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  • Grooming in Alaska?

    My folks are very possibly moving to Anchorage for work. I was wondering what the grooming market is like. Any demand for groomers?

    I'm still unsure if I can leave the toasty south for the frosty north. Any insight would be appreciated!
    That Tenacious Terrier!
    www.thattenaciousterrier.com
    https://www.facebook.com/ThatTenaciousTerrier

  • #2
    Well, having lived there myself, I can tell you, it IS cold in the winter, lol. But you get used to it. You get used to the long summer daylight nights. You get used to the darker nights in the winter. It's a BEAUTIFUL state, like NO other. I long to go back there sometimes. My home is here in Utah, however, so I will stay here.

    But if I could have another home...

    My mother lives up there now and has lived up there for nearly 30 years total (she's lived in Washington and Idaho in between some of those years).

    Anyway, they DO have a need for groomers up there, as this thread will attest to that:

    http://www.petgroomerforums.com/chat...ght=good+money

    Yes, my mother cannot find a groomer in her area. Surely there are groomers in Anchorage, plenty I'm sure, but I can't say how good they are. I can venture to guess that there is still a need, especially for talented ones. If you move to the Wasilla/Palmer area (outside Anchorage), LET ME KNOW! My mom is desperate for a good groomer who has a CLEAN shop!

    Tammy in Utah
    Groomers Helper Affiliate

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    • #3
      Can you groom a YORKIE? LOLOLOL If so we have a client for ya! Well, if tammy's mom lives in Anchorage that is. It does seem that based on my experiences with Dana and from what Tammy has said that there is a need for good groomers in Alaska. Dana was turning people away cause she could do no more dogs and Tammy's mom cant find anyone to do her dog halfway decently..well, except Trailbound that is.
      <a href="http://www.groomwise.typepad.com/grooming_smarter" 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

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      • #4
        Furrondie is the member closest to Anchorage, so I would ask her. As far as living in AK, I agree with Spikey, it is like no where else and oh so beautiful. Winters are cold but if you live in Anchorage, it wont be as bad as Fairbanks.. you dont even have to plug in your car. They complain when they get zero degrees lol! When fairbanks avgs -30 in the winter and -50 to -60 during the coldest months. If you've lived in the northern continental us, you'll be fine. If you like doing outdoorsie stuff then you may like it up there. Summers are wonderful and avg 80 to 90, VERY beautiful and green. May need some black out curtains or some eye cover lol for summer. And some wussies need happy lights during the winter.. I LOVE the darkness of the winters lol.

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        • #5
          Yes, I saw the Yorkie thread and I'm terribly sorry! I'm pretty sure I can beat that... yeah I think so. Did Trailbound groom the pup before? I saw a yorkie on her website that looked like the kiddo (if so, it looked great).

          Anyway I can find out what groomers are making in any region of Alaska? The housing costs are scaring me! Anyone with insight into the real numbers, PM me.
          That Tenacious Terrier!
          www.thattenaciousterrier.com
          https://www.facebook.com/ThatTenaciousTerrier

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Canopener Sally View Post
            Yes, I saw the Yorkie thread and I'm terribly sorry! I'm pretty sure I can beat that... yeah I think so. Did Trailbound groom the pup before? I saw a yorkie on her website that looked like the kiddo (if so, it looked great).

            Anyway I can find out what groomers are making in any region of Alaska? The housing costs are scaring me! Anyone with insight into the real numbers, PM me.
            That yorkie groom was $50, but average is $45 to $50. Hope I don't get busted for this, lol.
            Groomers Helper Affiliate

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            • #7
              I guess it depends on where you are but that's not far off from what I charge here in TN. My house, if it were in Anchorage would be 2.5-3 times the price it is here. How do people do it?! Seems like people would charge much more.
              That Tenacious Terrier!
              www.thattenaciousterrier.com
              https://www.facebook.com/ThatTenaciousTerrier

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              • #8
                Stephen has made a way for groomers to see how much others are charging, but, I dunno what it is.
                "We are all ignorant--we merely have different areas of specialization."~Anonymous
                People, PLEASE..It's ONLY a website!~Me

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                • #9
                  Dayna was charging WAY more than that when I was visiting her.
                  <a href="http://www.groomwise.typepad.com/grooming_smarter" 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

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Canopener Sally View Post
                    I guess it depends on where you are but that's not far off from what I charge here in TN. My house, if it were in Anchorage would be 2.5-3 times the price it is here. How do people do it?! Seems like people would charge much more.
                    Prices in Anchorage MIGHT be much higher. It's hard to say. The cost of living up there is sky high---but it's doable. My mom worked up there, single mother, and we survived, but that was back in the late 80's. Things may have changed.

                    Tammy in Utah
                    Groomers Helper Affiliate

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Particentral View Post
                      Dayna was charging WAY more than that when I was visiting her.
                      Well, that is promising. I'll have to PM her.
                      That Tenacious Terrier!
                      www.thattenaciousterrier.com
                      https://www.facebook.com/ThatTenaciousTerrier

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                      • #12
                        Defending some Alaskan Groomers

                        I have not been on the list most of the summer. Been busy getting things done to the house that needed finishing. So very little computer time.
                        Alaska is one of the most beautiful states in the union! I was born in MN, raised in Houston, Texas and moved to Alaska after high school, 1980. I love this place for it's beauty, wildness, wonderful people, lack of bugs and snakes and heat. Prices have dropped alot since WalMart came up here a decade or so ago. We now also have a Target, Kohls and Petco. Prices may seem a little high compared to the lower 48, but for the most part, not bad. Housing maybe higher, but don't have anything to compare it to. I am not sure how many groomers are in Anchorage since have not lived there since 1990. I have heard there are good ones and not so good. I am sure just like any other city.
                        As for the Matanuska Valley, which has two major towns, Palmer and Wasilla, there are 14 grooming shops and today I saw a mobile groomer that comes out from Anchorage. I don't know how many of the shops that Spikey's mother has gone to, but I think it would be unfair to say that she has tried ALL the groomers in the area with that many to choose from. I do know that she has NOT come to the shop I work at for a groom. I have not met her either at the shop, but I do remember one person came to the shop late last year and asked to use the bathroom. My boss told me about it as I was not working that day. She said the lady came out of the bathroom and said the bathroom was dirty. Now, if this is Spikey's mom and she has not brought her dog to our shop because she felt the bathroom was dirty, then I guess we have to apologize if it was not up to her standards. The building is 40 years old. The bathroom has one single light over the sink. The water heater, water conditioner, and pressure tank are located in the bathroom as there is no basement or crawl space in here. The bathroom is a long, skinny room so it gives the impression of dark and spooky. Open pipes are above the ceiling as that is what heats the building, upstairs and our shop. It is hot and damp in the bathroom. It is in the very back, not intended for clients, but for the staff. The sink is a laundry tub which we use if the only other two regular tubs are being used. So if a groomer had bathed a small dog in the laundry tub, left the hair on the side of the tub, threw it towards the basket and missed or various other things that would make this dark, dingy, hot room look dirty also. And since this lady used the bathroom in the early afternoon, it had obviously not been cleaned as it is at the end of each day.
                        My boss has done her best with the shop that she can afford to do. Yes, it needs new vinyl flooring in the back grooming area, yes, one tub could stand to be replaced (the other was replaced early this year) and we sure wish it had air conditioning as it gets hot as he!! in there when grooming. The front lobby has newer flooring, all the walls, front lobby and the grooming area has been painted, new windows put in a few years ago. But, she sure can't afford to do major remodeling since we would have to close down for a length of time which the groomers and her can't afford to be without pay for that long. So we manage and try to keep things as clean and spruced up as we can. We have clients that have been coming to us for the 20 years she has been there. We have clients that have tried other groomers in town and have come back to us, not happy with their grooms they recieved at the others. Our prices are fair for the area, we are definately not the lowest, but we are also not the most expensive. The shop has been voted year after year as the most favorite in the valley. I am sure if we were the dirtiest shop, had the worst groomers and the most expensive prices, I don't think we would have been voted by the clients as the best/favorite in the area.
                        Oh, and don't forget, in the winter up here, we have lots of snow, freezing/ thawing in our area. So we have to have the parking lot sanded alot during the winter. So guess what dogs drag in on their feet when they come into our shop in the winter. Sand. Which then makes the front look dirty. We can't stop every time someone comes in and run out front and mop the floor. We do sweep and mop several times during the day.
                        This is not intended to offend anyone. But having come back and started reading the list again now that things have slowed down and I have a little time, I was sad to see such negative comments about the grooming/shops in our area of Alaska. So I felt I had to defend a little and point out that not all is as it seems to have been painted. As for the groom Spikey's mothers Yorkie received, yes, I would agree it was not at all what she asked for and definatley not what she had been getting from Trailbound. But to critizise all the area's groomers, I really don't think that is fair.
                        As for someone new coming up here to groom, as always, we in Alaska welcome new comers and are happy to have you. Don't be afraid to come up and start working up here, since one thing we have plenty of up here is dogs!
                        And one more thing, here is a link to a page from famous musher, Martin Buser, multiple time winner of the Iditarod, who brought eight of his sled dogs to our shop for grooming before a trip to Seattle for a parade. He posted his thanks on his website with some pictures. http://www.buserdog.com/2009_07_01_archive.html
                        The last picture shows the old tub that has been replaced after this picture. That tub was over a decade old and was cracked on the bottom. It had been temporarily held together with duct tape, which when came off, left sticky residue which grabbed hair and stuff. So it looks filthy dirty there before being replaced.

                        Thanks for reading.
                        Furrondie
                        Julie

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                        • #13
                          OT

                          The link was great Julie! Martin is and always has been my all time mushing hero! Your shop was sooooooo lucky!
                          Often it's not what you say, but how you say it.

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                          • #14
                            Nicely put Julie! Nice of you to join us.. finally *wink* lol!

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                            • #15
                              I thought this thread was about something I heard on the radio the other day. One of those "Stupid Laws" that are on the books but no one is sure why- dog grooming is technically illegal in Juneau, Alaska. I had to research this one. Of course, there are grooming establishments there- but the lae states that you:

                              Can’t take your dogs into a barber shop of a beauty salon even if they cater to dogs.


                              36.25.010 Prohibited; responsibility of animal owner.

                              No owner of any animal or person having control of any animal shall allow such animal to enter upon any public premises where food for human consumption is sold, processed stored or consumed or to enter into any barber shops or establishments for the practice of hairdressing or beauty culture.

                              Weird.

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