An Interview on Life and Successful Dog Grooming

Interview with a Dog Groomer

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 business (Sydney is a dog groomer), check out the interview we had. Maybe you’ll get some inspiration to go ahead and jump into your dream!

Interview on Life and Successful Dog Grooming

An Interview on Life and Successful Dog Grooming with Sydney:

1. Tell us a little bit about what you do.

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.

An Interview on Life and Successful Dog Grooming
Sydney with one of her favorite clients!

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:

And if you want to learn more about Sydney and her dog grooming business visit her website; www.KliseDogTraining.com or just stop by her shop in Johnston, IA!

Interview on Life and Successful Dog Grooming

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