Groomer’s Know Best, or Do They?

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Deana Mazurkiewicz IGMS, NCMG  |  Owner/Founder of  Intellectual Groomers Association, Inc  |  7810 Gall Blvd, #177 Zephyrhills, Fl 33541 813-944-0446  |  www.intgroomer.com 

I wanted to open a discussion some may not like. I’ve seen others post about this before. I completely hate cyber bullying, especially if its kids, but it’s no better when its adults in any form. Even if you don’t personally like the individual, it’s not ok.

So here’s my “beef”. I can’t stand when Groomers attack other Groomer’s Grooming.

I’ve seen it before where a very green or newer Groomer doesn’t execute a cut correctly, maybe they’ve used a blade that’s very short on a pattern, hula skirts etc.

I think it’s important for everyone to know that as a groomer, at some point, you were that groomer to some extent. You may have just gotten out of school, maybe you taught yourself, or maybe someone who didn’t know any better taught you that way. Maybe you didn’t groom to the extent I have mentioned, but no one picks up scissors and grooms amazing from day one.

I’ve told Groomers who have asked me through the years, “How long was it before you were comfortable grooming?” or “How long before you were so fast?”

In responding to those questions I remember that I didn’t feel comfortable with certain breeds until I had groomed 5 to 7 years. I’m not saying I had complaints or that customers didn’t like their dogs, but I’m saying my own insecurities made me think, and told me I should do better, and keep learning about certain breeds until I felt confident.

Now these days were long before social media, Facebook, MySpace even the Internet. My goals were to make it to as many shows as possible, making sure I had a front row seat for every seminar I chose to attend. I was that annoying groomer that raised her hand 100 times and asked a million different questions, and then took all that knowledge and tried to make myself better.

So I consistently educated myself, I stayed up on new trends, purchased all the new products, bought every shiny new tool, and passed the knowledge I had down to those who are younger and newer then I.

I never put myself on a pedestal, and never made anyone feel I was better than them, and if I ever did it certainly was not intentional.

So here’s my problem. I cannot stand when someone posts a picture of their groom, being particularly happy with their effort, you have no idea how long they’ve been grooming, tears their grooming efforts apart. They may be simply asking for a critique or they’re just sharing because they’re happy what they accomplished that day, so they posted it on their business page or their private Facebook page.

Most everybody knows I keep a business page on Facebook, aside from my regular website. The grooms I post on a daily basis are pet dogs. They are my client’s dogs who are loved more than life itself. They feel proud to bring them to me. They’re happy when they come in, they’re happy when they pick them up and they love whatever I done.

Does that mean I’m the world’s best groomer? Of course not!

It means when someone comes to me with their dog and gives me instruction, I follow them. It doesn’t matter if it’s to shave a dog that’s not matted from nose to the end of its tail. It’s because that’s what their family likes. They may want me to leave a silly top knot on a cocker spaniel, or even the Westie that I groomed in a modified poodle Dutch Clip for the last 18 1/2 years, until she passed away. If it’s what the client wants, it’s the haircut I’m going to give their dog.

So what’s the problem with that? Absolutely nothing! I groom pet dogs. I make my pet dog’s owners happy, by doing sometimes silly haircuts on their dogs. Remember it’s their pet, not mine.

The problem comes in when another Groomer wants to criticize the work done because it’s incorrect according to them, but not the owner. The answer to that is it’s what the client asked be done.

It may be incorrect to the breed standard. In my case I Groom pet dogs maybe 75% of the time not based on breed standard. I’m going to restate that I groom pet dogs. I show pet dogs on my business page. When I do groom someone’s dog for a show, I don’t post that on my business page. I don’t need it for advertising because I don’t personally take new clients, and I don’t need it at this point in my career to make me feel important, and I also don’t need to post them to make my clients feel like they have less important dogs.

So the purpose of my post is to make all of you feel better about the pet dogs that you groom on a daily basis. No one has attacked me on my business page and said anything inappropriate about someone’s pet, if it were to happen it would be deleted immediately. However, someone did feel the need to bully me in a way, by saying that I only know how to do shave downs, that my poodle topknots are too short, and I have nothing to show.

I actually thought the comment was pretty hilarious. My first thought was that I do do a lot of shave downs, absolutely I do! I live in Florida, where it’s hot and about 75% of my clientele keep their dogs very short. I’ve been grooming 25 years, the majority of my clients are on pet two or three with me, which if you do the math, lets you know the majority of my clients are over the age of 55. That majority of clientele wants the least amount of work to do at home for the upkeep of their pet dogs.

Another percent of my client’s get cute scissored attachment haircuts. The few hand strips, and the occasional show dogs are sometimes posted on my page.

My client’s cute little attachment dogs get scissored when requested.  Some want their dog’s ears short so they don’t get into the water bowl. I do very short topknots because they don’t want their hair to fall into their eyes in a matter of weeks. They may ask for supertight feet because their dog drags its feet in the dirt. The requests are endless. My point is to stop judging how other people are grooming. I didn’t become a master Groomer doing things incorrectly, I have plenty of pictures, and trophies, and ribbons and plaques, but I don’t have any need to show them. Those were awarded to me and nobody else.

Embrace your industry, make friends, socialize, learn, and do what your mother told you in kindergarten….BE NICE, make friends, and treat them the way you want to be treated.

 

Happy Grooming!

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