Member Spotlight: Annette Tucker
Growing up, Annette Tucker loved dogs, but also dreamed of becoming a hairdresser for women. At the age of 50, those two passions are what spurred her to make a career change into the dog grooming industry.
After spending 20 years working in 4H youth development, Annette said the stars aligned and she took the leap into an entirely new career path. She attended dog grooming school, which set her up to hit the ground running for her new grooming path.
“Some days it’s super hard work, physically hard work,” Annette said. “But the days I’m building fabulous relationships with pet parents, and the dogs are looking great and the people I work with, it’s all fulfilling.”
Annette said that the career change has been exciting and rewarding for her, however, it does come with certain challenges. She has had to face many adjustments in her grooming education, including the age differences with her colleagues.
“For me, what has been interesting and a challenge in my own mind is that a lot of people start grooming at a young age,” Annette said. “I had a full-time professional career longer than most young groomers have been alive. [We are at a] different generational level in life, which is challenging in an environment where my coworkers are significantly younger than I am.”
During her education, Annette utilized Paragon’s books to study after hours, to better refine her understanding and skills. She said that she is a lifelong learner and soaked in as much information as possible when she could.
“Learning on my own was a natural thing to do,” Annette said. “Having a resource like that has been amazing.”
After her schooling was completed, she was hired at a daycare boarding facility, becoming the sole groomer at the company for six months. She said this further drove her to learn as much as she could on her own, which is why she subscribed to Paragon’s Learn2GroomDogs.com video streaming service.
“It’s a fantastic resource that all dog groomers should continue to learn and use,” she said.
Annette also said her desire for further education stems from the importance of having a trusting relationship between a pet groomer and a pet parent. She said this is because both parent and groomer seek to give the best care possible to the dogs, and it can be scary giving a pet into a stranger’s hands for care.
“It’s really key for a parent to trust their groomer,” Annette said. “As we continue to work with the pet and their parent, we solidify what they are looking for in their pet. I’m really enjoying that component, working with the parent and their pet. We are a team of loving their pet together.”
Now, Annette works at Bark Me Beautiful Pet Grooming Inc., where she works with experienced groomers and continues her lifelong learning journey.
Learn2GroomDogs.com has also helped Annette further her education on her own and helped her prepare for certification with the National Dog Groomers Association of America in the sporting and nonsporting groups.
“I’m investing in myself and my further education as a groomer. It’s a fantastic resource that all dog groomers should continue to learn and use,” she said. “I’m fortunate to be working where I am because we all desire to be high quality for our customers.”