Stacey Deshkulkarni said she has been uniquely trained her entire working life for taking care of animals. She has worked in cosmetology, radiography, and higher education, and all three fields meshed together to set her up for success in the most unlikely of fields – professional dog grooming.
“It’s been a wild ride,” said the Tennessee native. “I asked myself what I actually WANTED to do, so I started pet sitting so I didn’t lose my mind at home, but it kind of progressed to a point where it turned into grooming.”
Cosmetology taught Stacey techniques on how to handle tools and be delicate with nails, radiography familiarized her with anatomy and working as a professor allowed her to not only further develop a love for learning but also grow communication and leadership skills.
“It is different between humans and dogs, but I think it gave me a head start,” she said. “I really feel like everything has led me to where I am now, where I’m actually really happy, I wish that when I was younger that this was an option.”
When Stacey knew grooming was the direction she was going to take, she wanted to “learn from the best in the industry,” and started studying with the Learn2GroomDogs.com video streaming service, and attended the Distance Learning Program offered through Paragon.
“I’m thankful that I had the option to learn all this stuff online,” Stacey said. “I didn’t have the choice to go to a grooming school and participate in a program from a recognized school [where I live].”
Unbeknownst to Stacey, her working career has given her a well-rounded stepping stone into the grooming world, but she needed that extra push to dive headfirst into the grooming industry with confidence. Stacey said that learning with Paragon gave her that boost.
“When I was first looking to get a van for my mobile business, I called and spoke to some other mobile groomers and asked, ‘Am I crazy for wanting to do this?’ and they would say, ‘no you’re going to one of the best schools in the nation,’” she said.
“The best advice I can give is if you feel like this is the career for you, go for it,” she continued. “Do what you have to do, this is a great profession, there are a lot of choices and you can build your business the way you want it.”
Now, Stacey runs “Stacey’s Mobile Pet Spa” in Johnson City, Tennessee, and foresees grooming as her permanent career.
“I love dogs, they are my whole world,” she said. “When people say you can’t learn online, I just say ‘Watch me.’”