos, Molly and Oscar a bath. I have two towels under my knees to cushion them from the hard tile floor. The sudsy Molly and Oscar are jumping in and out of the bathtub, shaking dirt and suds all over the bathroom walls, and this was just the beginning of their bi-weekly bathing process.
The Westminster Dog Show is held every year in mid–February in NYC. I’ve always loved going, especially as it’s just a train ride away. Last year I shadowed Leah Shirokoff and Finn. As I walked through the staging area, I realized I knew half of the groomers from our own trade shows. No wonder these dogs look so good!
Hi Michell. I have a problem with one of my employees. She has decided that she is her own boss and the boss of some of my other employees, and even some of the customers! It is partially my fault because I let it happen. I was ill for a year and needed her to take more responsibility. Now that I am back to work full time, I see that many of the policies that I had in place have been changed or discarded all together. She has taken over. How do I regain control of my business without making her feel like she is being pushed out?
Hats are fun. We all have plopped one on our heads from time to time. Wouldn’t it be fun to fashion a hat on your dog or on a client’s dog for special occasions? Let’s discover how to make a hat that Fido won’t be able to shake off. Follow along with this cute how–to pictorial as I show you how to create and decorate a cute spring hat for Easter from an overgrown head of hair.
Dog trainers are always on the look–out for dog groomers they can recommend to clients. Groomers are part of a necessary professional care team for many dog owners and fill a need that a dog trainer cannot.
Working with a dog trainer is usually a temporary part of an owner’s life, while working with a groomer is a relationship that can extend life–long.
The pet industry significantly outpaced the US market over the past 5 years. Grooming and boarding services are one of the fastest growing segments in the pet industry, nearly doubling in size over the past 10 years, despite recessions and evolving consumer habits. Great news…right? Of course it is great news! We are witnessing an […]
Private labeling is much more than providing products and services with your logo and contact information on them. Private labeling has everything to do with branding.
Branding is simply the perception of how clients view your business. How your business is seen is what attracts the type of clients you currently have.
“Dear Michell, I own a busy upscale salon in Canada. I have been grooming for more years than I care to admit. I am a Certified Master Groomer and I don’t really take new customers anymore, but my employees do. We often get ridiculous special requests from clients. I tend to be intolerant of these requests. However, my employees are still building clientele and need to be open to offering special services. Any suggestions on how to deal with special requests?” — Alex H.
Oh yes, give me some of that French green; that special Kaolin or Australian black. Yes, I am talking about clay. As far back as prehistoric times, humans have used clay internally and externally to relieve ailments and treat wounds. We may have followed the example of animals, who by instinct, eat and roll in mud for this very purpose.
No one leaves their house in the morning expecting to have a medical emergency, be in an accident, or be the victim of a crime. But these occurrences can and do happen every day. The majority of groomers work alone.
If you have an emergency, being able to get immediate assistance can potentially be the difference between life and death.
Medium sized, curly dynamos pets of this breed, with their unique grooming requirements, are becoming more frequently seen on grooming tables across the country.
Accepted by the American Kennel Club in 2015, the Spanish Water Dog is appreciated by its fanciers for its intelligence, athleticism, and ability to excel at many competitive canine activities. Historically used to gather and drive small hoof stock such as sheep and goats, they were also known to assist fishermen and can be strong swimmers.
I remember the days of appointment books and post–it notes. When I first started out in grooming I kept records of my business in a simple book and scheduled my customers on a rotary phone. My schedule was easy to read, it was portable, and I could scratch out cancellations and write down new appointments. I used it multiple times a day.
Thus far we have learned some key points relevant to property inspection, zoning ordinances and pertinent questions to ask a potential landlord regarding the property and lease. To narrow your choice further, negotiation must take place with the prospective landlord. Understanding the lease document itself is arguably one of the most important aspects of selecting a rental location.
Monrovia, CA — The recently-concluded Atlanta Pet Fair & Conference—the Southeast’s largest trade show, conference and competition for professional pet stylists and service professionals—saw a nine percent spike in attendance in its second year at the Georgia International Convention Center. Produced by World Pet Association (WPA), Atlanta Pet Fair & Conference featured more than 70 […]
The creation of a new grooming salon is a multifaceted endeavor that requires extensive research, thought and time. A high functioning floor plan design in the right location with a scrupulously executed lease and well thought out equipment choices will bring years of gratification in your career choice.
It is commonly accepted that puppies need training. Millions of them are trained at big–box stores, in parks, and privately, in–home. Many of these pups know how to sit, lie down and walk on a leash. Their puppy training was effective, but ultimately useless. That’s because no one ever takes a pup to the shelter […]