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 on their feet 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 Alison Cole, Master Groomer atAll Paws Retreat, Columbus, Ohio.
PRIDE+GROOM: How did you get your start in the dog grooming industry? How long have you been grooming professionally?
Alison: My journey in the grooming industry started when I was just 16 years old! I got a part time job working for a local groomer and neighbor helping her bathe dogs. I used to help sweep and clean when I was even younger, starting at 10! I loved it all so much that I eventually advanced into grooming and there’s no turning back for me. It’s such a fun job! I have been a professional groomer for almost 5 years now.
PRIDE+GROOM: 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?
Alison: I’ve really enjoyed learning and growing my experience with Airedale Terriers! Their cut is so fun and my favorite part is grooming the head. I’ve still got a long ways to go before I’d call it perfect, but any Terrier cuts have been some of my favorites!
PRIDE+GROOM: What do you look for in your grooming supplies or dog grooming equipment? What are some of the lessons you have learned when sourcing grooming tools?
Alison: My biggest concern is quality and how long the tool will last. Grooming tools can be very expensive and a lot of money to upkeep, but when it comes to choosing my tools, the cheapest option isn’t always the best. Sometimes the right tool will have to cost more, but I will get more use out of it, and my quality will be better. As long as I care for my tools, they last. I’ve learned over the years that regular maintenance and care for your tools increases the lifespan. And it’s just nice to have well taken care of tools.
PRIDE+GROOM: Do you have any favorite dog grooming tools and pets' product brands?
Alison: For my grooming tools, I tend to use Andis brand specifically for clippers and blades. I like Kenchii brand for shears but I’m interested in other brands such as Zolitta shears! My favorite shampoo and conditioner to use for my clients is Pride & Groom! It has natural ingredients and is sulfate free. The pets leave smelling amazing and feeling so soft, and the dog owners love the quality too!
PRIDE+GROOM: Do you participate in competitive dog grooming?
Alison: I have not participated in competitive grooming but it is so fun to watch!
PRIDE+GROOM: Can you please share one of your favorite photos of a dog or cat from your time as a professional groomer?
Alison: This is a Standard Poodle named Mingus. He is one of my favorite Poodles to groom and I’ve really been able to grow my experience with Poodle cuts on him! This happens to be his most recent groom and it was one of my best Poodle cuts to date. Just in time for Valentine’s Day!
PRIDE+GROOM: What do you find most satisfying about being a professional dog groomer?
Alison: The most satisfying part about being a dog groomer is making dogs feel beautiful. There’s nothing like dog grooming an older pup who feels so good in their skin after the groom! Or sending a dog out to a family who desperately needed help maintaining the coat and their jaws drop from how good they look. It’s just nice to make dogs and people happy.
PRIDE+GROOM: What advice would you give to new dog groomers just getting started in the groomer industry?
Alison: Don’t catch yourself up on the little things. It is always important to continue learning from yourself and other groomers, but don’t stress yourself out trying to make a dog look absolutely perfect right off the bat. It takes time to develop technique and skill, so be patient and have compassion for yourself and the dog when things don’t go the way you plan.
PRIDE+GROOM: What would you say are the top 3 qualities of a great dog groomer and what is key to being a successful dog groomer?
Alison: A great groomer is compassionate, not only to the pets and owners, but to themselves. A great groomer also pays attention to detail. And finally, a great dog groomer has passion for what they’re doing. Dog Grooming isn’t easy and it’s not for everyone, but anyone can be a great groomer if they dedicate themselves to the art of making pets feel beautiful.
First, have patience. Skill and technique don’t happen overnight. Second, listen to the owners and discuss each pet in great detail and always update the owners on changes to the pet. And finally, never stop learning! There are so many interesting, educational courses out there that will help you be a better dog groomer.
PRIDE+GROOM: What are the latest trends in dog grooming that newcomers to the industry should be aware of?
Alison: I think the biggest trend that newcomers should be aware of is the introduction of Asian Fusion grooming. It is spreading across the world rapidly and it is a very unique style of dog grooming. Anyone who learns about Asian Fusion style will have an upper hand compared to other dog groomers.
PRIDE+GROOM: As a professional dog groomer, what are some key tips for dog owners about good skin and coat care for their pets at home and how to make a professional groom last.
Alison: The best piece of advice that I can give to pet owners is to brush, brush, brush. One of the biggest problems we run into as dog groomers is matted pets and pets with dry, irritated skin. It’s important to always pay attention to your pet’s coat and if brushing is necessary, make sure you’re doing it regularly. And if you need help or you don’t know what to do, ask your groomer.
We are always willing to give advice and help as much as we can to make sure your fur baby is comfortable and healthy. As for making the professional groom last, that depends on your pet’s lifestyle. If they’re more active and go outside a lot, it may be harder to maintain that professional cut. But brushing and wiping their feet and face will help keep them looking nice and clean. As well as keeping your pet on a regular dog grooming schedule so they never grow out too much.
WHO IS PRIDE+GROOM?
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 our producthere
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.