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How did you get started grooming?

1775 Views 11 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Raggs
I know that a lot of groomers are on here so I was wondering how you got a big business going. Did you just keep practicing and practicing and then finally got really good or did you read books and take online classes? I am trying to learn more and more so one day I can be something big in the dog grooming business.
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I apprenticed under a few groomers at a very busy vet clinic in an affluent area. I read everything I could online on the pro grooming forums, studied show dogs at shows, and attended every trade show/seminar within a days driving distance that I possibly could. I still do all that, and compete at the trade shows and have learned SO much from that. I would not be half the groomer I am now had I never started competing. The trade shows have great seminars, from the business side down to bathing and everything in between. I learn something new all the time. Thats what I love about this industry..you never stop learning and getting better.
Groomer, there are a few very, very good pro grooming forums online, with MANY members all over the world. On those boards are also many of the elite in the industry, judges, speakers, Groom Team members, etc. and the wealth of knowledge is unlimited. Groomers.net, petgroomer.com, and groomertogroomer.com are the largest, most valuable sites. If you don't already recieve Groomer To Groomer magazine, suscribe, its free, and has much info on the trade shows, contests, etc as well as great articles. For more info on trade shows and competitions, seminars, etc. you can find that info on those grooming sites, as well as at Groomteamusa.com There is generally one a month, somewhere in the country, and sometimes there are a few a month. The next big one is in Columbia, SC the end of May, and is put on by the National Dog Groomers Association of America. There is on in July in KY, one in August in IL, another in August in TX, one in Sept in PA, etc. There are also many hands on seminars given my speakers and contest judges all over the country at different times too. Super Styling Sessions by Sue Zecco and Jay Scruggs are held regularly all over the country too. You can find that info in Groomer to Groomer, and on the grooming forums as well as Groomer's Choice Pet Products catalogs and website. Another great way to learn a specific breed if you are struggling with one, or need to fine tune it is thru your local breed clubs. I have held grooming seminars at my salon for my state Airedale club, and most breed clubs have grooming seminars a few times a year. When I was competing on English Setters, I was grooming free for a local breeder in exchange for her help and knowledge of the breed trims. There are so many ways to learn, and even if its a breed you don't see much in your salon, you will still learn things that you can apply to other breeds, even mixed breeds, and help to develop your eye. Having a developed eye is SO important in grooming, and seeing grooms done by other groomers helps to develop that eye too, so you don't get caught in a rut and lose your eye for detail in your own grooms. Let me know if you need any other info on the trade shows and such or can't find the sites. :)
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