It was quite a journey becoming a dog groomer but now I am blessed to have my dream job. I am a self-taught groomer, business owner, and I dare say... entrepreneur. I have had careers in graphic design, advertising, marketing, sales and now I have my dream job. I used to spend over an hour each morning doing hair, make-up, touching up nails, wearing heels, suits and a carrying a Blackberry. I had to account for my time, deadlines, and quotas. For all my diligent training, study, testing and SMILING, I got "laid-off". So faced with 6 months of unemployment I asked myself what in the whole world did I want to do?
DOGS - SOMETHING WITH DOGS.
I had no room for kennels, didn't want to walk, pet-sit or clean up poop so my answer was grooming. I had never groomed a dog in my life but I knew I could/would do it. I love dogs! My husband was hesitantly supportive and said I could use MY one-car garage stall for my shop. I scrubbed, painted and furnished with a Tractor Supply stainless steel tub, several folding tables, zip ties and shower curtains. I rigged up a usable space with my Revlon hair drier and borrowed towels. I started my dog grooming business, Dog-it-tude Grooming Studio, LLC in 2015. I was a entrepreneur!! I took some loan money and went to the Groom Expo in Hershey, PA (conveniently only 2 hours drive). I took 4 days of classes and bought a ton of great stuff! When I got home I stood there in my new grooming outfit and my clippers and a real live dog. I was scared to pieces! This innocent little guy with big brown eyes looked at me and I knew I had to do good by him. He was so patient and loving. Aren't they all? Ha!! I started grooming for free for my friends and family. I sat in my impeccably clean, brand spanking new shop and waited for my cell phone to ring. LITERALLY! At this time I was still doing my hair and make-up every morning.
I made EVERY mistake imaginable!
My love for the dogs carried me through those lean few YEARS and I learned. I wasted a lot of money buying all kinds of gadgets to improve my grooming and a few of them were actually useful. I am kind of a hoarder so I still have a bunch of useless tools tucked away in storage collecting dog hair. But when you are on a toothpick budget (a shoestring would be bragging) you gotta make stuff work.
I spent too much money on stuff that didn't work.
Among the things I wasted money on was fabric for bandanas. I enjoyed picking out spectacular fabric colors and prints and excitedly brought my yardage home to cut my triangular bandanas. What I quickly realized is there is no efficient way to cut them and I WASTED so much fabric! Ugh! My beautiful prints. THEN when I went to tie them on the dogs I never had the right size in the right print. I kept trying though... holiday prints, girl prints, boy prints, paw prints, you name it, I wasted it. PLUS I was sensitive to the fact a bandana could catch on something and cause a neck injury. Did I mention I used to sell insurance? Can you say product liability? If that ill fitting bandana caused an injury I could be held liable. NOT worth it!
I needed a more economical solution.
Necessity is the mother of invention! I am from a long family line of crafters and very talented quilters. I have made several quilts myself and used that experience to create the GROOMER TIES you are shopping for now. They have been through many stages of development and DISAPPOINTMENT. I had the small business development center representative tell me it wasn't really a product. Yea, I was offended but continued to develop and improve.
Very small town with 3 dog groomers within 2 miles.
I needed a way to set myself apart from the other groomers with much talent and much more experience... and I still wasn't making much money. I am an artist, right? This dog is my canvas, right? I need to AUTOGRAPH my artistry AND SO DO YOU! After many years of development I believe we have a winner. A little extra something you can add to every groom for very little money and it puts your name on your artwork. It takes only a few seconds to tie one on. The contrasting white label is durable, waterproof and will stick on the fabric. The rich colored fabric sets off the bright white label that promotes your business and SIGNS YOUR ARTWORK.
Mark your territory!
These little GROOMER TIES are so much more than an accessory. The custom label can not only promote the business but the individual groomer. It is like am advertisement every time someone fusses over the dog and your artistry. Today groomers have so much creative freedom. An excellent cut, colors, feathers, and gems allow each groomer to craft their own individual vision and ART. Every artist should autograph their artistry. Tell everyone YOU groomed that beautiful creature and tell them where they can find you.
It is a powerful little label.
Groomer Ties were created for my fellow groomers who want to promote THEIR artistry and add a little something to say thank you. This is a powerful little label. When a dog owner gets home and realizes this little tag says, "My groomer loves me!", it is like the dog is whispering in their person's ear, "I was taken very good care of today at the groomer. My groomer was very patient and kind to me and he/she loves me almost as much as you do." What dog owner isn't nervous about leaving their precious little pal with someone they don't know and do not yet trust? It is a trust builder, a nerve calmer, a nod to the owner that says you can trust me with your dog. Oh, and by the way, you can find me every 6 weeks at (Dog-it-tude Grooming Studio), please tell your friends.
Thank you for reading this.
Now I get up 10 minutes before my dogs arrive to brush my teeth and put on a t-shirt and sweats. I wear no makeup and do not polish my nails. I wear $14 rubber shoes and scrubs everyday that I bought more than 5 years ago. BUT I own my time, I work a LOT harder and for a LOT less money, I have a 10-second commute to my basement studio and now my SMILE is greeted with wet kisses. My grooming appointments are scheduled out for the entire year. I trained and mentored a new groomer and she takes on the clients I can't fit in my schedule. She left her job to start her grooming business in my shop. Pretty cool accomplishment for both of us.
But my proudest moments are when I see the transition of that fearful little dog that is crouched in the corner of a cage on his first visit; to watching him confidently walk into my shop, tail up and wagging as if he is excited to get fussed over again. THAT feels so much better than meeting someone else's idea of a sales goal. I get to work with the most precious creatures on Earth and a damn fine co-worker.
Wow, it is my absolute pleasure that you read this far. Thank you for reading my story and learning a bit about my passion (obsession) with my dogs and my business. All of my dog clients are considered MY dogs. After all the owner has to pay me to get them back. They call it payment for services rendered but I call it ransom.
I am blessed. Thank you.