From the Masters Themselves: Monthly Professional Groomer Interview Series - Lorri Keller

Lorri Keller, Director of Operations at Paragon School of Pet Grooming interview, dog groomers interview

Featuring Professional Groomers From Around the Country and Their Insights on Pet Grooming.

PRIDE+GROOM is extremely proud to announce its groomer interview series. We are grateful for our growing professional pet grooming community. Dog grooming is not easy. Dog grooming has harsh conditions, long hours and demanding schedules. Groomers have supported our company from day one; testing products, giving feedback and making great suggestions for product development. We want to share some of the best Groomers' experiences, advice about the grooming process, share their skills, grooming tools, customers' stories and much more. 

Each month, we feature a new groomer interview and share their insights about the grooming process. Today, we had the opportunity to sit down with Lorri Keller, Director of Operations at Paragon School of Pet Grooming, who has been a professional groomer for over 30 years. 

PG: How did you get your start in the grooming industry? How long have you been grooming professionally?

I was in the very first class at Paragon School of Pet Grooming!

PG: Do you have a favorite dog or cats breed that you’ve worked on, or a signature dog haircut, grooming process that you’ve developed or perfected?

Terriers and Sporting breeds are my jam!

grooming Terriers , interview with dog groomer

PG: What do you look for in your grooming supplies? What are some of the lessons you have learned when sourcing grooming tools? 

For mechanical equipment, I will wait a year to purchase so I can hear about the performance. Grooming supplies like combs, brushes, knives, etc., I will take the dog or cat’s skin into consideration and any chance of harm. For other grooming supplies like pet shampoos, conditioners, and sprays. I am always looking for natural ingredients with a clean scent. Pet owners can be very sensitive. With all products, I look for companies that align with my core values! 

PG: Do you have any favorite grooming tools and pets' product brands? 

Artero, Heininger, iGroom, and of course Pride+Groom!

PG: Do you participate in competitive dog grooming?

I did for years receiving multiple placements in novice and intermediate dog grooming competitions. Open division is a total commitment that I was not able to make so that was the end of my competitive dog grooming life. Huge kuddos for the open level competitors! That is a TON of work!

 PG: If so, what are some of the challenges you face in competitive dog grooming that aren’t necessarily present when grooming pets for clients?

I have never seen the competition ring so full! I congratulate the competitors for making it welcoming for the novice!

PG: Can you please share one of your favorite photos of a dog or cat from your time as a professional groomer? Or a professional grooming picture with a little story behind it? 

dog grooming, Lorri Keller interview, interview with professional groomer

Although this is not a dog grooming photo, at the time this photo was taken was when we were about to release our Distance Learning Program! We were filled with fear and anxiety but we knew we could make a difference if we could convince potential groomers that learning pet grooming online was possible. When we had our on-campus location we would graduate around 50 groomer students a year but now we help thousands start their career in dog grooming! I am overwhelmed with the stories we hear every day about people that have changed their lives with our program! I am beyond proud of our team and their drive to know each groomer student and partner with them to find their success!

PG: What do you find most satisfying about being a professional groomer? 

Animals exhibit unconditional love everyday! When you are in a professional industry that continually brings you back to that, it fills your bucket! My pet clients are my family and their fur babies are my fur babies! 

PG: What advice would you give to new groomers just getting started in the groomer industry?

You don't need to perform a perfect groom on each dog! What you do need to do every time is love that dog and accept it for what it is. Work with each dog as an individual and be honest with your clients.

lori keller in one of her videos

Lorri's video with Paragon

There is so much help out there than when I was new. Reach out when you have questions. Other pet groomers want to help!

PG: What advice and techniques as a professional groomer would you give pet parents about keeping their pet clean and good skin and coat care for their pets at home? 

There is a misconception that pet parents know how to properly take care of their pets in between grooming appointments. When they tell us they brushed their pet, they probably did but do not understand the correct technique. Because pet groomers are so busy each day, they find it hard to spend the time to teach pet parents but no fear,Paragon School of Pet Grooming is in the process of helping out here!


The very first clean beauty brand…for dogs!

PRIDE+GROOM is a female and minority owned all-natural pet grooming company born and bred in New York City.  We designed our coat-specific dog shampoos with a light, fresh signature scent that says goodbye to the overwhelming fragrances currently in the dog grooming market. Our packaging and branding humanizes our pet products making them attractive and user friendly.

We offer wholesale pricing for professional use or resale, discover a wide range of premium pet care products, including the softest dog towels, effective dog bath brushes, and wholesale shampoo bottles for a squeaky clean finish at Pride and Groom Pro.

Our company is rooted in our love for dogs and cats, and we’ve put all our energy into creating products that let us care for them, their coats and their skin in a way that is natural, nurturing, and specific. Our formulas are a unique blend of essential oils sourced from around the world. Each ingredient has a purpose.  Like Marshmallow Root Oil, in our Non-Shedder, helps detangle and nourish those dogs, like doodles, with hair that grows and is prone to matting.  

PRIDE+GROOM is deeply committed to giving back to the community. We developed our ONE FUR ALL conditioning shampoo that we have donated to over 1000 shelters around the country. This amounts to over 50,000 needy rescue dogs getting the PRIDE+GROOM treatment before heading to their forever homes for adoption.

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