I sat down with my friend and fellow dreamer, Sydney, to ask her about her journey. She owns and operates a 6-figure business before turning 30, which I think is an AMAZING accomplishment. So I wanted to learn more about how and why she did it.
If you’re interested in starting a dog grooming business (Sydney is a dog groomer), check out the interview below. Maybe you’ll get some inspiration to go ahead and jump into your dream!
An Interview on Life and Successful Dog Grooming with Sydney:
1. Tell us about you and your dog grooming business.
I am a professional dog groomer who also owns her own shop. I opened shop in 2010, and have been running it for about 8 years. Dog grooming is just as it sounds. I see my clients every 2-8 weeks but its not all playing with puppies every day. There’s a lot of hard work that I put into running a business, too.
2. What kind of connection do you have with the owners and their dogs?
I always tell owners that your groomer is your best friend because we do a complete check of their dog a lot more often than their vet, whom they see once a year. I tend to get to know the dogs’ personalities, health issues, and their owners very well.
In fact, I have sent many dogs to the vet with something that I have discovered while grooming. We have even saved a few dogs’ lives by telling them to check something out that turned out to be cancer. Luckily, we caught it in time!
3. What made you choose dog grooming as a profession?
I actually kinda fell into this. After 3.5 years of college, I just couldn’t take it. So I left school and went to work at a kennel and did all kinds of jobs there, including some dog grooming.
I fell in love with grooming and decided to give it a shot. After completing a 4 month training from a Wisconsin trade school, I opened my shop. Never in a million years did I think this would become such a successful company but here we are!
4. Did you work for someone before stepping out on your own?
I did work for a gal for about 3 months as a groomer and I studied business in college. I knew enough to be dangerous but luckily I grew up in the information age and found everything else I needed to know about opening a business online.
5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
KISS, Keep it simple, stupid. I have really used this philosophy in my whole life and particularly with my business. When I communicate with clients, I use simple, straightforward sentences and avoid any fancy dog grooming jargon. I try to do this with my life too but we all know life is a little messy. 😉
6. Throughout this process, what’s the #1 thing you’ve learned?
The number one thing I have learned is how to have a tough skin. I was very soft-hearted in the beginning. When things wouldn’t go as planned at work, I would take them really hard. Now that I have grown older, I have a better grip on the saying “Its not personal, its business”.
7. What’s your favorite part of your job?
I think my favorite part of my dog grooming is being able to know all of the different personalities of the dogs and clients. I have had some really special dogs and clients. When I made the choice to leave my boyfriend last fall, a client heard about it and brought me a care package of wine, bath bombs and spa kit. The clients and dogs have become more like my extended family. I love hearing about all of their trips, wedding, and moves. 🙂
8. If someone’s reading this that wants to start their own dog grooming business, where would you recommend they start?
I would say if you want to start dog grooming, start as a grooming assistant or bather at a nearby shop. This will give you a good idea of what kind of work is in store for you. I used to work by myself, so I did all the jobs. Now I have 3 other employees to help with the dirty work but some days I have to do it all. It’s important to understand this job from the bottom up. Then if you do enjoy it, either find a dog groomer who is willing to train you or go to a specialized school.
Remember: You are only as good as the person who taught you. If you have a sloppy teacher, your work will be sloppy. Also always continue to learn, go to conferences and read. Dog grooming is an amazingly rewarding job.
This was such a fun interview, because I love spotlighting and supporting my friends! I hope you’ve found Sydney’s tips and information to be helpful. If you want to jump into your own business, check out these articles to encourage you: