When it comes to grooming cats, they don’t get a lot of options. Usually they are left completely natural with just a bath and blow dry, or they are shaved short into a Lion Cut. However, there is an additional option that leaves cats with a bit of fluff instead of being taken down to the skin.
There are a few subjects that can divide a room of groomers very quickly: pay types, doodles, shear choices or favorite breed of dog are a few examples. But while groomers are finding common ground on many subjects, they continue to be vastly separated on the subject of cat grooming.
When it comes to marketing your grooming business, the focus can and should be kept local. This opens up opportunities to let people know just what it is your service has to offer without having to lay out thousands of dollars in advertising.
Groomers have had a tough year. We are called to work with pets. We try and help them feel better and look good, sometimes in spite of the condition they come to us in. We battle owners who don’t tell us any health concerns that could impact grooming and get mad if we can’t salvage a pelted coat.
A new puppy owner will experience many exciting firsts with their pup, whether they have owned many dogs before or they are first–time puppy owners. The first vet visit, first outing, first adventure and first puppy class can all be important parts of bonding with the new pup and watching him grow and mature with each new experience.
“Hi Michell. I have several new customers with Logotto Romagnolos. They tell me not to brush them. They want them to look messy. They have mountains of information (or misinformation), pictures, videos and print-outs galore. They don’t understand matts. They don’t understand that what they want is impossible! What should I do?” –Connie
In the next few columns, we’re looking forward to introducing you—or reacquainting you—with the AKC and the wide variety of resources and programs we offer you and the dog–owning public to advance responsible dog ownership, the health and wellbeing of dogs, and assure the future of purpose–bred dogs.
If the power switch on your computer breaks, the rest of your computer is fine, but you cannot use it. If one wheel falls off your vehicle, you are not going anywhere. If you have one pair of clippers and they break, you can’t groom many of the dogs on your schedule.
Pet Grooming Safety has become a much discussed topic in the past year. As I speak with groomers all over the globe, one common theme resonates—groomers care about the safety and welfare of the pets we service. Public awareness about our industry has brought a lack of oversight and organization into the spotlight.
Cats love their tails! Tails convey a cat’s personality and are used for communication and balance. Most cats are very particular when it comes to human intervention with their tails. As groomers, we want to get those tails fluffy and clean for the humans who love them.
In a previous issue, we covered preparing the coat to begin the handstripping process on a Border Terrier puppy. For the second installment, we are spotlighting a handstrip on an adult Border Terrier in the grooming salon. This will cover pet strips that you can offer your clients every day!
The “Grooming Contest by Sergio Villasanti” made its debut in 2014 in Brazil.
With a different way of thinking about the grooming competition, Sergio Villasanti idealized this competition, not only with the thought of a competition, but with the thought of a “meeting of friends”.
“Shine like a Flower.” This is a quote from groomer Tanja VanDer Vooren who works at the Hounden Trimsalon Ursi, which translates to Grooming Salon Ursi in Helmond, Netherlands. Tanja has been grooming since 2004. Ursi was the name of her first dog who was an inspiration to her career; as with most of us, it all starts with that one special “heart” dog.
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.