Jillian Anderson’s grooming journey started 18 years ago, when her father, who is a certified groomer, taught Jillian to groom their Great Danes. Her desire to learn more kept her close to her father as she continued to soak up all the grooming lessons he gave her. She even continued grooming overseas in Israel when her family was transferred there for work. Now, she lives in Florida, still grooming and doing what she loves and taking care of the dogs.
Jillian’s education and grooming career seemed to be going smoothly, but when faced with serious medical issues, she continued to pursue her passion despite it taking a major toll on her body. What kept Jillian going were the dogs, or as she puts it “looking out for the little guy.”
“I am stubborn,” she said. “[the medical issues] are super frustrating, but I have a passion for this and would do it for free if I could.”
Despite severe heart problems, Jillian worked her way through school and became a certified groomer. She also keeps up to date on grooming techniques by watching Paragon’s Learn2GroomDogs.com video tutorials. Learn2GroomDogs.com has helped boost her confidence, refine her finishing techniques, and improve her scissor work.
“I always want to be an inspiration to others who struggle in this career,” Jillian said. “Don’t doubt yourself, if you love art and love animals, there should be no stopping you. I’m not one to preach, but I’ve managed to be successful in this industry.”
She also said that, for her, grooming is not just about the proper haircut, but connecting with the dog and their owner. She wants to make sure everyone is comfortable and has a good experience.
Now, Jillian feels like she found the area of grooming that works best for her, working at a mobile pet care business. She says she loves this business because she is able to groom dogs in their home or environment, which keeps them comfortable.
“I’ve never had this confidence before,” Jillian said. “I care about the animals, hands down. I want my dogs to look like show dogs, but I care about the dogs first, some dogs have issues (like anxiety) and I want to do what’s best for them. What’s important to me is that the dogs are comfortable.”
When reflecting on where she is today in her career, Jillian credits her father for encouraging her to pursue her passion, which involves care for animals within grooming as well as specializing in service dog training.