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At a crossroads

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  • At a crossroads

    Well two weekends ago I went to a Super Style Session in Miame and it has sort of took my head for a loop. It taught me a lot and motivated me to want to learn how to compete but it's also making me second guess all my grooming skills. I learned how to groom from a total hack job. But, at the time I didn't know better so before starting my own biz I took some time to re learn so thing she had taught me. My customers love me and compliment me all the time and the other ladys customers complain about her a lot. I was wondering how I can bring my skills to the next level. I want to be mentored by someone with great skills because lets face it watching a DVD is not the same as someone showing you. I am in Pinellas County FL and the only school here is all day everyday and most groomers I contacted think I am trying to take costomers when that is not the intention at all my book is full and I would like to learn competion grooming and make my existing customers even happier and be able to offer them different options for there dogs.... I guess you could say I am eager to learn just in a rut!

  • #2
    If you want to get there you will be there.

    IF you want to compete, working with somebody who has more experience but doesn't show dogs or competes will not help you.
    Competition grooming is show grooming and best people to learn from are those who are involved in showing and competing.
    To start with I would recommend you to go to dog shows. Be there early in the morning and go straight to the Purina booth or ask information desk people where you could get "Canine Cronicle" it is full color free magazine.
    Than go to grooming area, just hang out in there and watch people getting their dog ready for the ring. Do not touch anything and if you want to ask questions ask handlers if they have time to answer them or should you come back latter. I found that most people I dealt with were nice and willing to answer my questions.
    Get yourself a copy of AKC complete dog book and "K-9 Structure and terminology' by Edward M Gilbert and Thelma R Brown.
    Go to seminars held by ISCC that include Geometry in Pet Styling. ISCC hols a small but very educational Show in Dallas Texas and Pam Lauritzen has seminars across the country as well.
    Can you elaborate more what do you feel unsure about in your grooming? Scissoring? Profile?


    • #3

      You may think about contacting some breeders in the area. Explaining your situation and ask if you could come visit and watch them do some grooming. Eventually when you have built up a friendship you may ask if you could help keep the pets/ retired dogs groomed. (I wouldn't even ask about any show dogs). This is just a thought. Watch for local all-breed shows coming up, you could make contact with some folks at that next event. ( I think the Ft. Myers show is the next one in the general area, it is in mid-May.

      You are right, most groomers would be uncertain of your intentions. Another thing to remember is that it takes time to teach a person. In this business time is $$. So you may find someone but you may also be told it will cost you "xx" amount of $$.

      good luck,


      • #4
        We could talk

        I don't know if I have "great skills" or if you are already at or beyond my level, so we could talk. Since you are already running your own business, you could let me know if there are dogs you need to work on that I might be able to help you with.

        I am not a competition groomer - don't feel my scissoring is that good, nor do I have the patience or interest. However, I have groomed a long time, have lots of tips, scissor and shape fluffy AND drop coats, use thinning shears well, and have taught a lot of people and enjoy it. I feel that my best "specialties" in terms of breeds are Bichons and Shih Tzus.

        If you want to pick my brain and see if there is anything there for you - LOL - let's talk.


        • #5
          There are lots

          of people in Florida who can help you. Joan Anderson is in Coaco Beach, Julie Ostoski is in Meritt Island, Irina Pinkosavich is down south. Lindsey Berry Dicken is in Orlando. I think Deena (can't remember her last name) is in Tampa, I think..Karne Tucker is in Orlando as well. They are all (except for Julie) on Facebook. Hope this helps.


          • #6
            You may even be able to attend dogs shows...or... I know you can 'hire' more experienced groomers to either come to you-you pay them for their services and expenses from what I understand can go to them, pay for their services and your expenses, lol. I plan to do the same thing, 20 years grooming and still so much to learn!


            • #7
              Sorry it took me so long to get back on here. Been super busy with my husbands birthday and such. Thank you for the advice. Debbie I would love to maybe meet with you and get some tips!!! I will look into dogs shows I have been trying to reach someone in my area that does competition grooming but there doesn't seem to be anyone??


              • #8
                Linsey is in Orlando, Florida and someone else is moving there as well. Maybe they can help you find somebody closer.


                • #9
                  With all of the top level groomers in FL there HAS to be one close to you. Epilady listed some of the BEST above. Joan is my idol. What part of FL (townwise) are you in? I mean, even if you had to drive an hour or so. Many people also work via Email, with photos and closeups sent back and forth (I do that a lot). Lindsey and Karen are in Orlando area and Deanna is in tampa last I heard, and Joan is in Merrit Island I think.....Julie is also a great resource, as is Irina.

                  If you have a specific breed in mind you can find a breeder, otherwise for basic skills improvement, practicing on dogs to compete with will help, OR you can bring someone in for a weekend or so to helap you out. I did that for a girl and Lisa Leady does it as well.
                  <a href="" target="_blank">My Blog</a> The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. –Mark Twain


                  • #10
                    I am in Pinellas county and am willing to travel. I also contacted the Nash academy and the have week long advanced grooming class where it's one on one with an instructor and they basicaly do what you want to learn. Has anyone heard of this before I spend my money on it?? Thank you for all the advice. I am going to spend this weekend trying to find a poodle breeder to see if I can use a dog for practice.