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Article by Mitzi Hicks, School Owner/Consultant

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  • Article by Mitzi Hicks, School Owner/Consultant

    Why Open a Pet Styling School?
    Article by Mitzi Parrish of Golden Paws

    The pet industry is a 36 Billion dollar industry and 30% growth was predicted every year for at least the last 6 years. This is an incredible industry on the verge of a raging tide of profitableness! The sky is the limit and no one has a corner on the market!

    I liken this current stage of our industry to the early days of the Internet. The possibilities are endless! There are no limits to what one can achieve as we all take this wonderful ride in a profession we love. Pet styling!

    Where will we find the staff to keep up with the ever increasing demand? This is the one great drawback to our profession. I have spoken with people globally as they search for qualified stylists, the question is always the same do you have a graduate that will fill the position or positions I need? Even with the best schools the need can’t be filled.

    Perhaps some of you think you can’t hire someone right out of school. To quote an industry leader, “Graduates of a good school are the ones you want to hire because you can train them to your standards and you won’t have to deal with, 'This is my way and I am going to do it my way!'”

    The profession of pet styling is really coming to the forefront, the public forefront. At one time I thought vocational licensing would never happen in my lifetime. I now think it is five years away if that. I also believe when one state gets a bill passed for licensing within 2-3 years all states will require pet groomers/stylists to be licensed.

    I know there are groomers who think licensing is a bad thing but if we get involved in the process I think we could come up with a Bill that would greatly benefit all of us as a profession. I could discuss this on and on, as could you, but that is not meant to be the subject of this article. So staying with the subject at hand, let me ask you some questions:

    (see below)
    Press Release
    Become a Golden Paws Pet Styling Academy Licensee!

    Becoming a Golden Paws Licensee is perfect for every business owner that offers pet styling. If you have high standards, care about the pet styling industry and seek to greatly increase your profits while helping people achieve their dreams of working with pets licensing a Golden Paws School is the way to accomplish your dreams and goals!

    People buy franchises because it greatly increases your odds of success. As a GP Licensee you get all the benefits of a franchise yet you remain independent with no ongoing royalties.

    Golden Paws shows you how to seamlessly develop the school into your existing business operations. You then not only greatly increase your revenues bottom line but you have a steady supply of stylists trained to your high standards.

    Golden Paws is selective in its licensing program as each licensee is a reflection on the company and all other licensees.

    As a Golden Paws Licensee you receive all systems, teaching material, instructors’ outlines, funding options, distributorships, use of the Golden Paws Trademarked Name – the benefit of name recognition as a quality school program and the use of the copyrighted “Golden Paws Instructional Manuel”! You will also receive 5 days of on-site training in all systems, The “GP Marketing Kit” and the “GP Instructional Method”.

    The Golden Paws Instructional Method was developed by Jacqueline Rauch and refined over 35 years in school operations is a proprietary teaching method. This method is proven to greatly reduce accidents or mistakes and is a step-by-step program that is designed for students to develop quality styling skills to create all breed designs and or individual customer designs. The student follows a very structured curriculum and develops most of their skills, safety and understanding of communication with the pet and then applies those skills in the lab section. The student is confident and can learn very quickly the correct styling methods.

    As a Licensee Golden Paws will develop and do most of your state licensure paperwork with your input. We even set up your record keeping and file system during training!

    We are looking to license people who sincerely care about the pet styling profession.

    If you would like a brochure or have any questions please contact us at 888-808-7297 or our email at [email protected]. You may also visit our website at

    Sincerely, Mitzi Parrish

    Let me ask you a few questions:
    Do you have an “Entrepreneurial Spirit” to be the Best?
    Do you strive to give your customers the best possible service?
    Do you enjoy challenging yourself and your employees to give the pet on your table the best possible style whether it is following an AKC breed design or a style dictated by your client’s wishes?
    Do you take pride in your salon and or kennel design and atmosphere? Is it regularly acknowledged by your clients that your place is so clean and doesn’t smell like what they may have been used to?
    Do you seek regularly to stay on top of the trends in your field, attend trade shows and read trade magazines or visit sites such as to find out the latest and greatest and have the desire to continually learn?
    Would you like to add substantial revenue to your bottom line?
    Would you like to greatly increase what you take home?
    Would you enjoy having a supply of future employees trained to your high standard?
    Would it make you feel good about training people to have great styling skills, respect for the pets in their care and contribute to the profession of pet styling by training qualified people?
    Would you enjoy helping people achieve their dreams, possibly improve their life style, and their families by becoming a pet stylist?
    Would you enjoy passing on all the experience and nuances you have learned as a pet stylist and business owner to others?
    Would you enjoy teaching more, grooming less and still having the production?
    If you have answered “Yes” to most of these questions, I would say “You would be a great candidate to have a pet styling school and be rewarded financially and feel great doing it.
    OK. Now you may not have answered every question positively, most likely the teaching-related questions. If so, it means you would hire a qualified Stylist who does have the desire to teach on a daily basis. Business owners of businesses are in many ways teachers and leaders, especially the most successful ones.

    If you are like most business owners you will absolutely want to know what are the benefits of having a school and if it makes sense how do you get started! If you are still reading this article you probably have thought of developing a school already, not just something one on one (that has its place) but a school licensed by your state education board. A state licensed school holds much more authority as far as education value, and you can teach more that one student at a time and the student benefits by being protected in attending a licensed school.

    Let me share how I came to be a school owner and a consultant assisting school owners nationwide. This will make sense at the end of the article—I promise! I started in pet styling when I was 12. My mother, Jacqueline Rauch, started out in1967 showing poodles. From there she developed her quality styling skills. She then crossed into the pet styling field. I started as her bather, dryer and brusher (I know I am a little off track but bear with me), When I started it was back when there was only the stand nozzle dryer and you brushed the coat as you moved the nozzle of the dryer by hand.

    Two things I want to mention here (trust me it will be a factor later):
    1). It took forever to dry a pet with this method (although for show and competition styling it is effective.
    2). My mother would not accept anything less than perfection each and every hair had to be board straight. Nothing less than perfection in prepping, bathing & drying, finish brushing or styling was accepted or walked out of her salon.
    **Remember this wandering will make sense later**

    The huge demand for qualified stylists continues to be the biggest headache for salon owners or for any business that offering grooming services. Finding qualified stylists that handle pets as you would can be difficult. I know there are great professional stylists who deeply care about the pets, but more often than not they go into business for themselves. So owners are in the boat wishing they could clone themselves. I have been blessed with the greatest employees in the world that have been with me 6-14 years together and each one was trained in the Golden Paws school/salon system. Each and everyone are exceptional in their department and I believe some of the finest stylists in the world.

    To wrap this up…

    Point #1
    Benefit to having a pet styling school is you are not paying a person a training wage, getting the person polished to your high standards, and one day when you are crazy booked 15-70 dogs-- they mention leaving for a new job, opening their own business or going off to see the world.

    Point #2
    Having a licensed educational school program you get paid to train your students to your high standards because you are preparing them for the job market or to open their own business – you have a ready trained supply of students of which to employ.

    Point #3
    The income you make is mostly bottom line revenue. There is no better rate of return on a investment – which I am aware of – not grooming, kennel, real estate or the stock market for long term gain year after year – and you feel good about it because you are helping people achieve their dreams to work with pets and still make a good living with open possibilities. There are the Revenue Benefits:
    1). Very small upfront investment (you most likely have all systems in place – except for some teaching supplies & material)
    2). Depending upon the workstations you can accommodate in your business square footage as to the capacity of your student capacity. This means your overhead may not change (lease, water, electric, etc), but your income increases greatly.
    3).Your students need good quality pets to learn their Bathing & Drying, Prepping and Fine Finish Skills. You already have the clientele (I know a lot of you may be saying - “My customers will never agree to someone else working on their beloved FiFi which only you are allowed to touch.”

    Trust me, and I say this with many years of experience, 9 out of 10 times with the correct response which I will share with you, not only will it be fine but you will charge the full grooming price. I never suggest student grooming discounts. If the customer is charged less they think Freddy or FiFi is getting less care and or styling and of course Freddy/FiFi deserves only the best!.

    Point #4
    One of the best reasons I believe for becoming a school is the joy of passing along your knowledge to people who deserve to learn the best in styling, pet handling and professionalism.

    Point #5
    Students need to learn the craft by applying the styling skills they learn on pets. In order to learn correctly they will be doing the majority of the physical part, while you/your instructor are instructing – for some of us who have been doing this for quite a few years this is very attractive and is a win-win for the student and instructor. The bonus is the pet gets double attention!

    These are the main benefits, but there are more.

    You may be excited and ready to go open a school or may be you decided this isn’t for you. Just like the pet styling business this option isn’t for everyone. For those who have the desire to have a school, you will make more money than any other section of your business (of course it is always what you put in as to what you get out of it) and you really feel good about helping other people achieve their dreams!

    The tasks to become a school may sound daunting but stay with me because I have the (or at least an alternative) answer at the end!

    How to Open a Pet Styling School

    1) Design Space – Is it conducive to learning? How much space do you need? How to convert from salon/kennel and insert a school – Name – Design – Logo?
    2) Catalogs, Enrollment Forms, Brochures, and Website
    3) Marketing – Where? How? When? Target Market? Free Marketing?
    4) Phone and Tour Procedures – Who? How? What to show? Curriculum? Hours of Operation?
    5) Seamless fold into existing business staff? Clients?
    6) Insurance? Accounting? State Licensing – Time to accomplish, Where to start?
    7) Financing Options for students – Where to get? Government Funding – How to find?
    8) Record Keeping System – How? What to keep for State? Organization?
    9) Instructional Guide, Progress Reports and Tests? How do I track student’s progress so they can understand?
    10) All School Operational Support Materials? Record Keeping?
    11) How do I transfer the knowledge in my head to someone who has never picked up a clipper and scissors and learning on the pets that I charge for grooming and that I deeply care about?
    12) Tool Kits? Distributorships? What to put in Tool Kits?

    Of course not every task has been listed, but I think you get an idea of the comprehensive requirements! Now I have a solution.

    1) You could spend years developing the instructional program and operational system.
    2) You could wing it, and try to get state licensed and open your doors. If someone walks-in, fine. If not, fine too. Basically you could just give the student trusting in you average training that says, “Cut it until it looks good.” You will probably end up being too busy finishing your dogs to really teach them because you are not prepared with an instructional method and plan to teach the student much more than the basics of bathing and prepping. Your reputation will be at stake as a training facility.
    3) I propose you become a Golden Paws Pet Styling Academy Licensee.

    As a Golden Paws Pet Styling Academy Licensee you get these benefits:

    1) We provide 35 years of pet styling school operational systems, materials, support, proprietary step-by-step instructional teaching book-videos, and an instructor’s daily guide.
    2) We provide answers and formats and give you the tools for success just as you will equip your students for success.
    3) You license the use of the trademarked Golden Paws Name and become part of a nationally branded proven successful pet styling school system with all the support!

    We do all the work while you keep concentrating on your business. We do most of the State Licensing work. We travel to you for 5 days of training in the instructional program and systems. We give you 35 years of successful marketing goals and what works.

    We also offer a financing plan with no interest. That is how much we believe in the program and your success. This program is only licensed to people we feel have the same value system and hard work ethics.

    Now remember when I was rambling about when I started bathing and drying for my Mother (above)?

    OK, the #1 reason: “We were raised to always try to be our best, do the best work or don’t do it at all and above all else CARE! We care about the pets, the students, the clients, our Licensees, and this wonderful profession – Pet Styling!

    If you have any questions or if you would like a more detailed brochure sent to you please contact us at 888-808-7297 or you can email us at [email protected]. We look forward to hearing from you!

    Sincerely, Mitzi