raise the bar on standards?
Today’s up-and-coming groomers hold themselves to
a higher standard because they have endless resources.
Back in the day, groomers had to learn solely from a book
with drawings, from a breeder on their specific breed,
from going to dog shows or from a grooming mentor. It
was often a situation where you only knew what you had
learned from one person.
Now, thanks to the World Wide Web, groomers
can learn how to groom anything, anytime, anywhere
from multiple sources with endless options. Basically,
they can check their facts. If five of the top Glen of
Imaal terrier breeders, groomers and handlers have information online about how to groom them properly,
then a groomer can combine and compare information
and get a much better picture of the breed profile and
what is required. They can even do the work and then
ask a mentor in Ireland to critique their work. This was
simply unheard of 20 years ago.
There has been a great deal of discussion about the possibility
of imposed regulatory oversight over the grooming industry.
What would you like to see happen in respect to this over the
next few years?
Evans: The whole idea of regulatory oversight is a mystery
to me. I have many thoughts—some for, some against. I
am focusing on being prepared either way. I make sure
to run a clean and healthy business for my clients and
my employees. I make sure that my employees and I are
certified and informed. I appreciate the work that is being
done by the World Pet Association (WPA) and others to
stay apprised of regulatory activities around the U.S. It is
a huge comfort to know that if legislation crops up in my
area, I have resources for help in navigating the situation.
Michell Evans is a multi-Best in Show and Best All Around
winning groomer. She was a Groom Team USA member from
2009 to 2013. She was a member of the hand stripping Silver
Medal Winning team in Belgium in 2011 and the Gold Medal
Winning team in Spain in 2013. Her business The Grooming
Tutor, based in Lake Oswego, Ore., has been educating groomers since 2000.
Mary Oquendo, certified Master
Pet Tech Instructor and owner of
Pawsitively Pretty Mobile Grooming
Salon in Danbury, Conn., shares her
thoughts on the challenges and
upsides of mobile pet grooming.
SPEAKING UP What are the biggest upsides to taking your grooming busi-
ness on the road?
Mary Oquendo: An upside is flexibility. We don’t have to be
in a facility at specific hours. This can be really important
for accommodating children’s schedules and medical
appointments. My biggest upside is having lunch at any
of the various lakes and trails that litter my area.
What are the biggest challenges that mobile groomers face?
Oquendo: The biggest challenge is weather. In the Northeast, it’s snow. In other parts of the country, it could be
hurricanes or heat.
What are your top three tips for aspiring mobile groomers?
Oquendo: As we do not need the clientele shops do, we
can niche ourselves. Groom what makes you happy and
then market to that group only. Network with other mobiles in your area. Do not offer any form of discount, and
FIND YOUR NICHE AND PRICE ACCORDINGLY,
SUGGESTS GROOMER MARY OQUENDO.
Mary Oquendo is a certified Master Pet Tech Instructor, co-owner of
Hands and Paws—Reiki for All in New Milford, Conn., instructor
at Pawsitive Educational Training in Danbury, Conn., and owner
of Pawsitively Pretty Mobile Grooming Salon in Danbury, Conn.
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