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December 2008

November 2008

Holism, Naturalism, Inclusive Care...




The following is an excerpt from an article by Suzan Walter, President of the American Holistic Health Association. It provides a quick introduction to the two main definitions of the term holistic as it is used in today's society. Are you confused about the meaning of holistic? Have you ever been discussing holistic health and discovered that the other person was defining holistic in a totally different way than you? This is not surprising, since there are no accepted standard definitions for holistic, holistic health, or holistic medicine. Most usage falls within two common definitions:

  • Holistic as a whole made up of interdependent parts. You are most likely to hear these parts referred to as 1) the mind/ body connection, 2) mind/ body/ spirit, or 3) physical/ mental/ emotional/ spiritual aspects. When this meaning is applied to illness, it is called holistic medicine and includes a number of factors, such as 1) dealing with the root cause of an illness, 2) increasing patient involvement, and 3) considering both conventional (allopathic) and complementary (alternative) therapies.

  • Holistic as a synonym for alternative therapies. By this definition, "going holistic" means turning away from any conventional medical options and using alternative treatment exclusively. This meaning mainly relates to illness situations, and sometimes is used for controversial therapies. 

The previous article was sent to me by another pet stylist as interested in caring for her clients as I am.  And we are not alone, more and more of today's grooming professionals are realizing that as petstylists, we have an important role to fill as part of the extended family of pet caregivers.
More groomers are taking aim at putting themselves in the position to nurture professional relationships with their clients by offering care that always needed that attention, but was often left out because of the hectic or busy environment of the grooming salon.  Part of this progressive change is taking shape because more and more groomers are realizing that working smarter is not working harder.  The physicality of grooming needs to be offset in some way to provide longevity for petstylists and their careers.  These new opportunities are surfacing in many ways as part of the upward industry trend towards more spa type salons and services, more slow paced and well planned grooming salon procedures, client educational classes, nutrition counceling, the use of more natural products and an opening of the door to professional courtesy and interaction with veterinarians.
I have always felt that there is a lot of good that can be done for our clients by offering them as natural and inclusive care as we can during their visits and by remembering that we are part of a larger picture- a very important part.  Educating pet owners as much as possible during their visits for grooming about issues we see with their pet has never had anything to do with trends or making profit, but what it does have at its core is compassion and a sense of the bigger picture.  Gaining knowledge to help treat the minor issues that arise only ensures patronage from clients and your business future.  What is does stimulate is a better professional relationship with your clients, more consideration of your ability and professional care, and gained confidence of self when we know that because we care about the animals we treat, we are better to care for them. 
Be it personality or training concerns, nutrition and how it benefits and affects health and longevity, skin and coat, signals or symptoms that we find during grooming that may have a medical issue behind them, all of these things that we encounter any given day while at work, are opportunities for us to go above and beyond and support the life quality of our pet clients and their families.
This comprehensive care benefits us as we realize that we can also do such good for ourselves by challenging our current knowledge and considering the fact that we have a chance every day to make a difference and start positive change.  Learning more ourselves starts a chain reaction of learning, sharing and possible change.  And even if the care we give goes no further than to the immediate pet that we care for, there still is no real loss there, as we are the only ones deciding whether or not to give that care. 
I say give the extra time, give the extra knowledge, and by all means give that part of yourself that wants to consider those things outside of the average or the norm.  The rewards are immense, and the return comes in ways that are meaningful- not so much as profit, but pride and progression.

Cold Therapy Herbal Massage Pillow

This pillow is the yin to the yang of your warm therapy massage pillow I posted on earlier.  Remember that this pillow should be used directly on the skin or fur, and in a period or cycle of no longer than 20 minutes on & off or between heat until there is relief.  This pillow is also excellent by itself for treating swelling some sinus problems.  Please, as always, remember that I am o NOT giving alternative to medical advice- always see you Dr. first! 
Use the other WOOL sock from the pair that you used for your warm pillow and fill it with Jasmine rice as with the other as well. Fill in in the same manner with the same gathered type of herbs (no powdered or fine milled), and roll it well to mix it like the other.  To it add these herbs and oils:
Now, mix it well, place it in a plastic bag and leave it in the freezer for at least 2 hours to get it very well chilled- it will hold coolness for quite some time out of the freezer, but will be the most refreshing right out of it.
Remember that as many herbs from this list that you add, the more potent and well rounded in properties your pillow be- if there is any immediate sensitivity- it would probably come from the Peppermint or Spearmint- as these have such strong menthol properties.
This pillow can be used in cycles between warmth for all of your dog massage clients to help with the same ailments- swelling, tension, help with circulation, and muscle/joint mobility- but remember NOT to apply freshly chilled cold pillows to arthritis areas on pets as this COULD cause some aching- instead give the pillow a few minutes to lesson the temp, and apply as usual.
These herbs can also be added to a pouch shaped like an eye mask for a WONDERFUL puffiness and sinus pressure reliever for yourself. It really works- I have tried it!
Using these pillows together- one around your shoulders and one across your face as you recline will give the most interesting and relaxing combination of senses- both exhilarating and calming as well as complete relaxation to your entire upper body.  As you use them both, be sure you are in a quiet, calm atmosphere.   

Herb and Essential Oil Arthritis Relief Blends

These are a few essences that speed circulation, work as antirheumatics or antineuralgics- meaning that they will help to lessen the pain of arthritis and it's accompanying symptoms. The most common is eucalyptus- and this is a strong essence- so you will certainly want a good dilution of 4 or less drops into each oz. of carrier oil. Another good essential is Rosemary- that is the "officinalis" variety (lately there are more & more types of Rosemary!). Peppermint is good, too- but it can really aggravate some people's sinuses.
  Here is a tool for you to use along with your massage sessions (for yourself and your dog!)- this massage pressure and support pillow can be shaped in any position, and should be applied directly on the skin or fur!  It contains many different herbs and essentials with similar and opposite properties to work together in function.
Please remember that I obviously am not a Doctor, nor am I encouraging you to take your treatment into your own hands or to not get care from a Doctor.  NOTHING can take the place of medical care for yourself or your pet.  These recipes and ideas may give some help and relief while you are following a pain therapy program or regimen prescribed by your Doctor for either you or your pet.  And, using these recipes or blends along with doing massage for your pet- will create a very real bond and feeling of accomplishment, gratification and centering of self. 
Take a bag or Jasmine rice, and empty it into a WOOL knee sock (meaning it HAS to be made of wool & not a blend as it will MELT in the microwave, and a blend does not wick away moisture the same (the heat will be moist). Also- there is just SOMETHING about WOOL- it has- what I will just say here are "properties".
Fill that sock 3/4 of the way full with the rice (the weight of the rice supplies you firm, even pressure on the affected area), loosely full so as to not stretch the weave and to keep the sock supple. To this rice you can add some of or all of these ingredients- I would add 2 Tbs. of each of these dried, or whole gathered (meaning the entire plant except roots) herbs (avail. at most any all natural shops and co-ops), to each pound of rice.  None of the herbs should be in powder form or they make a mess!  Do not add any that you think you will be sensitive to, but the more of the list you add the better:
Juniper Berry
Mustard Seed
Coarse Ground Black Pepper (I just buy a pepper mill and grind up what I need)
Cayenne Pepper Pieces
Peppermint leaves
Now, tie the open end of the sock into a tight knot and add a few drops of your eucalyptus oil over the length of the outside of the sock.

Take the sock and microwave it on med. or high heat setting, long enough to get it quite warm to the touch (you know the strength of your microwave better than me!) You will get hot spots so be sure when you remove it to be careful and roll the ingredients well to distribute the heat and mix it up evenly.
This can be used like a travel pillow (the "U" shaped kind) around your neck as you sit to rest (in a comfy chair in a quiet area!), or it can be used shaped around a knee, around a shoulder, hand, ankle, or on any area the is affected on your d og.
Apply the pillow for no more than 20 minutes on & 20 minutes off until there is relief. With a pet I will do 2 cycles.

The herbs with daily use will need to be changes monthly as they will loose potency; when not in use- allow it to cool to room temp and seal it room temp in a plastic bag. There should be no condensation on the bag or it will mold quickly!
I also have a great recipe for a cold pack that can be used in between the warm pack here in the same cycles (hot/cold/hot/cold!). The two together are even more effective on pain, swelling, fluid buildup, muscle spasms, circulation and relaxation, all things related.  And sublime for the body and mind!
I have been messing around with this stuff for a long time, and I love to share it with those who are interested and open minded. Again, please remember that this doesn't take the place of medical care, and please remember that some people and animals can have allergic reactions to any of these herbs and essentials.


Canine Massage Therapy: Hydrossage

A Recipe for Bathtime Relaxation

The hydrossage or aquassage- however you term and market it, is the easiest and safest form of canine massage therapy to implement into your everyday schedule. It can be a great first step for those interested in, yet unsure about, adding spa type services to their salon, or changing the face of their shop to a spa environment.

With this type of massage there is very little out of pocket cost in order to begin to offer it, and the best first step is to educate one’s self on the benefits for your clients.

Most any dog that is comfortable with a bath can receive this service, and certainly benefit from it.  If a pet is extremely frightened during its bath, it may take extra time to condition them for a massage, but it is a valuable tool in bringing them around to the idea that a bath can be a great thing!  “It smells good, it feels good, it is relaxing and I feel better after it!” stated one dog when I asked them after their massage.   Dogs learn through association and this works here, too!

First you should always talk about this in depth with the client to be sure that there are no existing health issues that warmer bathing temperature or tissue massage may aggravate, and always have your clients read and sign a pre-massage release form.  If the pet does have any health concerns, you may want to get the owner’s approval to speak ahead of time with the dog’s vet about medical issues, for safety reasons. 

Explain the benefit of this method of massage.  It is very superficial, meaning that while it is beneficial, it is not a massage modality that has lasting effects- it does not directly cause increased deep tissue circulation to the treated area.  It does not require the pet to be in any different body position that it is not used to being in while at its normal grooming visits.  It does not require the groomer any added education in order to successfully and effectively provide this massage, therefore, it is hard to do improperly.  It will leave the dog feeling relaxed during and invigorated afterwards. And it does help promote fluid movement in joints, and muscles tension release as it works with warmth and light pulsating pressure to achieve non-invasive release.

So, let’s get started on how you can offer this massage starting as soon as today!

The first tool that you will need to have in place is a proper showerhead. One that you can adjust the water flow and pressure pattern on, and one that you can lock on without having to depress a flow handle.  Set this showerhead onto either the “center” or “heavy” spray setting that uses less water in a more pressurized setting- so that you will be able to direct the water onto smaller areas at a time.

The next thing that you can do is to implement some essential oils into the bath time.  If you have knowledge of these and choose to add them as well (be sure to figure in this added expense before you determine you hydrossage fee!), only then should you implement using essential oils.  If you already have some essences that you like (the pet will feel your relaxation and enjoyment as you bath and this will relax them more), and would be softly scented in this warm and humid situation (very strong essences will be too overwhelming), place a drain stop I your drain, and add just a couple of drops of these to an inch or so of slightly warmer than the normal bath temperature water.  Let it steep as you get the pet together to place into the tub. 

Place the pet directly into the tub as usual.  If you are concerned with ensuring no possible reaction will be had by a sensitive pet to direct contact with the diluted oils (very unlikely), then just use your tub grate to elevate them as you usually would. 

Turn on your showerhead to the selected setting, and warm the water to just slightly more warm that your usual bath setting- usually 85-90 degrees Fahrenheit.  Warming it too much will certainly overheat your pet, so keep it comfortable for you both.  The added warmth does stimulate the muscles to relax and improve superficial circulation- meaning at the fatty tissue level.  The light pressure on each area further promotes remedial muscle circulation and relaxation by physically delivering petrissage on a gentle scale.  You will want to start by applying your shampoo and conditioner as usual, do not final rinse the pet.  You can also apply your “facial” products now to give them time for absorbsion, use extra attention and pressure to the facial muscles and tips of ears as you work the shampoo into a lather, clean the face as usual, and leave it in a lather. When there is shampoo or conditioner still on the pet, you can take the showerhead in hand and, starting at the rear of the dog, and place the water flow directly on the skin of the dog.  Use circular strokes- either clockwise or counterclockwise- but as you move down a leg, always work from the top down towards the foot, and from the trunk of the dog forward to the neck.  The reason for this is to encourage circulation down the legs to the feet and to save the rinsing of the head for last as this can be a source of stress for some pets and therefore interfere with the full effect of the massage.  Rinse the entire dog, using this method.  You can spend a few extra minutes on areas like the hips, knees, ankles, shoulders and neck to offer even more relaxation to these points that often need it.  Now remove your drain plug and empty the sudsy water.

Fully rinse the pet’s head, ears & face and the last overall body rinse as usual, squeeze the excess water from the coat, wrap them in a towel and you are finished!

It is that simple.  Minimal tools are needed, minimal physical activity of the groomer is required, minimal understanding of canine massage techniques is needed, and you can use this to truly benefit your clients and gain added revenue for yourself.

Beginner Grooming Course Itinerary

  As a first time groomer training a student- some groomers have told me they don't know where exactly to start!  This is an overview of the very beginning classes that I go through with my students that are starting out at beginner level. Now, of course you would have to allow for individual progress and ability so there is no set amount of time to go over this info- it is up to you and your student. And remember, that this is not legal advice or part of an accredited school itinerary, it is just an example for you to draw ideas from. Good luck teaching!



    Basic Beginner

Introduction Schedule

Week(s) ________:

1.     Canine History

2.     Canine Anatomy

a.      Skeletal

b.     Muscular

c.     Joints & Ligaments

d.     Neurological

e.      Superficial Landmarks and Defining Characteristics

f. Physical Compositions and its Effects on Performance and Ability

3.     Understanding Some Canine Behavior

4.     Reading Body Signals & Language

5.     Understanding and Reading Fear Aggression

6.     Determining Reactions and Their Sources

7.     Our Purposeful Body Language and Safety Procedures

8.     Restraint and Holds for Fearful and or Aggressive Dogs

9.     When to Say When and How to Talk to Clients            



1.     Grooming tool refresher

(covers some different models, ergonomic design, quality tips, product recommendations, fitting tools to your hands, etc.)

q       Brushes

q       Combs

q       Nail clipper & styptic

q       Ear cleaner & powder

q       Hemos

q       Clippers

q       Clipper blades

q       Scissors

q       Servicing your tools

q       Sanitizing your tools

2.     Shampoo & conditioner 101

q       Shampoo types

q       Conditioner types

q       Coat conditioner sprays

q       Detangling sprays

q       Topical skin care & ingredients

3.     Nail clipping & holding the foot

4.     Effective Holding and Support Methods

5.     Ear cleaning & plucking and body language

q       Ear canal diagram

q       Ear cleaning solution & ear powder ingredients


q       Prebath work

q       Identifying skin problems and product usage

q       Bathing Techniques and Body Language

q       Drying techniques & using products

q       Brushing techniques

q       Understanding body language and implementation

-         TEST-


q       Prebath

q       Identifying skin problems & over brushing cautions

q       Undercoat removal procedures & product usage

q       Dematting procedure & product usage

q       Deep brushing & blower usage w\ product usage

q       Bathing & drying techniques

q       Thinner shear usage

q       Sanitary clipping & finish work


8.     Checking clients in

q       Understanding terms & theory of 5

q       Evaluating coat, skin and body language: recommending services

q       Discussing any medical issues

q       Determining services & selling them

q       Understanding and covering your service disclaimers

9.     Checking clients out

q       Explaining procedures & charges

q       Charging for your work

q       Personalizing your work & building return clients

10. Time management & taking breaks

11.  Caring for your physical\mental self



I want to welcome all of our members and all of our readers to my new blog!  Feel free to leave constructive feedback, send in any questions, and make any suggestions for articles that you would like to see! 
I want also to say that I hope this will be yet another way for all of us to broaden our knowledge, network our abilities, and help each other for the betterment of our industry and its professionals. 

What we can share with each other will never be more than we are willing to learn.
Now playing: Jack Johnson - They Do, They Don't
via FoxyTunes   

Now playing: Jack Johnson - They Do, They Don't
via FoxyTunes   

Stylist Health - Stress & Anxiety

Grooming is a historically stressful career.  The beginning to making positive changes in your overall health and inner sense of harmony is managing stress and it’s counterpart, anxiety. 

How do we deal with the situations that “pop up” in our work almost every day?  What do we do to equip ourselves with the tolerance, patience and adaptability to rise above the occurrences that sometimes bring out the worst in us?  And how can we as groomers by profession become groomers by nature?

The first step is to take an honest look at our gender’s personality differences and tenancies. As women, it is second nature for most of us to multi-task- often even as we sleep! This can be an incredible tool for managing the hectic ness in most any grooming day, but it can also leave us feeling spread too thin and physically as well as emotionally spent at the end of a day.  As men it is often easier for you to stay focused and objective, and persevere through difficult challenges while not becoming sidetracked with other things that eventually will need your attention. However, this tenancy can also make managing time effectively and productively difficult for some.  Stress can be deeply felt and have even more deep influences on both genders, but how each gender and each individual experiences and metabolizes it can be vastly different.  What is universal to us all- is the fact that a life lived with less stress is a happier one, indeed.

The next consideration is for what working environment you are part of.  Do you work alone?  Are you a part of a large staff?  Are you a Manager or Officer over others?  Besides the obvious factors that these differences can create. There are subtle yet important changes that these positions make on your character not only while at work but away from work as well. For instance- the divorce rate among families with a female head of household who is in a Management position in their career is at a higher overall rate than those with men in Management positions.  I know for me it can be difficult to come home to a messy house or rambunctious children and just “turn off” the tenancy to “manage” the situation and “get it in hand” because that is what I have been doing all day at work!  It can be hard to shut off that micromanaging part of me that can be tolerated by those that are actually getting PAID to deal with it - but for family - it can be outright annoying!  I can easily see how it is hard for some- myself included- to not cause more stress and anxiety for themselves and those around them by being in a Management position and not being able to leave your work at work.  As well can I understand how stress can come from being lost in a crowd of co-workers. 

     Some may be searching for a way to shine, in hopes of advancement or acknowledgement. Others may feel happy to just blend in, do their work and leave it at the door.  And still others may have things going on outside of work that they bring to “share” with everyone else- making your day more drama-filled, even if all is quiet on your “Western front”!

Another factor that contributes to stress is your stage of experience in grooming.  Are you a veteran in your field or a newbie?  Are you a groomer who has groomed forever but feels that something is still “missing” in terms of personal satisfaction?  Are you a groomer who is active in seeking out and trying new things?  If you are a new groomer, are you in the company of a supportive and proactive teacher or are you often on you own for learning?  What will you do now, to get yourself to where you want yourself to be?  It is not that hard to take your goals and break them down, working towards them one by one- accomplishing them propels you forward and concentrating on these achievements will give your work far more purpose. 

So many things affect our ability to remain positive and proactive in our days at work.  But then, what can we do to lessen our feelings of stress even if we are in these situations that cannot be changed or “fixed”?

The first good thing that we can do for ourselves is to get enough rest, genuine rejuvenating sleep, it is alright to lose out on some sleep here & there- but a habit of not getting enough sleep which can be- depending on each person’s sleep cycle anywhere from 5 to 9 hours every night, will land you in the realm of Noddingham- physically sacked and emotionally ready for nothing.  Problem solving skills drastically deteriorate as the brain’s time for recycling is cut away.  As does one’s hand-eye coordination and reflex ability.  Knee-jerk reaction is now at it’s highest incident rate! 

It is also proven that not getting enough daylight activity in a normal day can cause serious health repercussions over a long period of time, so if you are a 3rd shift groomer- at the least, be sure to try to get some daylight activity on your days off. Which leads me to my next concern.

Is having one day off enough for you or do you personally not feel refreshed unless you have two days off together? Sit down now and change your schedule to get the time off that you need to come back refreshed- no one else will do it for you!   

Do you work full time or part time?   If you are full time are you getting at the least a one hour lunch and one or two other breaks during the day?  These breaks can be the difference between having the ability to step back & take a deep breath, or standing at your table having a melt down!  I can’t stress enough that scheduling yourself time for relaxing and putting your mind on something else will immediately make a marked improvement on your overall feeling of calmness and achievement at the end of a day.  Again, you have to take the time and initiative to move your schedule around and get this to happen! 

Another thing we need to do is to eat right. Stop and take the time to get SOMETHING into your stomach before you start your day. Obviously everyone’s dietary needs are different, and I will leave that determination up to you- but we all know in honesty where that Ding-Dong and Mt. Dew for breakfast are going to leave us after a couple of hours! 


     Eating a solid breakfast gives your body and mind the fuel it needs to run efficiently and faithfully, and a good lunch will get you thru the rest of your day.  Remember too, that eating a large meal too late at night, for most not after 7PM, will cause your body to hold onto all of those calories and turn them to, well, the “F” word.  And skipping dinner will often affect your sleep pattern (as in sneaking to the fridge for ice cream at 3AM!)  Also, remember to keep yourself well hydrated- dehydration can cause a plethora of physical ailments.  And no- coffee DOES NOT COUNT! (Remember here, too that caffeine, as with many things, is only good in moderation) 

And let’s not forget the need for our getting plenty of exercise a few times a week.  Well, those who know me will tell you- with exercise I do not practice what I preach!  But do as I say- not as I do- because my weight has caused me tons of grief over the years- grief that has robbed me of some opportunities and of reaching some goals I set for myself, it is not fun to look back on anything with regret so, take care of yourself- faithfully, you only get one body in this life, so they say and I do believe.

Other ways to beat stress are to do things like delegate.  Delegating is the fine art of maintaining your own sanity while utilizing the natural ability of others.  We should all help each other out, it teaches us to think of others with empathy and compassion, and it shows us just how far we can all get if we work together.

Another way to help your stress level is to actively give yourself a “time out”.  You may accompany this with a personal “pep talk”. Either over your morning coffee (if you are exceptionally NOT a morning person), after you have just acted like a jerk to someone (or someone has been a jerk to you and you are about to retaliate), or as you lay in bed ready to drift off to sleep.  Be sure to recap the day thus far, look at what happened to get you to the point you are at (angry, tired or complacent) and ask yourself what you could have done differently, what you did really well, and what you want to avoid ever having happen again, and how will you make these things happen?  Dramatizing doesn’t always have to be done in the form of thinking of something that would’ve been a really good comeback after the fact; usually it is best used to explore your options with objectivity that you don’t usually get at the spur of the moment. So, think ahead of what you will do if- (insert some conundrum here).  It will help you to react more level headed and even keeled the next time!

Remember, one of the best ways to feel as if what stress you DO have to cope with is still worthwhile is by getting the proper amount or financial gain for the work that you do.  If you feel that you are getting what you are worth after a hard day’s work- it can be easier to get up and do it again tomorrow. 

Here are a few more ways to help make positive changes to your work environment:

v   Play music- music that YOU like, not just what the clients will like.

v   Try lighting a candle.  Candles soften the presence of any room and absolutely everyone looks beautiful by candlelight!

v   Take some time to find out about aromatherapy. Studies have proven that aromatherapy and essences benefit and alter one’s mood and mental state through olfactory stimulation.  You can use a plug in diffuser, an atomizer or scented candles to fill your work area with the scents that compliment your personality and give you support with what you need on any given day.

v   Wear comfortable shoes and clothes. If your feet hurt- everything hurts.  If your wardrobe is repulsive- everyone else’s eyes hurt!

v   Take some time to do your hair or makeup.  I only very rarely wear makeup- as I am naturally beautiful- but I do my hair every day. And I will tell you- whether it is full of Golden Retriever fur or not- I feel much better with how I present myself for my clients- and I think they do, too!  I certainly think it does help with tips!

v   Try deep breathing- no, I don’t mean hyperventilating- but, rather try taking a few deep, purposeful breaths a few times every day.  You can do this at your table, on your break, before sleeping...  This raises the level of oxygen present in your circulatory system this has all kinds of positive benefits! Including being light headed- which can be fun!

v   Try taking a different route to work (DO NOT GET LOST!), try noticing some of the smaller things in your surroundings- this will always help you to remember that you are just a part of the big picture, and that there is beauty there for us to enjoy if we just look.

v   Get organized. Clean out those jumbled toolbox drawers, revamp your client check in schedule, do a mini makeover of some part of your salon.  The newness will break up any dulldrums and it will add some excitement if you forgot where you put something!

v   Learn to say NO.  And be ok with it!  We cannot do EVERYTHING- so why even try? And yes, someone CAN do it just as good as you- or at least good enough!

v   Don’t sweat the small stuff. Really- and it is ALL small stuff.

Grooming days always fly by- it is one of the advantages of working in what we do- but, before you know it, the days turn into weeks, and then to months, and eventually to years. Are they years of enjoyment and fulfilling your creative need or will they be lost to head down, red faced and frantic rushing all day every day?  Starting to sit down right now and make the changes that will last us a lifetime is all we can do to lessen our stress and its affects on our life.  Getting some return out of all that we will always put in will give our hard work more meaning.  We all have had to do what needed to be done to get through a day or the Holiday rush- but having a light at the end of the tunnel can keep us focused and hopeful of when we can finally get a break.

Greener Grooming

The last decade has seen the grooming, boarding and pet retail industry well into an upward trend towards providing a better client experience and customer service in every aspect of our businesses.  These trends have played toward a more boutique style sales shop that carries specialty and higher end pet and gift products. The grooming side of our businesses have seen a turn towards a more lush & relaxing spa atmosphere and spa type services in addition to the staple grooming for our clients.  In all, these raised expectations and individual endeavors have brought with them a sense of much needed professionalism from ourselves and our business fronts like never before.

These changes have brought with them not only the chance at higher revenues, but the opportunity to reinvent ourselves and our salons and shops.  Whether we are mobile, home based, strip-mall, freestanding or corporate located, the advantages that total client care bring to our table in terms of profitability, personal growth potential, and business sustainability and growth cannot be ignored.  Our businesses’ adaptability is singularly designated by us- the owners.  Our potential for personal education and professional growth is just as singularly important to achieve longevity.  Not to mention that overcoming individual challenges and making and meeting goals are the cornerstone of inner happiness and sense of pride.

So what can we do- individually, to change the services that we offer and the overall care and sales experience that we offer our clients?  What can we do to make the most of our interaction with our clients and their pets?  And how can we accomplish this by making from drastic makeovers of our salons to minor, or simple yet effective changes to our current businesses?

These answers begin with us. They begin with our knowledge of our businesses’ fiscal history versus its ability and untapped potential.  And the answers lie in our ability and desire to broaden our scope of knowledge and what we can put forth to make an investment in ourselves for unlimited return.