Michelle Smith saw a need in her community south of Traverse City, Michigan, for dog grooming. As a recent graduate of the Paragon School of Pet Grooming, she opened her own business and dove right into working. Shortly, she gained a heavy workload, and Michelle found Learn2GroomDogs.com to be a lifesaver. “Learn2GroomDogs seriously saved me big time, it saved me anxiety and stress, it was exactly what I needed.”
In the past, Michelle has worked in multiple professions, including jobs in corporate America, and owning a horse farm. She became interested in grooming because of her love for animals and a desire to work from home. She then started her profession of dog grooming at the age of 55 and opened her in-home shop, Boardman Bath and Brush. She found that the close, home-like environment also works to make the clients feel comfortable in a safe and personal environment.
“I wanted it to be more of a family feel,” Michelle said. “I’ve been booked solid since I opened in November after graduating from Paragon. People are loving it.
“Many people in my area love the home shop more than corporate shops,” She continued. “People like the smaller, in-home and clean feeling. It’s also easier to build trust. I honestly haven’t even advertised; it’s been word of mouth and recommendations.”
The Paragon graduate found that being involved with the horse community before starting grooming helped find a community of people who also loved animals, making it easier to spread the word about her home business. Through this community she found herself grooming many farm dogs and educating people on grooming needs of the many breeds who run around farms.
“Farm dogs are a big [client for me],” Michelle said. “People wouldn’t probably consider bringing their farm dogs into a groomer. Because I’m smaller, I try to go all-inclusive and take care of them the best I can. That really draws people.”
Michelle said that jumping into a business so soon after completing Paragon’s program made her hesitant to start working. However, the resources Paragon offered in their program and Learn2GroomDogs.com has eased that pressure and given Michelle a new confidence in taking care of dogs.
“I’ve gone through [Learn2GroomDogs.com] for hours,” she continued. “It is a huge reliever and confidence builder. It’s continuing education to the MAX. You can select your level of expertise, and if the customer wants something special, I have the option to learn more in depth things.”
Michelle said her favorite part of the job is the dogs. Even with more energetic clients that are tough to groom, she finds joy in loving on animals and building trust with the pet owners.