Groomer Education: One of the most exciting trends in my lens is the rapid growth of educational opportunities for groomers. Beginning groomers have more choices than ever before. They can attend a school, buy books, learn from the experts on DVDs, see grooming on YouTube, join others in a webinar, or enjoy the thrill of a trade show. I believe the expansion of Internet based education, and the de-centralization of extended education, with smaller, regional events is the wave of the future.
Ingredient Disclosure: Less encouraging is the issue of the disclosure of ingredients in our products. While on the surface there appears to be more information on labels and in marketing materials, many of these listings are “faux” lists. On closer inspection these ingredient lists are often more descriptive of ingredients and avoid actual identification of ingredients. Manufacturers are responding to consumer demand for more ingredient information, but many are dodging and dancing around the issue.
Grooming Styles: In terms of styling, the growing interest in Asian Fusion styling is very exciting and drives the point that many groomers are interested in grooming outside the box of breed profile styles and are looking for inspiration in creating adorable pet trims.
On a personal note: I am very blessed to be in my fifth decade in this industry. When I began as a bather in 1971, education beyond mentorship was practically non-existent. We had only two or three lines of products from which to choose. There were no pet conditioners, you had to use human stuff. There was no networking amongst groomers. Products were obtained from independent distributors who traveled a region and dropped in once a month. There were no catalogues! There were no forced air dryers! Look at us now: there's almost too much stuff; the problem has gone from no choices to too many choices. I am grateful to be able to play a role in the growth and evolution of the pet grooming industry; I continue to be inspired by the voices and accomplishments of my peers, and it continues to fuel my passion to participate and offer my own humble contribution. Rock on, Groomers!