Deck the Halls part 2


The tree! It is a fixture at my shop and clients ask every year if I am going to put it up again. I have ALWAYS had toys or treats hanging from the tree, not ornaments. Safety first right?

I give a toy or a treat to every dog in December that gets groomed. I buy them all year, as I go through about 400-500 every year. Buying them as I find them helps eliminate the "OMG I just spent HOW MUCH?" feeling I would get if I bought them all at once. I try to spend $1 or less ON AVERAGE per toy, so its really not that bad. If I pay $2-3 for toys then the treat bags will "dilute it" to the $1 per pet I strive for. I also have some T-Shirts this year in small and medium sizes for dogs that don't like toys.

Treat bags contain a rawhide candy cane (I buy them in bulk) and pupcorn or bisquits that are corn and gluten free. My clients love them. Be careful buying rawhide treats that are NOT made in the USA. I might skip them if I could not find them made here with all the issues regarding Chinese treats in the recent news reports. The place I bought mine is showing "out of stock" so I cannot refer you to that site. has them available and they say they are: Made from 1st grade quality rawhide, no preservatives added, no harmful chemicals used in the manufacturing process, FDA approved, high in protein, digestible. Imported from reputable manufacturers we have personally visited and approved! I know I have never had an issue with items purchased from them and many of their items, including ears, are Made in the USA. 

We redecorate the tree as needed, the closer to Christmas we get the more toys we have to rehang. I always eep back some toys for the weekly clients or bi-weekly on es that come the week of CHristmas for their holiday "do". 

I use LED lights and as we get low on toys I add treat bags and bows. NOTHING that can be damaged by a dog.

I decorate under the tree as well and use packaged boxes or plastic decorations in case a dog has an "accident". WOuld not want my Santas to get christened, so we keep them to the back. 

My gift tree is a gesture of thanks for their my clients continuing patronage that I feel more than pays me back every year in tips and gratitude. 

I love doing it and my clients love that we do it! 

Next up the Bow Board!


Recycle, Re-use, Re-purpose

I found this story on FaceBook where a friend had posted it. Easy Organized Tote It is a terrific idea and with a few tweaks it can e used in a grooming shop or dressed up quite a bit for any location.

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What I would do for a grooming tote made like this, so you can carry shears and tall combs as well as other tools you may need, is to use 4 tall cans, like asparagus comes in, and use them on all four corners of the carrier, using smaller or shorter cans in the middle. Put some shelf and drawer liner in the bottom of the cans with some foam underneath it to protect the tips of the shears, and there you have a neat way to carry your tools if you are house-call, mobile or doing an in-home visit at your own home! By using the taller cans on the outside four you create stability. Many of the craft stores have decorative handles you can buy for purses and they would also be something you can add to make the carrier yours. You can decorate the cans after painting them with many things. textured paints, stickers that you then varnish over to protect them, buttons glued on, fabric wrapped and glued and anything else you can think of. Make them sparkle and make them yours.

These types of carriers can be used to hold many things but we are always looking for something to hold, organize and carry our grooming tools and this is a way to do that with creativity and personalization.


There are may other things we use daily that have been re-purposed. I use gum packages to put rubber bands in, and little gift boxes to store things at my station. The box pictured was a gift from a client and it had small samples of soap and lotions in it. Needless to say the box is here long after the other th ings went bye bye. 


This container that holds my fanciest bows one time had Chocolate truffle candy in it. 


This seasonal decorative basket works great as a tip "jar". It is also non-breakable unlike my last jar. 

People have been very creative in the ways they use household furniture in the their grooming salons. I use this antique dresser to hod my extra blades, tools I only use sometimes, shear cases and anything else that needs to be within arms reach but not out in the open.

I have seen people use this type of old chest of drawers to make a table to groom on. Its really simple to do. You place a yoga mat on the top of the table (you can secure it with adhesive or double sided tape) and use the lip of the top to attach an arm to. If the lip is not quite deep enough you can attach a piece of wood to it and make it work. The advantages to this are numerous but include the ability to store equipment in the drawers. Usually at Yard Sales and Flea Markets this type of dresser is available or under $50. I you like to work with a mirror this is perfect as most dressers come with mirrors or at least the ability to attach one. They can also be painted easily to match the decor of the shop. In shops where space is limited this is a fantastic way to save space and money.



Medicine cabinets make for great work station storage solutions as well and come in many styles, sizes and colors. I put acrylic shear holdersm on the front f my abinet and hoos on the sides to hang cclippers and combs on when not in use. I have been using these cabinets for over 7 years now. The doors keep the things inside clean and out of sight.


Tubs can be Re-purppoosed as well and a sink cabinet makes the perfect base to hold it. Oftentimes you can approach a contractor that oes renovations and get a tub or shower stall that was b eing thrown away for nothing or very little money. Cabinets too.

Cabinets ca also be used as drying stations or tables to groom as, just like a dresser can. the counter top can be left long enough to use the overhang for the arm and you have an easy fast table that will be useful in other ways as well.

What do YOU have in your salon that you use for something other than what it was designed for?