Spotlight Session: The Importance of Breed Standards
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London-born Colin Taylor has a long history of being an international super star in the world of professional pet grooming. Colin is certified by the United Kingdom City and Guild plus a Certified Master Groomer in the Untied States. He is a multiple GroomTeam USA team member. In 2007, Colin was a member of GroomTeam Scotland. In the Untied States, he has won Best Groomed Dog in Show at every major grooming show plus Best All Around Groomer. He’s been awarded Best Scissored Dog in Show award countless times, including one of which was giving by the famed poodle handler KAZ HOSAKA which Colin holds close to his heart. When he was an active competitor, his breed specialties were, Bedlington Terriers, Poodles and Mixed Breed styling. He is honored by the fact he has made the front cover of GROOMER TO GROOMER magazine 5 times.
At the age of 16, he began his grooming career in 1985 at the London Academy of Grooming. Just three months into the course, his instructor, Jill East, entered him in his first grooming contest with a hand stripped Cairn Terrier. To their amazement – Colin won the class! Thus began his long string of successful contest wins and placements over the next 25 years around the globe.
Upon graduation from the London Academy, Colin was offered a two year contract to work at the Hong Kong Doggie House for Mary Ng . He could not turn down this unique opportunity. At the age of 17, he left the UK. In Hong Kong he would learn much about life and even more about the grooming world, including how to scissor - and scissor fast. The two years flew by.
At 19, Mr. Taylor returned back to the UK. He taught at the grooming school where he originally trained. In 1989 the World Grooming Championship contest was held in Windsor UK. He entered the contest. After dazzling the crowd with his grooming talent, Colin went on to meet some of the United States finest groomers – and his next international opportunity unfolded.
At the 1989 World Championship, Colin met well respected business woman, Dina Perry. At the time, she owned Wag n Tails Mobile Grooming and The Michigan School of Canine Cosmetology, located in Lansing, Michigan. Dina put Colin under her wing. The next thing Colin knew, he was on a plane bound for Detroit. With only his scissors and a few Madonna posters packed, Colin did not know quite what to expect. What he did know, he was on his way to another country with his ever present desire to learn.
Colin spent the next eighteen years in the United States. He worked in some of the most prestigious grooming schools and salons across the country. Colin has been featured on TV shows such as The Kelly & Company Show in Detroit and the Paul Mitchell Dog Shampoo program which was filmed in Pittsburgh.
In 2007 Colin returned to the UK to be closer to his family. His focus is assisting and inspiring education in the pet grooming industry. His goal it to be an inspiration to other pet professionals so they can reach goals like he has.
Currently, Colin travels throughout the UK and Europe giving seminars and private clinics. He even has even traveled to India, China and Australia on his speaking schedule. Colin’s personal speaking style is like an open book. He loves to share his knowledge and experience. He holds nothing back. Colin never believes in keeping secrets. His professional advice always puts the dog first. He constantly states, “Never put a dog through pain or suffering just because you think it has to be perfect. The dog’s well-being is more important.” Also, “Practice makes perfect - practicing perfect makes perfect.”
Recently Colin became an author. He just published his first book, “What Would Colin Do?” In the book, Colin doles out his personal advice on 101 different pet grooming topics in a light and entertaining way.
Colin Taylor is a well known all breed industry judge and speaker for grooming contests all over the world. His specialties are breed profile trimming, handling, hand scissoring, professional proficiency, and personal motivation. He loves to see people progress forward no matter what their chosen path is in life.
Quick facts about Colin Taylor
- Author of What Would Colin Do? 101 Situations and Solutions for Every Dog Groomer
- Intergroom International Groomer of the Year 2004
- Multiple-year member of GroomTeam USA
- Winner of the 2006 World Cup Grooming Games at Groom and Kennel Expo in Burbank California
- Countless Best in Show and Best All-round Groomer awards
- 5 times on the cover of Groomer to Groomer
- Best Poodle – Poodle Class at Intergroom
- Winner of the Oster Invitational Tournament of Champions
- Recipient of Scissoring Award presented by famed poodle handler Kaz Hosaka
- Thank-you credit and back-cover endorsement of Melissa Verplank’s Notes from the Grooming Table
- Television appearances include Kelly and Company Show in Detroit and a TV ad for Paul Mitchell dog shampoo
- Runs and manages Master Groom Dog Grooming Contest
- International Judge and Speaker
- Founder of Colin Taylor Academy
Colin Taylor Academy
116 Chamberlayne Road
Kensal Rise, London NW10 3JP
Tel. 020 8964 3231
Mob. 07887 473 422
Melissa Verplank - CMG, has over 30 years’ experience in the pet grooming industry. Her mastery of grooming techniques has won her numerous awards on a national & international level earning her the right to become a team member on GroomTeam USA. She has been the GroomTeam Coordinator and currently sits on the Board of GroomTeam USA. Ms. Verplank is an industry speaker, author, two time Cardinal Crystal Achievement award winner, Barkleigh Honors award winner and contest grooming judge.
During her formative years she ran a fleet of mobile grooming units and a busy grooming salon. In 1992, Verplank founded one of the Midwest's largest and progressive pet styling training centers; The Paragon School of Pet Grooming Inc. in Jenison, Michigan. Ms. Verplank realized the need for quality training and reference materials. To meet that need she created White Dog Enterprises Inc., a business which develops creative learning products for the professional pet stylist. The leading products for this company are Notes From the Grooming Table, The Theory of Five, and core-skill method training videos geared to training professional pet groomers. In 2007 she opened Whiskers Resort & Pet Spa. The resort has become the premier boarding facility in the west Michigan area offering luxury accommodations for boarding, daycare, grooming, and pet training. In 2010, Melissa launched her latest educational business, Learn2GroomDogs.com, an on-line streaming video library of educational material for all levels of professional pet grooming and styling.
Most recently, Melissa has earned the 2016 Barkleigh Honors Award for Book of the Year with the release of the second edition of Notes From the Grooming Table. Her website, Learn2GroomDogs.com also was its third consecutive Barkleigh Honors Award for Website of the Year.