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New Groomer from Iowa!

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  • New Groomer from Iowa!

    Hey everyone! I thought I should probably introduce myself. I've been hanging around reading posts on the forums and decided to register. I've been bathing dogs for a year and a half. I started grooming in May 2009. I know I still have a lot to learn, but I think I'm getting the hang of it. I love grooming poodles and bichon mixes. Hand scissoring is my specialty in the shop I work at. It's been fun reading everyone's posts and I hope to learn a lot!

    P.S. I'm going to PetQuest this year with a co-worker, hope to see some of you there!

  • #2
    Where in Iowa are you? I am in Oskaloosa, 1 hour southeast of Des Moines.


    • #3
      Makes me feel cold..

      I feel chilled just LOOKING at the state name "Iowa".

      Glad you are having fun. Welcome!


      • #4
        I'm over by Waterloo. Yeah, it's a tad chilly here. It just started to snow again.

        Some news I didn't get to post last night is... I might be getting a new job! Right now I work in a hell-hole of a store. I got an offer last night when I was helping a lady pick out some new fish. Her place sounds awesome and she'll even let me color the dogs if the customers are into it! I'm going to view her shop tomorrow around 11. Wish me luck, please?


        • #5
          So, I have a dilemma. I looked at the smaller salon. It's relaxed and looks like it could be more enjoyable than the corporate store that I work at. However, it looks like they mostly do shavedowns. By shavedowns, I mean #5, #7, and #10. There weren't many unshaved faces or poofy dogs. I really enjoy working on my scissoring and my favorite haircut that comes in is usually about 2 inches or so. It's still fairly quick since I don't always have a lot of time in the store I'm currently working at. My dilemma is.. do I stay at the corporate store where I'm miserable but doing the kind of grooms that I enjoy, or do I go to the relaxed, possibly more fun job but do more shavedowns? I might make less money at the smaller salon since they charge less and I'd be working on commission. I'm kind of split. I'm not really sure what to do. I was super excited about switching to the new salon, but I'm a bit afraid I'll find myself out of work if they don't have enough business to support me. The owner said they're usually always booked and have only two groomers right now.

          What makes this kind of unique is that I'd be bringing another groomer with me. My manager wants out as well and she's a good friend of mine. The owner said that IF we can bring some clients with us, there might be enough work for both of us. I really want to work with my manager, but I'm afraid she'll decide to drop one of us when things get slow.

          Also, if you were getting hired at a small salon, what kind of things would you ask the owner - what would you expect in a contract, etc?


          • #6

            I have never worked for a corporate but I think you might get trouble if you try to take clients with you. could you work part time at both places to see if it suits you? as far is the grooms the smaller salon does, if you are capable of hand scissoring offer it, maybe clients dont even know what it is. keep in mind, customers need to be made fully aware if they choose a longer style they will need to do more work at home and bring their pet in more often. do some research of the smaller salon, are clients satisfied, are they vet referred, what kind of equipment do they use, products, etc. ask the owner if you will be an employee or independent contractor? will you be paid hourly or by commision? what will your job duties include besides grooming, bathing, cleaning, reception? base your decision on the facts! if your not happy where your at, you might be disallusioned. the grass is not always greener on the other side. I almost took a job at a vet clinic, they advertised for a groomer, I was not quite done with school, I was very excited. my instructor advised me to do some research. turns out, they were really looking for a kennel cleanerand bather that could do back up grooming when the main groomer needed help. no thanks.


            • #7
              I understand what you mean about possibly getting in trouble if I try to take my clients with me. I would wait until I am gone from the corporate place before I contact my regulars. I will not discuss it with them in the corporate store. I'm sure some of them will continue to go to the corporate store without me just for convenience, but some of them will come with me because they like how I treat their dog. A lot of the girls I work with scream at the dogs. One yells at the dog for twitching while she trims it. My clients like that their dogs seem more relaxed when they pick them up after I groom them. The only time I get loud is if I am bitten. Then it's a sharp "No! Don't bite!" and a stern look. It usually works and then we get back to our normal groom. Unfortunately I cannot work part time both places. I am not supposed to work at any place that deals with animals other than my corporate place while I am there. It's in our contract. I was thinking of popping in for a weekend or two to get the hang of the new place. However, I'd pretty much be hired then. The owner is well aware that I would not be able to start with her until May due to contract reasons.

              I'm really hoping that if I explain to the customers some of their haircut options, I'll start getting some longer trims. For the longest time when I first started, everything was shavedowns. I've noticed over the past few months that the haircuts are getting longer and longer. I love it! Yeah, it can be a bit more work to perfect, but they look adorable! Hopefully the new salon owner will shuffle the hand scissor dogs my way and we can convert some to longer clips. Usually a two inch long haircut isn't -too- difficult to keep brushed for a month and a half. Very few of my longer haircut clients tangle up.

              I looked for reviews online and it looks like there is only one and the person was extremely happy. I don't really know how to go about asking without seeming suspicious, especially since the salon is in another town. From what I noticed of the products and equipment, they are a step down from what I'm used to. However, I am used to a corporate salon that has oodles of money to throw at equipment. What she has is adequate. I already have all of my own tools. All I need is a tub, shampoo, dryer, and table. She would provide all of that. I like the shampoo she uses, too.

              I would be working as an employee, not an independent contractor. I would work on commission. I believe I would mostly be grooming and doing some bathing of my own dogs. There is a board service as well, but I was told I did not have to deal with boarding if I didn't want to. I may help out with it for a little extra money on the weekends or so. Not sure yet.

              I -am- afraid that I'm desperate for another job because I hate mine so much. I told my boyfriend I would rather die than go to work and I'm dead serious (ha! see what I did there? Sorry.) I feel sick every day before work and I'm stressed the whole time I'm there. My managers are awful. Two of the girls I work with are terrible. They are both backstabbers. One tried to ruin my career but was caught. She was not punished. I love my customers and I love being able to help people find solutions for their pet problems, but I can't stand who I'm working for or with at the moment. I know every corporate place is different, even if its the same name in a different city. I can't move for another two years or so, though, so I'm stuck where I am. If I leave the corporate place now, I can't go back. I'll be breaking the contract. I suppose that why I'm a bit reluctant to leave. It closes the door on a possible job in the future. I don't want to go into this job thinking it will be all rosy and perfect. I'm trying to think about it logically, which is a little difficult. When I was there, I LOVED how every single dog looked happy to be there. It's a far cry from the dogs where I am now. They hang out in the kennel banks and look either bored or unhappy.

              I guess, I still don't know what to do! Maybe I -should- ask if I could work for her part time for just a few days every other week to see if I like it before I commit. I'd have to talk with my manager who is also considering leaving to see if she thinks it's wise or do-able. I really don't want to get caught and punished. So far I've lasted two years where I am and haven't been written up and I don't want to start now!


              • #8
                You sound like a good, caring groomer. I just want to caution you that you come off as someone I would be careful with hiring, were I in the position to do so. Please be careful about what you say about your place of employment. Anyone can read this.

                Good luck with whatever you choose to do! I think you have a lot of ambition and I hope it all works out well for you.


                • #9
                  Thanks, Alice. I will keep that in mind. Hopefully I'll come to a decision soon. In the meantime, I'll keep reading here and learning more. I've learned so much in the last month that I've been lurking. My grooms have improved, too! Hopefully I can bring some new tips and tricks eventually as well.


                  • #10
                    So many clients rely on the groomer for suggestions on grooming. My guess that if you went to the more relaxed environment and that gave options of longer lengths, you would find clients that would be happy to have it.

                    You will also find that clients will recommend you. I have one client that has recommended around 6 others just because she is so happy with how I groom her Bichons. So now I have plenty of Bichons to groom.

                    You have a really good attitude. If you stay too long at somewhere you are miserable you will loose your love of what you are doing.

                    Good luck with whatever you decide.
                    "The most affectionate creature in the world is a wet dog." -Ambrose Bierce


                    • #11
                      Are you going to be able to to take clients with you if this new salon is in another town. Most people don't like to travel too far. I wouldn't overly stress about it because you have until May. By then you will have a good feel about what you want to do. You never know a better job might come along before then. Good Luck