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No more "lurking" - An introduction!! AND I NEED YOUR ADVICE!

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  • No more "lurking" - An introduction!! AND I NEED YOUR ADVICE!

    Hello everyone. I am new to this forum and thought I would introduce myself. I have owned dogs "forever", shown and trained dogs since 1978 in both CA and the east coast, and have done grooming professionally, off and on since 2003. I have done grooming ONLY in a mobile unit, in CA. Usually did only the dogs that the shops didn't want to do either because of the dog, the amount of dogs per stop, or the temperament or age of the owner. I have horses and had a very tumultous year last year with a divorce, which was also the end of a very horrible relationship. I paid off my mortgage, have no bills to speak of, except for ongoing expenses. I am needing to go back to work, but our area is HORRIBLE for groomers, and the ones here are starving, so I had thought about commuting out of the area. It would be a 100+ mile drive each way. Most of the shops I have interviewed with are looking for someone to build back up their business, so their book is "light" with clients. Some also have had frequent groomer turn-overs, so I am hesitant to start with them and then find out why the last groomer left was that the owner was too demanding. I am a real easy going person, handle animals exceptionally well, and do a good job of grooming but don't really like being in a shop where the owner demands more out of you just because you do a good job or are cooperative. After four technical interviews, with three resulting in employment offers, I am getting cold feet in even grooming in a shop again...has anyone ever experienced this??? I am beginning to wonder about my confidence. I am used to working independently, for the pet's owner and not being a multi-tasking employee... did I make any sense?? I need an understanding friend...

  • #2
    Sounds like you are rural. What about equine grooming? If not, just get your feet wet. One our two days a week to see if you like the place.


    • #3

      Wow, you have alot going on girl! Are you grooming at all right now? Have you not thought about going mobile again or is that not an option? 100 miles one way to work is ALOT. I would dread it. I guess it depends on how much you want to have that job, but that's a long drive each way. Especially considering there aren't tons of appt.'s on their books. I think it's normal to get cold feet when starting something new...To me, it doesn't mean you're doing the wrong thing. I was all nerves when I first opened my own shop...The first few months whenever I had a slow day or week, I thought...Oh no, I must be doing bad at this, why did I start this...I had tons of doubts. But I hung in there and things are so much better. You'll question yourself for sure, just try to think in balance and not do anything irrational. It sounds like you somewhat know what you want and what you can handle. You just don't have alot of options. You've had alot of experience in this area, so if I were you I would stick with it. Unless you hate it of course. Don't be afraid of what you know. Congratulations on paying off your mortgage!! Geez that's HUGE! As for the employee part...I couldn't go back to being an employee after being self-employed. I guess it depends on the person, but I don't think I could do it. I wish you the best!!!! Let me know how it works out for you...We're here when you need us.


      • #4
        Reading Milhasavilla reply sounds almost like something I would have said, or at least thought of saying. She said it so much better than I could have. lol

        Wow driving 100 miles one way to work where they don't have much on the books wouldn't even pay for your gas or your time. Plus that is a LOT of milage put on your car.

        Is there no way you can go mobile or open a shop on your own?
        "There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face."


        • #5
          Welcome to the forums!

          You sound like a very strong woman and I'm sure what ever you choose to do, you'll be successful at it.

          As I was reading your post, you gave me the feeling that you really LOVE animals. The fact that you have horses is one thing that jumped out at me. I will assume that you live in an area that supports "horsey" people and ranch/farm type services. One poster mentioned horse grooming, but I would like to take that a step farther and suggest doing a mobile/house-call grooming & canine/equine massage. There are online courses you can take or even just appretice for a "certified" (although you don't need certification) "therapist". This might set you apart from all the other groomers in your area and it would get you out and about, giving you a renewed sense of worth and independance.

          Good luck in your new endevours (what ever they may be)!!!!!



          • #6

            I've been grooming off an on for about two years now. And I have a grooming interview next week at a great little shop in Sammamish, WA. However, I live in Everett, WA. Granted its only a 30 minute drive, but at the moment I'm having to take the bus everywhere. By bus its about 2.5 hour commute, is it worth it?
            Any advice would be greatly appreciated!


            • #7
              Well, I think I did my last Technical Interview

              I went ahead and did it again...LOL. more. You are right that once you have been out on your own and had your own business it is very very hard to do it for someone else. The politicking and backbiting I saw in one day was enough for me. And doing five dogs FOR FREE (HUGE dog shavedowns, matted and puppies) did not settle right.

              I am looking into a shop that is for sale and we have been communicating for months. They know I don't have the capital until I sell some property, but are actually flying out to meet us and talk. If we can come to terms with them, my husband can transfer nearby and we'll just live in the horse trailer dressing room for awhile.

              We were also offered a job grooming out of the country. any thoughts on that out there??

              I really do enjoy grooming. I have a fabulous repoire with animals. I can get puppies to cooperate. The old dogs like me!! I handle animals with extreme kindness. I think that's worth something!!

              I enjoyed mobile because we could interact with the owner and make certain we did what they expected. Many shops do not handle pets correctly. The animals are unhappy being caged for hours. It is noisy. The "vibes" from the other groomers carry over. Etc, etc. I like the idea of a small shop just for myself and my husband and maybe another groomer that we think handles animals well.

              In the past we were able to screen and turn down animals that we felt opposed to what the owner wanted, such as German Shepherd or Golden Retriever shavedowns. We would instead educate and coach the owner into in-between care and also reduce rates if they would not shavedown the dog and stay on a schedule with us. I cannot do something I would not do to my own animal. We did a lot of pre-humane society clients where the animal was so matted they should be reported, but instead we stayed in contact with these clients and made sure that we cared for the animal so they would not get behind the eight ball again. That's the kind of groomer I am...DEFINITELY for the betterment of the animal. We also helped re-home pets for our clients and fostered some ourselves. I did Old English Sheepdog rescue and even put basic obedience on them before they were rehomed.

              I knkow the right thing will come up. I really need to own the shop. I am not in it for the fortune, but I believe that if you do what you do best, the money will the meantime, hay has doubled in price and we are stretching our budget to acocmodate. I really do appreciate any input from you.

              Anyone here have an interest in dressage or jumping? We have a very unique color on our warmbloods...chocolate silver dapple and white (four socks, blaze and tobiano markings).