With the S.U.V. full and a trailer in tow, I set out on the All American road trip. By the end of the journey, I had traveled more than 2,000 miles with many incredible stops along the way. My mission was to visit two of the leading grooming schools in the country before finally landing in Wheeling, Illinois to attend the All American Grooming Show. What a fantastic journey it was!
The first stop was the Pennsylvania Academy of Pet Grooming located in Indiana, Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania landscape is just beautiful out there and I love the tree covered mountains you can see along the way. I was welcomed by Angie and Marlene Romani, their son Doug and their many students. The school facility is top notch! I also toured the warehouse where the Romani Clipper Vac is built.
The students were very interested in learning more about the Groomers Helper and how they could benefit from its use. Unlike demonstrating the Groomers Helper at a trade show, I was able to use a live dog - a beautiful standard poodle. The demonstration was a success and now students at the Pennsylvania Academy can enjoy the benefits of using Groomers Helper. Can you imagine how quickly the average dog will be groomed using both the Groomers Helper and the Clipper Vac? Visit their web site at www.mdcromani.com
I made a pit stop in Vienna, Ohio where I visited the offices of Gibson Governor and my good friends Bob Thompson and Jerry Dubos. After a tour of their offices, we shared lunch together and swapped stories. It is good to know that people like Bob and Jerry are providing insurance to the grooming community. They really care about their clients. Visit www.gibgov.com
The next stop was Jenison, Michigan, and a visit to the Paragon School of Pet Grooming. As some of you may know, the school was closed because of an old law that did not allow students to work on dogs belonging to paying customers. During the time the school was closed, Melissa Verplank and her wonderful staff created a series of training DVDs that are available through their web site. These videos are setting a new standard for training materials. Melissa is already well known for her book Notes From The Grooming Table and thousands of groomers have already benefited from her experience.
I attended their re-grand opening where current students, alumni and prospective students gathered together. They were treated to wine and cheese and a tour of the newly renovated facility. I was very impressed with the layout, including the computer room where students will do their book work and study the new video training materials.
I demonstrated the Groomers Helper throughout the evening with help from Mark LeFleur, the training supervisor and a certified master groomer. By using the Groomers Helper, students feel empowered. Their two biggest fears are being hurt by the dog they are grooming and hurting the dog itself. Groomers Helper eliminates these problems and gives them confidence to get the job done. Visit www.paragonpetschool.com
The last stop on the road trip was the All American Grooming Show in Wheeling, Illinois. What a great show it was! Not only did I demonstrate the Groomers Helper to hundreds of groomers, I also presented my SAGE Advice seminar. It is always a pleasure to share my experience with new groomers and teach them how to make more money.
But the highlight of the busy weekend was co-hosting the Creative Abstract Runway competition. An incredible group of groomers turned out to participate and compete for the top prize. My co-host was Huber Pineda, this year’s Groomer of the Year according to Groomer Has It and Animal Planet. He is a wonderful man who has a lot of heart! The entries were all phenomenal! I look forward to watching this creative competition continue to grow.
My final duty at the show – in addition to packing the truck for the return trip – was being the auctioneer for the GroomTeam USA auction. According to Teresa Dreese of GroomTeam USA, we managed to raise $3000 for the team! www.groomteamusa.com
What a wonderful trip with so many wonderful people along the way. Thanks to everyone who welcomed me and special thanks to Marlene Romani for the awesome dinner she cooked! One of the reasons I love the grooming industry is because of the many fine people who are part of it. I will be on the road again in September for the Groom Expo in Hershey. See you soon!