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  • Honest Opinions...???

    I've a question, and appologize in advance if I didn't ask correctly.
    I am about to enroll in grooming school, years ago I worked in a human salon (privately owned and operated). I know that the independant salons ( for people) seemed to have a different "respect" than say the mall chains. I am wondering if within the grooming profession , there is a "stigma" of a "chain" being less (capable, experienced, professional etc) and should look for employment in an independent grooming salon. I ask only because I value the opinions of those in the field, and what experience has taught them. I am here to learn. Please advise....

  • #2
    I do belive there are many threads on this board regarding that, some people DO bash chain stores. Personally I feel it is not right, we really don't know, some chains may have top knotch groomers that put us to shame (many chain store groomers compete and kick butt too) and then there are some that have unskilled, lazy not trained enough employees, the same goes for private salons.
    In my area there are no chain stores but private groomers. I am the only groomer with a store front the others are home based. SOme of my customers bash the other groomers CAUSE they are based in their home...I quickly curb that by letting them know I would groom at home if it had been possible...

    I think that a chain store all depends on the staff and how it is run, there are good and the bad and the ugly and the exact same thing goes for private shops.

    When you first start, go where you can leanr the most...go where the best groomers are, the best $$$ oportunity, the place for room to grow, best run, safest. This is a career and a skill and you will want to learn and keep learning, go where they want to help you develope!

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    • #3
      The super store

      I hear bad raps on the "big "stores all the time. It may be because we are somr what threatened?? Although I do believe there groom training is very short 4 to 6 weeks and YOU CAN NOT learn how to groom in that short time frame and then (I HEARD) you will get fired if you do not go but their books=sssss of rules and regulations. If you have the ability,==learn from a pro There is sooooooo much to learn and soooo many buisness mistakes that can be made, Start out slow and learn it well.

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      • #4
        I think there can be equally talented groomers in chain stores vs private salons. However, in chain stores I think there is a strict way of doing things that may be about the most efficient way to get them in...get them done...get them out so it seems to me that the grooming is pretty basic. From what I see around me the dogs comming out of these places are all pretty much stripped. The groomers may be capable of doing really nice stylish cuts but are not allowed to take the time to do so. I could be wrong but that's my opinion.

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        • #5
          Thank You Very Much For Replying To Me...

          Being new to the forum, I have not had alot of opportunity to see if there were other threads adressing this issue.
          I appreciate very much the advice being offered and will take it to heart.
          It is interesting to me to read about the experiences of others.
          For those sharing, I am grateful.

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          • #6
            Petsomethings

            umm it depends. On route 22 in NJ they are horrible! and i think that even the shave downs come out terribly uneven (yes, i know how could this be possible!) but it is. I would never bring my dogs to petco. umm...i would want the groomer to take their time to finish a dog.

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            • #7
              I don't think that it's bad to work for a chain or a petsomething. I've owned my own shops for the last 14 yrs. Also, I tell people that say bad things about other groomers is, people mostly start dog grooming for the love of the dog. Even though they love animals it doesn't necessarily make them great groomers. Some people are real grooming artists and some are just average. Everyone is different.

              I've also seen in the 21 yrs of professional grooming a bit of a shift of why people start grooming. Back when I started and I'm sure some of the old timer groomers will agree, we really beat are bodies up and didn't have the tools and products that are on the market now. I see more and more people want to get into grooming more for the $$ and not so much for the love of animals. I think it's sad.

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              • #8
                Excuse me, are you trying to imply that groomers from petco dont have time to finish dogs? I also dont think its fair to say that all groomers from that particular petsomething are bad. I dont ever bash anyone that I dont know. I rarely bash groomers that I do know. And I NEVER bash groomers to anyone outside the privacy of my bedroom.

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                • #9
                  I worked at one of the big chains.. I would have to say as a general rule the chains do very little to push you into being a better groomer. As such, i think there are on average more average and below average groomers at those big chains. (Talking the 2 big nationwide ones) They don't charge enough for you to WANT to do a big hand scissor whatever cut and so you rarely do anything like that. It seems in my area that you get less of the clientelle who wants special cuts and you get more of the regular grooms. i.e. schauzer, cocker, etc, not bedlington, kerry blue, etc. I think in the large chains you get ripped off a bit in all the extra thing they want you to do for your 50% such as call clients, clean up, work 7-4 or 11-8 on any given day, answer phones, spend 30 minutes in the store on customer service, daily cleaning(like mirrors and windows), paperwork, etc. BUT you also get a higher chance of getting health insurance and workers comp, and they will pay for any hurt animal. It really is ALL personal preference, and it depends ALOT on the people in the particular chain next to you. Go in and talk to them, find out if they are willing to help you, cause you won't know everything when you leave school, and watch them groom a few dogs... Better yet, ask your instructor. But check out anywhere you would want to groom like this, cause you never know what your going to get behind a groomshop door.

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                  • #10
                    Before I became a groomer I took my poodle to a large chain and I can tell you I had a very good experience there. My dog always came out looking nice and clean to me with a very nice trim. He was never cut, never had a nail quicked and they always did a nice job plucking his ears. They never kept him longer then 3-4 hours.

                    Yes, the price was good, but I was more attracted to the open grooming area.
                    I felt he would be safer and more supervised.

                    Before that, I had taken him to a groomer that groomed in her garage. She was recommended by some friends. This groomer kept my dog all day and when I picked him up, I noticed at home, she took a few chunks out of his tummy with the clipper. Hadn't even cleaned it. Looked like she reached under there with the clipper to do a sanitary without even looking. On top of that, she didn't tell me. Needless to say, we never went back there.

                    So what I am saying is every situation is different.
                    www.gomobileandsucceed.com
                    http://thesuccessfulpetgroomer.com

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                    • #11
                      Pet somethings.........

                      Originally posted by Bow wow style View Post
                      I hear bad raps on the "big "stores all the time. It may be because we are somr what threatened?? Although I do believe there groom training is very short 4 to 6 weeks and YOU CAN NOT learn how to groom in that short time frame and then (I HEARD) you will get fired if you do not go but their books=sssss of rules and regulations. If you have the ability,==learn from a pro There is sooooooo much to learn and soooo many buisness mistakes that can be made, Start out slow and learn it well.
                      yes it is only 4 to 6 weeks but you need to break that out over the course of 2 years. When i originally started 8 years ago i went to school thru one of those super stores and I'm sorry they have a good draw.....They pay you an hourly rate to go to school!! You go to school for two weeks, learn the basics ( shaved downs coat types and bath and nails and such....) then you go back to the store you were hired at with a HUGE checklist of things to practice or perform. Depending on how good of a manager/mentor you have depends on how soon you go back to school for two more weeks to learn patterns and faces and heads......Again the Checklist........third time back at school you do Show cuts , breed standards, hand stripping so on so forth.....after you feel ready you ( and only you choose) decide when your ready to take your professional test. You have to test out on a sporting breed, a Non sporting breed and a terrier to become what the super stores call a professional groomer. Each segment you pass raises your commission. I'm by no means saying that 6 weeks is all they need ( or I needed) but it's not as easy as you make it sound. And YES I learned a whole heck of alot more once I left the super store and mentored more under a breeder/groomer who had 30+ years experience. But I still think it's a start someone like me needed to break into the business. As a single mother I could not have afforded to go Pay a groomer or school to teach me , I needed an income.

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                      • #12
                        Go where you can.. The chains offer benefits where as most independent ones don't. So if you really need the benefits, go to a chain.. My suggestion is to work at few different places.. Learn different techniques from different groomers. It will help you a lot...

                        Also, before I came a groomer we would bring my mom's Cockapoo to a chain. Granted he never got the haircut she asked for until I picked him up and made them re-do him. They always made him look like a Poodle.. Fluffy ears, pom on head, tail was full. She wanted everything shaved except eyebrows. They couldn't grasp that. No matter who we explained it to, or how we explained it. It doesn't mean they are bad groomers, because they did a really good job.. They just weren't listening to our instructions.. They heard that he's part Poodle and that's when their ears turned off.
                        Becky

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                        • #13
                          I know at least several very very talented groomers who went on to be professional handlers and show/pet groomers who originally worked for a chain store. Good and Bad groomers are everywhere. Having access to corporate benefits would be a great trade off for some of the less desirable things that may come along with a chain store.

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                          • #14
                            i worked for a chain for 8 yrs,and my salon was always busy you find good and bad groomer anywhere,i believe that a chain is a good place to start,i think that most of the reasons chian store grooming is bashed is because were over booked,and they seemed to care more about quantity,than quality,which was frustrating because we cared more about the quality of our grooms more,than the quantity,but yes i do believe pet,co,smart have some kick a** groomers,sometimes they just cant display there talent like they wish they could,but corporate makes it hard on you sometinmes,its frustrating
                            good luck,and congratulations
                            trish

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                            • #15
                              This is how I started out

                              Heres my story I was trained at petsomething by a master groomer me and 2 others had class for 8 hours a day for 8 weeks.Two of us finished the class one was asked to leave.this was in 1992 before they started sending them to school.We were in a class room doing freinds and shelter dogs for the first month then we started doing customers dogs.WE were well paid when the class was finished I was doing 6 dogs a day with out any help by the time I left I was doing 8 to 12 a day with out my quailty suffering I take great pride in my grooming.I enjoyed working there it was like a large family in the groom shop everyone pitched in and helped each other.We all hung out togather after work and on weekends.We were not able to except tips so there was no fighting over tips dogs the dog were split up fairly were with in a few dollars of each other.I still think of those days fondly in 2003 I left to work for a vet was there till Jan of this year then I bought a wgnt and now I'm mobile which I love.My hands aren't in the greatest shape so I no longer do sissor poodles or bichons thats the great thing about being mobile I choose what kind of dogs I want to do most of mine are once a month so there always in good condition.I would tell anyone if given the chance to be paid to learn a skill instead of paying to learn jump at the chance besides the big box store have great benifits when I left I had a month of paid vacation 401k

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