For some elusive reason, when I’m just floating smoothly down the river of life, ever so often I decide to start swimming. There is never a final conclusion, just constant research, development and expansion. A new adventure has to be dove into otherwise I truly go stir crazy. While I’m not a huge fan of change in my own little realm, I dread stagnant living even more.
Last fall was a patch of white water for me. A family member was diagnosed with cancer, every major system in my house decided to drop dead, and my car followed suit. Of course the normal stresses of work and two small children were still present as well. Gray hairs and a few facial tics were cultivated during this period. Disillusioned, disappointed and feeling quite skeptical of everything and everyone; that of course when the tide began to change.
My boss, although our relationship is not such, is one of my closest friends. We truly can complete each other’s sentences and work in an almost identical manner. However, she is the eternal optimist and likes to just go with the flow. I am the grump in the corner, using my sarcasm to give a dose of reality. An Amazon with blond hair and a short stout red head, we truly look like a groomer version of Laurel and Hardy. Our careers have been linked on and off for almost a decade. As if seeing each other daily for hours on end isn’t enough, there is normally at least one ritual nightly call.
Hence, I was not surprised that fall evening to have my phone lighting up with her name. Most likely, it was to vent about kids, husbands or work…no biggie. However, the initial words out of her mouth were completely unexpected, “Emily, I may have gone crazy.” Of course I could not resist the urge to point out that this was not a new affliction and waited for the latest bomb to be dropped. “I’m here in my kitchen making spaghetti and it came to me. We need to do a grooming show in New Orleans.” Silence on my end. Just when she suspected that I had hung up, I piped up. “You really are out of your mind. Let me just pull some abundant time and financial means out of my backside.” Knowing me all too well, she encouraged me to sleep on it and just entertain the thought for a future project.
When the master manipulator walked into work the next day, we had a name, branding concept and a list of issues to address already drafted. Well played Amazon, well played. From that point on we’ve both been bleeding gold, purple and green. Thankfully, we’re both blessed to have amazing mentors and comrades in the industry that have been there to reassure when the tsunami hit or help guide our vessel through a safe channel.
Ear calluses have formed from hours on the phone and I may have a committed relationship with tech support from several Windows or internet applications. Child labor (granted be did make them ourselves) used to its max potential. Creative and cost effective solutions pulled out from every orifice to utilize a tight first year budget to the max. We became McGyvers of how to turn bits and pieces into a working machine. And periodically, each of us took turns in the fetal position with the other chuckling and reassuring “everything will come together.”
Mardi Gras Pet Expo is only a few weeks away and it is surreal. A dream has come to fruition and both of us are in awe. On May 30th and 31st we get to host an awesome show with great speakers, fabulous vendors and exciting plans for the future. This sometimes forgotten region of groomers now has a show, and we have an outlet for our creativity and drive that can sustain us long after we are physically incapable of grooming (a thought that is reiterated with every 120lb doodle or bio warfare employing cocker). So even if you can’t make it to the Big Easy this year be sure to check out www.mardigraspetexpo.com or our Facebook page. This initial grooming celebration is going to be a great one! Kristie and I want to thank all the speakers, friends, vendors and industry icons for making this happen. You made the carnival happen!!!