The Difference Of A Decade – petgroomer/com/emagazine – June 2015
When is the last time you interacted with technology? This morning? A few hours ago? Perhaps you’re even reading this article on the web right now! No one can say that technology has not affected their life in the past ten years. This is most certainly true for the grooming industry. As someone who began grooming in 2005, I am intimately aware of the growth of grooming in the internet age.
When I became a pet stylist ten years ago, petgroomer.com and the Groomers Lounge were our go-to websites. I loved those sites. When I had the time, I spent hours online, day and night, gobbling up every bit of information I could. I got my feet wet on topics such as pet styles, shampoos and conditioners, clippers, blades, scissors, dryers, combs and brushes, deshedding tools and stripping knives, bathing and vac systems, tables and tubs, mobile and house call grooming, vans and trailers, wet clipping, and reverse clipping.
Members used screen names on these websites, as opposed to their true identity. Behind every screen name was a living, breathing person, interested in the same thing I was. Before I knew it, I became friends with human beings that lived on the other side of the world. Anyone remember Wet Noze? That was me! I had over 3,000 posts on petgroomer.com.
At the time, mobile phones were not online. iPads were not invented.
Then Facebook was born. The grooming world became a lot smaller. All of a sudden, we could ask a question on our newsfeed and get multiple immediate responses because now, there was internet on our phone. Facebook became so popular that grooming groups began to form and grow in leaps and bounds. For example; Holistic Cat Grooming. Amazing Grooming Salons. Nail Maintenance For Dogs. Atlanta Pet Fair 2016. Grooming Smarter. There are even continuing education and finance groups available to us. What would life be like without Asian styling and creative grooming groups on Facebook?
“Help!!!! Emergency!!! I’m a newbie. I have a hairy, matted yappadoodledandy on my grooming table!!! What should I do????” Not to worry! Facebook is all about the instant response. Groomers love to come to the rescue. “Use your Coat King! Get out the slicker brush! Time for a de-shed in the tub. Don’t forget to condition!” Within a very short time, pet stylists can a have a thread of posts with many different opinions and suggestions. Everyone works together to figure out the best solution and plan for making that yappadoodledandy look like they are ready for Westminster. Do not forget to post a before and after pic!
The sizes of some of these groups are mind-boggling. If you add up the members of the groups I am currently on, you could easily reach 35,000 people. Facebook gives groomers the opportunity to interact and have close relationships with their peers from all over the world. The bonus is, we are exposed to the latest products, techniques, tools, and pet styles. New products are arriving from overseas all the time. Combine all of that talent and smarts from other parts of the world helps keep the grooming industry fresh, exciting, and current. At the same time, we have compatriots in Australia, and all over Europe and Asia. I even have a Facebook friend, Kadi-Liis Sare in Talinn, Estonia, who I am going to visit this summer in my travels. Groomers have friends wherever they go if they are active on the Internet.
Another amazing popular resource for pet stylists in recent years is YouTube. Interested in handstripping ? Many well-known industry leaders in the grooming industry demonstrate handstripping on YouTube. FREE. You can learn just about anything on YouTube; how to make topknot and collar bows, pick up new tricks on speed grooming, learn about nail care, clipper tips, teddy bear faces, grooming aggressive or fearful dogs, breed standard trims, the list is endless.
These days every groomer can have a front row seat for many major grooming conventions, without the travel expense or having to leave the comfort of their home thanks to Barkleigh Productions and Groomer TV. Watch show demos, competition grooming, and interviews, learn about new products, and chuckle along with the MC. You can even chitchat on the newsfeed. It is always a hoot! You can be right there – in the thick of things – with all of the action when they announce who wins Best In Show, the Smock Contest, Abstract Runway, Rescue Rodeo, and Creative Grooming. You can even be a part of the Barkleigh Awards, held every September at Groom Expo in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
So here we are. It was fun taking a walk down Memory Lane. I can’t help but wonder, “What does the future hold for all of us?” I wish I had a crystal ball. No longer do we have to work in a vacuum. The internet allows groomers to get online everyday to communicate, educate, and have fun. This is a huge benefit to our human and furry clients. Everybody wins when the pet stylist never stops learning.
Ellen Ehrlich is a mobile pet stylist who loves to think, talk, read, and write about pet grooming. Next to grooming, Ellen loves to empower, motivate, and inspire other groomers to be their best. She is the author of The Successful Pet Groomer, Go Mobile And Succeed, and 49 Essays On Pet Grooming. For more information go to: www.gomobileandsucceed.com
The Difference Of A Decade – Turn to Page 26