Spotlight Sessions for July 3, 2018

July 2nd, 2018 by Joelle

Spotlight Sessions for May 15, 2018

May 15th, 2018 by Joelle

Spotlight Sessions for March 27, 2018

March 26th, 2018 by Joelle

Spotlight Sessions for January 24, 2017

January 24th, 2017 by Joelle

The German Trim That Went to China

May 4th, 2016 by Joelle

Today was one of those great days. One of those days where something special happens out of the blue. It’s not scheduled. It’s not planned. But when it happens – it just makes you smile.

Dawn brought her Wahl to the Wall!

Dawn brought her Wahl to the Wall!

What happened? It was a simple phone call.

I was racing around trying to get through items on my to-do list. Every time I thought I was getting ahead, something would pop up and get added to the list. I felt like I was on a merry-go-round. It just would not stop. I knew it was going to be a real struggle to get to an appointment I had later in the afternoon.

And then my cell phone rang.

I looked down and saw who was. Dawn Omboy’s name appeared on the screen. That alone brought a smile to my face. I took a deep breath to get myself centered and then answered the phone, “Hello Dawn,” with a huge grin my face.

She was calling for two reasons. One was to thank me for her own personalized copy of Notes From the Grooming Table – Second Edition, which was on the way but had yet to arrive on her doorstep.

The second reason took a little longer to explain, but Dawn promised I was gonna love the story. “Okay Dawn, you’re on,” I thought to myself even though I was pressed for time.

My husband Marc and I had been at Dawn’s salon filming for Learn2GroomDogs.com just a couple of months ago. At the time, she had had the possibility of going to China to teach a clinic on creative pet grooming. Even though it wasn’t a sure thing yet, Dawn was so excited at the possibility! China. She’d never been there – let alone teach there! What an amazing opportunity for a little groomer out of southern Georgia.

A few weeks later we learned that the trip was confirmed and she was leaving the following week! She was so excited and we were thrilled for her. We tracked the trip on Facebook along with so many of her Facebook friends. She looked to be having a wonderful time even though she was traveling solo. (That’s one gutsy move all itself!) She told me she had a blast! Everything was wonderful and the people were so nice even though no one spoke English other than her interpreter – and that was dicey. She still knew it would be an adventure of a lifetime she would cherish.

While she was teaching the creative class, someone asked her if she would show them how to do a German trim on a Poodle. Even though they did not speak the language, she was able to make out what they wanted. And to add to that, they wanted it very full and “fancy.” Okay – she got that. The problem was, she couldn’t remember the last time she had done a German trim on a Poodle! But that was not going to stop Dawn…

Dawn – being extremely resourceful – was not going to disappoint her students, “Of course, she told them, I can show you how to do a German trim!”

That night she retired to her hotel room. As soon as she got there she hooked onto the Wi-Fi and brought up Learn2GroomDogs.com.

Did we mention she was in China?

She searched the database for German trims and found Judy Hudson had just what she needed on the site. She ordered herself a bit of dinner and spent the evening with Judy Hudson. Via streaming video, Judy taught Dawn the finer points of how to do a German trim on a Poodle.

The next day Dawn was confidently able to demonstrate to her foreign classroom how to do a German trim on a Poodle – all because of Learn2GroomDogs.com and Judy Hudson.

Dawn wanted to make sure I heard the story firsthand from her. I was beaming! I love our Training Partners and I love being able to help others. My dream is to make learning accessible to anybody – anywhere in the world. Between my books and Learn2GroomDogs.com – that dream is coming true. Even as far away as China!

And the best part – Judy Hudson flies in tomorrow for a National Dog Groomers Association of America workshop and testing held at the Paragon School a Pet Grooming (and some special saddle time with a couple Friesians). I can’t wait to relay this story to her, personally.

I cannot thank Dawn enough for sharing such a unique story. It’s amazing what our industry has to offer to anyone who applies themselves. The key is to be the best you can be and share that knowledge with others. Even if you don’t have the education in your head – having the right resources on the fly to locate information will turn you into an instant expert wherever you are.

Happy Trimming!

~ Melissa

P.S.

You never know when you’ll need to be an instant expert! Has this ever happened to you? Go online and tell us about it on the Learn2GroomDogs Facebook page.

 

2016-05-04_1546


Presenting a Professional Image – It’s time to revisit an important topic.

August 14th, 2015 by Joelle

As pet care ambassadors, it’s our job to keep things looking professional. In my opinion, there are plenty of salons and pet businesses that fall far below the realm of professionalism.  I know the saying can be cheesy – but seriously – dress for success. Would you want to get have your personal pet groomed by someone who doesn’t take pride in his or her own personal presentation? Would you feel confident that his grooming shop was clean, sanitary, and safe?

professionalI know it can get tiring to dress up a little every day. However, our clients are entrusting us with the care of their pets. Like it or hate it, you can easily influence their trust factor simply by the way you look when you greet your clients. Think of yourself as your own brand. Don’t you want your product to be consistent and look great? Of course! And your clients are looking for that, too.

A fashionable, well-groomed appearance is essential when it comes to professionalism in this industry. When you are in a salon, kennel, pet resort, veterinarian clinic, or mobile grooming unit, you have to look the part. Come to work each day looking crisp, clean, and pulled together. Blue jeans, sweat pants, and athletic shorts ARE NOT professional attire! Black, white, or khaki slacks work well. Longer skirts are great for women and so are skorts in warmer climates. Conservative shorts or Capri’s may work for your environment, as well. I’ve even seen leggings work when paired with an over-sized, long top or smock. Look for clothing that is not prone to wrinkling or be prepared to learn how to iron!

Today, there are many options for hair-repelling garments. There are all types of tops and bottoms in a wide variety of styles.  If you work in a salon with a dress code, this may be easier. If not, have some fun with the pet styling fashions that are available. It may even be a good idea to keep an extra outfit or smock around the shop as a back-up. If you get drenched or messy, a quick change will instantly boost your comfort level and mood.

Remember, low-cut tops and short-shorts are never professional!  If you have shorts that are too short or a top that is too revealing (especially when you are squatting down to pick up a dog), then you’re not displaying professionalism. Muscle shirts and shirts with the sleeves cut off don’t make the grade, either.

Don’t forget your footwear.  Most pet groomers are on their feet for hours. You are standing, lifting, bending, squatting, and twisting – all day long. Although clients may not be looking at your feet, having solid, supportive footwear will promote comfort for to you. Being comfortable makes it easy for you to be warm and friendly to all your clients. Supportive footwear will also enhance the longevity of your career.  Over the long haul, your feet will take a beating.  Don’t skimp on your footwear. Invest in the best.

Scent is a very powerful sense. When it comes to your perfume, cologne, or fragrance you put on pets, be light-handed with the spray. Many people have allergies and are sensitive to fragrance. Plus, if you have multiple staff members wearing all different scents, it can be unpleasant for all. The same can be said for your makeup and hair color.  You want to appeal to a wide range of clients, so conservative is best in most cases. When in doubt, be a minimalist. Remember, you can always “be yourself” once you leave the shop.

While we are on scent – what about your breath? If you are communicating to others – clients or coworkers – bad breath is down-right offensive. Brush, floss, and use a mouthwash regularly. Not only will it save your teeth, your clients won’t be offended as you discuss what trim will work best on Fluffy today.  Breath mints and gum can be helpful between brushings. Lose the gum quickly once it has done its job. Chewing gum in front of clients is distracting and it is unprofessional in front of clients. It’s no fun to listen to someone chomping away while on the phone, either. The same can be said for eating and drinking on the floor. Keep snack and coffee breaks limited to behind closed doors.

Proper hygiene is crucial. It should go unsaid, but being clean and odor-free is a must. There is nothing more offensive – and embarrassing – than personal body odor. The famous motivational speaker Zig Ziglar, said, “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.” Nothing could be more true!

Your own hair needs to be clean and simply styled. If your hair is long, get it tied back and away from your face. As your work with clippers or shears, you don’t want to be trimming a lock of your own hair as you scissor that leg. I hate to think of how many people with long hair have caught their tresses in the spinning grinder as they worked. Ouch! Or worse yet, drag it through anal gland expressions, defecation, or urine.

proHaving a touch of jewelry is a nice finishing touch.  Done well, it always reflects positively. However, just like with fragrance – go light. A few simple rings. A durable watch (and you always need to know the time!!). If your ears are pierced – stick with super simple earrings – something a dog can’t accidentally catch in a paw, ripping your ear lobe. If you opt for a necklace, keep it tasteful. Don’t be in love with it. Dogs will catch it in their paws and break it, eventually. The same thing with is true with bracelets.

Having well-groomed fingernails is what I consider a bonus. Working with dirty dogs and trimming toenails lends itself to dirty fingernails – even if you do a lot of bathing. Trimming Poodle feet has a tendency chip fingernails. Personally, I liked to keep my nails painted. Painted fingernails will hide all sorts of flaws. Unfortunately, when you do a lot of bathing, standard nail polish has a tendency to peel off quickly – sometimes in as little as one day.  My solution was to have my fingernails professionally done every two weeks. Both acrylic and shellac nail applications seem hold up well to the abuse groomers put their hands through. Ragged nails on women and men can be easily tidied up. When you give the pet to the owner, their eyes are naturally drawn to your fingers as you hand over the leash. Wouldn’t filed nails make a great impression? Plus, it gives you a little time to pamper your most valuable asset – YOUR HANDS!

Pay attention to the details. Judy Hudson is one our popular Learn2GroomDogs.com Training Partners. In her video, What I Know For Sure she shares this tip: “It doesn’t cost a lot to be clean. It doesn’t cost a lot of money to be neat and tidy. All it takes is a little elbow grease.”

When we become frustrated that no one seems to take us seriously, we need to look objectively at ourselves to see if we are projecting professionalism.  If you have clients who…

  • fail to show up for scheduled appointments,
  • don’t bother to call when they have to cancel an appointment, or
  • constantly haggle with you over grooming prices,

…it’s a sign of a lack of respect for you and your profession. It may be time to be honest about your personal presentation. Your appearance should convey the message, “I’m a professional and I deserve respect.” When you respect yourself, others will, too.

As pet care ambassadors, not only is it our job to groom pets – but it’s also our job to present a professional image for our industry. Can you afford to look like you just rolled out of bed and ran into work? What about trade shows? How does it look when you accept your award at a grooming competition when the pet looks better than you do? How can you command respect from your peers and clients when you don’t look the part? I don’t know any successful person who doesn’t sweat the details. Being impeccable, both personally and in your workspace, shows the client that you care about yourself. The message you are sending out is that you are confident with your skills. You are successful. You respect yourself enough to do the same for them – and for their pet.

What do you think? Do you feel like a professional? Jump over to the Learn2GroomDogs Facebook page and tell us about it.

Happy trimming,

~Melissa


Pet Care Professionals: Presenting a Professional Image – #2

March 19th, 2015 by Joelle

Professional-ImageA few weeks ago I was at the Atlanta Pet Fair. I always love this show. For me – it’s typically the first big show of the season. I get to see all my fellow pet professional friends and acquaintances. The trade show floor is always busy. I always have a great turn out at my lectures. And the competition ring is packed. This year was no different.

One thing I really noticed this year was how pet professionals represented themselves. I saw both good and bad – tasteful to tacky – and everything in-between.

One of my favorites was the cute little blond with her hair neatly pulled back in a stylish side ponytail wearing the little black hair-repellant dress in the contest ring. Her make-up was light yet very tastefully done. Her shoes matched. And she accessorized just enough to be elegant but not overdone. Or the young man in the ring. He was impeccably groomed himself right down to the matching bowtie. Both of these competitors where in my novice level class this weekend. I was so proud of the way they represented our industry. I would take my own dogs to them in a heartbeat.

I observed hundreds of people over the weekend. Unfortunately, I couldn’t say that about everyone. Even pet professionals I know and respect greatly, totally caught me off guard.

Folks – HELLO… If you want to be respected as a “professional” you have to act the part whenever you are in the public.

All. The. Time. Period.

I think it’s time to pull this blog back out for a reminder. I learned a long time ago with my early staff that I had to lead by example. My staff never saw me looking anything but professionally turned out. Even today, although I do not work in day-to-day operations, I would never dream of even stopping by one of my companies looking unprofessional. Even if I’m only dropping something off or would be there for a 15 minute meeting.

As pet care ambassadors, it’s our job to keep things looking professional. There are plenty of salons and pet businesses that fall far below the realm of professionalism in my opinion. I know the saying can be cheesy, but seriously, dress for success. Would you want to have your personal pet groomed by someone who doesn’t take pride in his or her own personal presentation?

Let’s put this in perspective. Have you ever been shopping around for a new hair stylist? What if you met her for the first time and her hair was so fried from chemicals it looked like it would break from the slightest touch? What if he smelled like he just left a smoky bar and was still wearing clothes so wrinkled you wondered if he slept in them? How confident would you be to let them style your hair? How are they going to make you look your best if they can’t be bothered to look theirs?

Would you trust a dentist who had rotten teeth?

I know it can get tiring to dress up a little every day. However, our clients are entrusting us with the care of their pets. Like it or hate it, you can easily influence their trust factor simply by the way you look when you greet your clients. Think of yourself like your own brand. Don’t you want your product to be consistent and look great? Of course! And your clients are looking for that, too.

A fashionable, well groomed appearance is essential when it comes to professionalism in this industry. When you are in a salon, kennel, pet resort, veterinarian clinic, or mobile grooming unit, you have to look the part. Come to work each day looking crisp, clean, and pulled together. Blue jeans and sweat pants ARE NOT professional attire! Black, white, or khaki slacks work well. Longer skirts are great for women and so are skorts in warmer climates. Conservative shorts or capris may work for your environment as well. I’ve even seen leggings work when paired with an oversized, long top or smock. Look for clothing that is not prone to wrinkling or learn to iron!

Today, there are many options for hair repelling garments. There are all types of tops and bottoms in a wide variety of styles. If you work in a salon with a dress code, this may be easier. If not, have some fun with the pet styling fashions that are available. Heck, even medical scrubs will work! It may even be a good idea to keep an extra outfit or smock around the shop as a back-up.

If you get drenched or messy, a quick change will instantly boost your comfort level and mood.

And gals, remember, low cut tops and short- shorts are never professional! If you have shorts that are too short or a top that is too revealing (especially when you are squatting down to pick up a dog), then you’re not displaying professionalism.

Don’t forget your footwear. Most pet groomers are on their feet for hours. You are standing, lifting, bending, squatting, and twisting – all day long. Although clients may not be looking at your feet, having solid, supportive footwear will promote comfort for you. Being comfortable allows you to be warm and friendly to all your clients. Supportive footwear will also enhance the longevity of your career. Over the long haul, your feet will take a beating. Don’t skimp on your footwear. Invest in the best.

Scent is a very powerful sense. When it comes to your perfume (or fragrance you put on pets) be light-handed with the spray. Many people have allergies and are sensitive to fragrance. Plus, if you have multiple staff members wearing all different scents, it can be unpleasant for all. The same can be said for your makeup and hair color. You want to appeal to a wide range of clients, so conservative is best in most cases. When in doubt, be a minimalist. Remember, you can always “be yourself” once you leave the shop.

While we are on scent – what about your breath? If you are communicating to others – clients or coworkers – bad breath is down-right offensive. Brush, floss, and use a mouth wash regularly. Not only will it save your teeth, your clients won’t be offended as you discuss what trim will work best on Fluffy. Breath mints and gum can be helpful between brushings. Lose the gum quickly once it has done its job. Chewing gum in front of clients is distracting and it is unprofessional in front of clients. The same can be said for eating and drinking on the floor. Keep snack and coffee breaks limited to behind closed doors.

Proper hygiene is crucial. It should go unsaid, but being clean and odor-free is a must. There is nothing more offensive – and embarrassing – than personal body odor. A famous quote from Zig Ziglar, who was a very successful motivational speaker, said, “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.” Nothing could be more true!

Your own hair needs to be clean and simply styled. If your hair is long, get it tied back and away from your face. As your work with clippers or shears, you don’t want to be trimming a lock of your own hair as you scissor that leg. I hate to think of how many people with long hair have caught their tresses in the spinning grinder as they worked. Ouch! Or worse yet, drag it through anal gland expressions, defecation, or urine.

Having a touch of jewelry is a nice finishing touch. Done well, it always reflects positively. However, just like with fragrance – go light. A few simple rings. A durable watch (you always need to know the time!!). If your ears are pierced – stick with super simple earrings, something a dog can’t accidently catch in their paw, ripping your ear lobe. If you opt for a necklace, keep it tasteful. Don’t be in love with it. Dogs will catch it in their paws and break it eventually. The same thing with is true with bracelets.

torirrHaving well groomed fingernails is what I consider a bonus. Working with dirty dogs and trimming toenails lends itself to dirty fingernails – even if you do a lot of bathing. Trimming poodle feet has a tendency to chip fingernails. Personally, I liked to keep my nails painted. Painted fingernails will hide all sorts of flaws. Unfortunately, when you do a lot of bathing standard nail polish has a tendency to peel off quickly – sometimes as quickly as one day. My solution was to have my fingernails professionally done every 2 weeks. Both acrylic and shellac nail applications seem to hold up well to the abuse groomers put their hands through. Plus, it gives you a little time to pamper your most valuable asset – YOUR HANDS!

SONY DSCPay attention to the details. Judy Hudson is one our popular Learn2GroomDogs.com Training Partners. In her video, What I Know For Sure she shares this tip: It doesn’t cost a lot to be clean. It doesn’t cost a lot of money to be neat and tidy. All it takes is a little elbow grease.

As pet care ambassadors, not only is it our job to groom pets – but it’s also our job to present a professional image for our industry.

  • At your place of business.
  • At certification test sites.
  • At trade shows.
  • On the speaking circuit.
  • In the competition ring.
  • ANYWHERE you are representing the pet grooming profession!

I don’t know any successful person that doesn’t sweat the details. Being impeccable, both personally and in your workspace, shows the client that you care about yourself. The message you are sending out is that you are confident with your skills. You are successful. You respect yourself enough to do the same for them – and their pet.

Happy trimming!

~Melissa


Nine Seconds to Make a First Impression

November 12th, 2014 by Ima Admin

Dog-Computer-Wallpaper-1024x768rrYou meet someone for the first time – it could be a new client walking through your doors, someone at a grooming trade show or a new team member.

The moment that stranger sees you, their brain makes a thousand assumptions.  It might be a new client or someone you meet anywhere else.  You are giving off clues about yourself before you ever begin to speak.  They are gathering a wealth of nonverbal clues about you.

What are nonverbal clues?

Nonverbal clues include all the ways you present and express yourself, apart from the actual words you speak.  Things like eye contact, gestures, posture, body movements, and tone of voice.  All of these signals can convey important information that isn’t put into words.  They are extremely important at work and in business.  Perception is reality. Read the rest of this entry »


 
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