Getting started as a dog groomer can sometimes feel daunting, lonely and downright-confusing at times, but fear not! Our content creators are here to save the day, giving you an insight into how they kickstarted their grooming career, as well as a few tips to help get you started.
How I Got Started in Grooming
I wouldn't say grooming is the most conventional path to follow, especially being the youngest of three other siblings who all went to and completed university. It is the path that was meant for me.
I started grooming when I was twenty. It would have been sooner only my mum and dad asked me to try and get my A-Levels and to give university a try just so I knew it wasn’t the path for me. (I think they were just trying to stall adulthood for as long as possible for me). So, I did all this to keep them happy. Two months into university I was gone, hated it. Then BOOM Covid hit. SO, there was another delay in my hopes of becoming a professional dog groomer.
Finally once restrictions had eased, I began my first dog grooming course and had the support of my family behind me. If you are an aspiring groomer but your family isn’t quite keen on you taking a less conventional route than most, my best piece of advice would be to give them time. Give them time to understand why the conventional route isn't always the best route. I would also propose some sort of five-year plan or even business plan to them to let them know just how serious you are about your future career.
When you finally get the go ahead here are my 3 top tips for student groomers:
- ASK THAT QUESTION! - If you are unsure about something your tutor is showing you or can't quite get your ahead around it, ask for help or ask for more explanation. No one ever improved by keeping questions to themselves.
- Stay positive - not every day is going to be the best. Some days you'll come home from perhaps a day of being taught a new breed and be disappointed because you maybe didn't do as good as a job as you thought. You will only get better with time and practice so don't get inside your own head too much and remember practice makes perfect.
- You are always learning! Finishing your course is only the first hurdle. After that the only way you are going to stand out and become the best groomer you can be is if you are constantly learning new techniques and styles. I found YouTube was great for if I ever was stuck on something and needed a quick helping hand.
Hopefully my experience in coming into the grooming world will help some of you understand that it isn't always just the case of one day deciding it’s the career for you and the next day beginning course. There were literal years between my decision that I wanted to become a groomer and doing it! If you are already a student groomer; I hope my tips help you get through your course and become the best version of you!
How I got started in grooming
I was stuck in a constant loop of retail jobs, moving from one job to another and hating most of them. I wanted to change that cycle and do something that I enjoyed. As I grew up on a farm, I’ve always loved animals and my family would always have at least one dog. Working with animals was a no brainer, and eventually I narrowed down my options to grooming.
I completed my training at Brinsbury College in Pulborough West Sussex and was lucky to land a trainee job at a local grooming salon straight out of college. While college was a great place to learn, you really need a real salon environment under the watchful eye of more experienced groomers to really learn the trade and find your own style of grooming. I was employed by the salon for three years, and after that I opened my own salon.
Here's a couple of tips to help you out:
If you can, work in an established salon before starting your own business. Getting feedback from other groomers and seeing how others groom is so invaluable. It also builds your confidence and over time you learn how to groom quicker, which in turn means that you can groom more dogs in a day.
Never stop learning! College is just the first step in your career, and attending seminars and demos is a fantastic way to pick up new techniques and find new products to try. Attending seminars is also a great way to network with other groomers. Our job can be lonely, so having someone to message about work is essential.