One month from now I will be headed north to Michigan to teach a 2-day cat grooming workshop at Paragon School of Pet Grooming near Grand Rapids. It’s been awhile since I’ve done a workshop in the US. Upon opening the school a couple of years ago, workshops have been limited to locations outside the US. The event in Michigan is a rarity, to be sure.
This is a great opportunity for those that want to get acquainted with cat grooming or for those that want to improve upon their existing skills. During the two day event I will cover topics related to the start up and growth of a cat grooming business. The workshop will also include live grooming demonstrations and a full day of hands-on instruction for attendees that want to get messy with cat hair. Attendees also have an option to observe the hands-on instruction time rather than actually do any grooming.
In a nutshell, there is something for everyone.
If you want more information or wish to register for this event, contact Joelle at Paragon. She will get you taken care of. If you have any questions for me about what will be covered during the workshop, please send me an email. I look forward to seeing you in Michigan soon!
We showed up at APF a few weeks ago armed with our new CFMG t-shirts. All of the CFMGs who attended APF came by the booth to get their t-shirts. Throughout the weekend we saw many yellow t-shirts walking around the show hall. Really cool! One of the CFMGs had a great idea – gather as many of us as possible for a group shot. So Sunday morning, at the start of the show, we gathered whoever we could find at the moment and snapped a photo. I wish we had gotten everyone - it was an impressive group! A good looking lot, I think! The Few, the Proud, the Elite. An ever-growing army of folks from around the world who are passionate about being the best they can be and changing the world one cat at a time.
I hosted another webinar last night. We had a great turn out again, which is exciting to me – an indicator of growth in the cat grooming industry! You see, this was one of my main objectives when starting the NCGIA back in the spring of 2007. I wanted to turn cat grooming into a viable industry and that meant generating more interest from groomers themselves. The webinars remind me that we are on the right track!
We posed certain questions to the webinar registrants last night, one of which was “what would you say is the biggest challenge you face when it comes to growing a cat grooming clientele?” Many of the answers were very similar, following a common theme: getting customers to understand that their cats need to be groomed on a regular basis.
We get this. We really do! And that is why we have 3 (so far) different customer brochures available to all. Each of the brochures deals with a specific topic that is meant to educate cat owners about their cats’ grooming needs and what benefits regular professional cat grooming can provide them.
A Groomed Cat is a Happy Cat covers what causes matting and pelting and offers real, attainable solutions for prevention. This brochure also points out what problems can result from severe matting situations and makes a case for regular professional cat grooming as an alternative.
Got Hairballs? covers various issues that cats and their owners are dealing with and offers solutions for each that can be provided by a professional cat groomer. Let’s face it, just about every cat owner on the planet is living with shedding cat hair, hairballs, dandruff, matting, sharp claws, and other unpleasant effects that come with sharing life with a feline. Many just need to know that there are solutions available to them. Life with kitty CAN be different!
What is Humane? explains the difference between humane treatment of a cat and neglect that can result in severe cases of matting, pelting, and life-threatening problems. It also explains the important role of regular grooming in eliminating or reducing stress for all cats, but especially those with age or health-related issues.
Each of these are sold in packs of 50 and 100
50 Pk $19.95 100 Pk $32.95
Add your contact information to the back of each brochure and start passing them out! Disperse them to potential clients through local vet offices, other grooming salons, and other pet-related establishments. Take a few to other professionals that you patronize (your dentist, your hair stylist and nail technician, etc). Get the word out! Educate and generate new business!
You can also use these brochures to give to new clients who need an additional “nudge” to make a choice between humane care of their animal or neglect of their cat’s grooming needs. Education is the key and can make all the difference in the world.
Brochures can be ordered through our website www.nationalcatgroomers.com/shoppingcart or by calling the office at 877-302-7430 firstname.lastname@example.org
What if an initial investment of $19.95 reaps a reward of only 2 or 3 new clients. Once those clients are SOLD on you and your amazing cat grooming skills, they will come back for more. At a rate of return every 6 weeks those 2 or 3 new clients can generate 8.5 grooms per year each. I don’t know what your averages are, but based on mine, that leads to about $650 per new client annually. Times 3, that is almost $2000 per year from those 3 new clients – all from an initial investment of $19.95. I call that a great return on investment! And that doesn’t even count residual effects of referrals and more.
Truman made the news again. He has a way of doing that. It might be because he’s a totally awesome dog who does therapy work around town. But it’s probably more likely because he’s rather colorful and unique looking. Either way, I’m proud to work with this amazing dog. I LOVE watching him do his therapy work with the young, the old, and everyone in between.
From the Thursday edition of the Greenville News, Greenville, SC. By Cheryl Allen, reporter.
So yesterday I got up before the crack of dawn, hooked up my horse trailer, loaded Whit, and headed for the hills. I have been working pretty much non-stop, including a long, busy, delightful weekend in Atlanta at APF. By Monday I was exhausted…..tried to take the day off but then made the mistake of checking my email. I think the number was 146 by early afternoon.
I’m not complaining, mind you. 146 emails awaiting some kind of response means that business is very good. But I also know I need to take my own advice and “take a nap.” One of the things I tell the students on graduation day. So important. I needed a serious nap.
So for me “taking a nap” meant a leisurely ride around the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC atop my beloved Paso Fino named Whit.
It was hours before Whit and I saw another human being. It was almost as if we had the entire Biltmore paradise to ourselves….almost as if it belonged to us. I felt like maiden of the manor, out riding the grounds checking to be sure all was well. It was a nice feeling.
The weather was mild, the French Broad River calm and refreshing, and the solitude a healing balm for the mind. It was an amazing ride!
So I’m back today. Refreshed and ready to tackle the tasks at hand.
I just wanted to share some photos of the Biltmore Mansion and surrounding landscape as well as some photos I took recently of my horse. I hope you enjoy!
I’ve been insanely busy lately working on classes, programs, workshops, lectures and other teaching opportunities that focus on cat show standards as the foundation for professional cat grooming. While trying to keep up with the demand for all the teaching based on show standard, I received a comment on one of my latest blog entries telling me how insulting my beliefs on this matter are. I love the irony.
The message below was written in response to one of my recent blog entries entitled “Competition Breeds Excellence.”
The comment reads:
“you truly need to take a step back and reenter the real world. plenty and i mean THOUSANDS of groomers in just the USA alone have no need for “competition” to maintain their standards. It is insulting for you to infer anything other. MOST groomers who ive encountered do EXCEPTIONAL work without even thinking of visiting a competition or website for “education”. we are only cutting a domesticated animal’s hair. the uniqueness of the grooms by INDIVIDUAL’S and not some sanctioned breed standard or cat standard groom will forever be superior to what you espouse incessantly.”
Obviously I struck a nerve when I wrote the blog entry (which, incidentally, also appeared in an issue of NDGAA’s Groomer’s Voice newsletter).
Not long after receiving that heartfelt message I had the pleasure of helping Liz and Olivia on one of our salon groom days. We had 15 cats on the schedule that day. With only 5 hours to groom them all and the added interruption of shooting video footage for future projects, I was going to have to jump in and do some cat grooming.
I got lucky. Out of the 15 cats on the schedule, 11 were Persians (1 Himi included in that bunch). I do love me some Persians!
The Himi was getting a lion cut. Out of the remaining 10 Persians, 1 DSH, 1 Maine Coon and 2 DLHs, there were a total of 3 comb cuts. The remainder consisted of full coat grooms with some belly shaves and sanitary clips thrown in along the way. That meant a lot of bathing, blow drying and combing out of long, luxurious coats was on the agenda. My favorite!
Not a single one of these cats was or ever will be a show cat. These were all “real world” cats. The kind that lie around the house, get greasy and matted if not groomed regularly, form tight pelts around their necks when drinking from a water bowl, start to smell like a litter box after awhile, and sometimes get rather cranky about being made to do things they haven’t decided to do. Real cats. Real life.
Prior to the first visit to my salon, most of these cats were in pretty bad condition from severe matting and/or pelting. The owners cared about their felines but had believed the myths that cats groom themselves or hate water, etc. A few of these clients had taken their cats to other grooming salons only to have them end up looking worse after the groom than they did before. Or they were called to come pick up their cat early, only partially groomed, because of its temperament.
A simple groom based on show standards combined with a little education has gone a long way! The owners are empowered to care for their kitties in a way that is better for both them and their cats. Being somebody’s pet doesn’t mean they deserve something less than what is provided for a show animal. Quite the contrary! While a lion cut, comb cut, sanitary clip or any other form of shaving is certainly not a show standard groom, the FOUNDATION for each of these ought to be based on the same quality as show presentation.
As an example, this Persian arrived at our salon sorely overgrown in such a way that her beauty was hidden behind a mess of hair. After a trim and bath/blow dry based on show standards, her face and head were restored to the smooth, fluffy, round openness that the Persian breed standard calls for. Why would I want to send this cat back out my door looking like anything but show standard quality? Why would anyone want to do that? What would drive a person to be so against this way of thinking that they feel compelled to write the above message?
Cream and White female straight out of the carrier.
What happens over time……..but can be fixed!
Face trim done on half of the cats face. Roundness being restored.
After the groom.
After the groom and ready to go home.
Finish after bath/blow dry.
Pants should be purr-fectly smooth. Show style.
Even though this girl has a sanitary clip and half belly shave, the rest of the belly area is groomed as per show standard.
Whether the cat is left in full coat or shaved to some degree, the head can and should be returned to the state it is supposed to be in. And if you don’t know show breed standards then how the heck are you going to know what to do with that overgrown head? The rest of the body should match, with a coat that is soft, smooth and free of separation and kinky or wavy hair. Whether the coat is shaved or shortened in any way makes no difference. The foundation should still be the same in order to prevent a less-than-stellar finish.
Standards are a good thing! Subjectivity doesn’t always pan out real well. Maybe – maybe not. I prefer standards myself – high standards. Mercedes over Ford, if you want to put it like that. I’m rabid about this, as I’ve been told before. And if that is insulting to someone, well then so be it. I’m not going to shut up about this anytime soon, so either get with the program or quit reading my stuff.