Natural Born Leaders: All About “That Girl” | This Ugly Beauty Business

22 Jun


FunkyPuppy IS… SO FETCH!!

10 Jun

The times when i was up all night waxing poetic about my career and opinions on the industry are over… But why? Is it because I grew bored with the blog? Do i now “know everything” and no longer need to document my progress? Did i lose heart, lose faith, and leave the grooming industry to take up tattoo artistry or exotic dancing?

No, ive been grooming a neglected business into something worth visiting… AND PURCHASING SAID BUSINESS!!!!!!



So Fetch! Canine Salon and Wellness Spa


Have You Smiled Today?

5 Mar

Before I became a groomer, my goal was editing music videos and commercials. I was also into photo editing… I saw grooming as editing dogs. This video just fills me with so much glee and inspiration, don’t be surprised if my upcoming “What’s New At UM2” video features lip syncing and a fabulous song. Hey, we’re in vegas.


A Visit down Memory Lane

26 Jan

Lmao…just finished a phone convo with a potential bather that had me quoting a yearly income of $33k-$65k. 7.5 years ago, i became a bather at Petsmart after being given a line by store manager Jack Rains: “You can make $65,000 a year! Make your own schedule! Work at your own pace! Build up a loyal following, it’s easy!”

“okay!” said I, a cat person who had never owned a dog in her life. I was a sheltered young idiot who was, frankly, terrified of dogs, and had spent the last 19 years avoiding them in case they drooled, bit, humped, or peed on me. That’s what my mom taught me, thats what i believed.

I remember being stunned to discover that dogs dont GROW into their typical “look”, they were trimmed and styled that way. The first time I saw an overgrown schnauzer, i didnt believe the owner that it was a purebred and made a fool of myself laughing at the bemused owner’s joke. I remember exclaiming “i didnt know pekingnese were just long haired pugs!” the first time i saw one shaved. My first chow chow was a disaster of epic proportions, as i TRASHED its coat with tight whip knots (from the hv) and required his owner’s assistance til 12 midnight to finish that dog.

I cringed at chihuahuas. Literally dripped sweat over nail trims (that took about 30 minutes to perform). Purchased knee-high galoshes and science class goggles  that i wore to protect the makeup i carefully applied between dogs. I earned the title “Weird Science” for my exaggerated “uniform”, which i wore with pride and ignored the stares of my coworkers and clients.

Despite being damn near handicapable, i LOVED my job. Hard, dirty physical labor that was twice as nasty as anyone thought yet brought home fistfulls of cash tips nightly. I answered the phones any time i could, and booked any bath dog of a breed i’d never seen with myself. I developed a script to use on calling clients: “OH, you have a SHIH TZU!! I just LOVE shih tzus! Will you let me bathe it?” Game, Set, Match. I come by my customer service naturally.

The first dog i EVER BATHED was a full-coated, matted Afghan. I dont know what my manager was thinking. I splatted shampoo all over it, scrubbed sort of, while making EW faces, wondered briefly about the “clumpy hair”, then rinsed for what felt like forever and turned on the LOUDEST DRYER I’D EVER HEARD. the skittish afghan LEAPED into the air, began spewing Chocolate Rain everywhere, and proceeded to scream it’s fool head off while i also screamed overtop the sound of the HV in an attempt to calm it.

I seem to remember my manager finished the bath, dematted for two hours while dodging bites, and sent it home still wet, matted, and charged $65. That might not be true, that’s my recollection.

There’s a 90% chance Im competing with my new groomer’s afghan at superzoo this year. Im thinking of this as my chance to redeem my pathetic bather past. I love sharing tales of my disaster-prone Upbringing in the world of grooming. Maybe ill share more later.

Amateur or Professional?

22 Jan

Borrowed from:, edited to apply to our industry.

An Amateur or Professional Team?

A salon team should pride themselves on their professional conduct. As a member of the team it is imperative that everyone embrace an attitude of professionalism in all that you do. Professionalism is an intangible concept; it is best summed up as a balanced combination of manners, care, honesty, knowledge and proficiency.

Amateur or Professional?

The opposite of professional is amateur; don’t ever do anything in your salon as though you were an amateur. Anything you do, do it as a ‘professional’ to professional standards.

  • A Professional Groomer learns every aspect of the job.
    An amateur skips the learning process whenever possible.
  • A Professional Groomer carefully discovers what is needed and wanted.
    An amateur assumes what others need and want.
  • A Professional Groomer looks, speaks and dresses like a professional.
    An amateur is sloppy in appearance and speech.
  • A Professional Groomer sets her prices to cover her cost of doing business first, then increases it according to her experience, skill level, and consumer demand.
    An amateur bases her prices on emotion or desperation, discounting her services as a marketing tactic, and often undercuts her competitors.
  • A Professional Groomer keeps his or her work area clean and orderly.
    An amateur has a messy, confused or dirty work area.
  • A Professional Groomer is focused and clear-headed.
    An amateur is confused and distracted.
  • A Professional Groomer does not let mistakes slide by.
    An amateur ignores or hides mistakes.
  • A Professional Groomer jumps into difficult assignments.
    An amateur tries to get out of difficult work.
  • A Professional Groomer remains level-headed and optimistic.
    An amateur gets upset and assumes the worst.
  • A Professional Groomer handles money and accounts very carefully.
    An amateur is sloppy with money or accounts.
  • A Professional Groomer faces up to other people’s upsets and problems.
    An amateur avoids others’ problems.
  • A Professional Groomer uses higher emotional tones: enthusiasm, cheerfulness, interest, and contentment.
    An amateur uses lower emotional tones: anger, hostility, resentment, fear, and victim.
  • A Professional Groomer persists until the objective is achieved.
    An amateur gives up at the first opportunity.
  • A Professional Groomer produces more than expected.
    An amateur produces just enough to get by.
  • A Professional Groomer produces a high-quality product or service.
    An amateur produces a medium-to-low quality product or service.
  • A Professional Groomer earns high pay.
    An amateur earns low pay and feels it’s unfair.
  • A Professional Groomer has a promising future.
    An amateur has an uncertain future.

The first step to making yourself a Professional Groomer is to decide you ARE a Professional Groomer.


Spa La La

13 Dec



Managing My FIRST Saturday/Pre-Thanksgiving Weekend

24 Nov

HURRAY FOR MY AWESOME, OUTSTANDING, INCREDIBLY HARD WORKING TEAM!!! I couldnt be more proud right now… Today was NOT ONLY my first time Managing a Saturday, it is ALSO Pre-Thanksgiving Weekend. in addition to the Holiday Rush,  it was also my first day managing my complete team, which consists of groomer “Stewiedog” (from PGforums) and my new bather, J, who shall be anonymous til i get permission to name her.

Stewiedog grew up grooming showdogs and handling multiple AKC breeds. She can claim 21 years of grooming experience and is my Power Groomer. In reading How To Make Friends and Influence People and From Problems to Profits, I’ve learned that the most important things for a manager to practice are 1. NEVER compete with your staff and 2. Dont hire mini-me’s, hire people that complement your abilities. this is a nice way of saying, hire people who are strong where you are weak.

i am not a power groomer. never have been, never want to be. my focus has always been on customer service and the overall client/pet Experience. this tends to build me a clientele of small, fluffy dogs with high maintenance styles, chatty pet owners, and high expectations. my clients are loyal, refer their friends, and visit regularly. none of these things are condusive to a high-volume day, and i simply cant provide customers with the attention and service they expect while grooming 9+ pets in a timely manner.

BUT… my awesome, no-nonsense, “I groom to make money” groomer CAN and WANTS TO turn out 10+ dogs on a Saturday. She has no picky breed concerns beyond Akitas (she’s handled Akitas for Show and politely declines the opportunity to groom the breed now, which is no problem). She couldnt care less about “building her own clientele” or getting hundreds of Request customers. She’s happy just having dogs to groom, large/small, fat/scrawny, cute/haggard… she doesnt care if she’s doing a dozen matted, biting, nasty shih tzus in heat or a beautifully prissy standard poodle… she’s here to work hard, make money, and groom well.


she handled that owner with such grace, talking her into paying $1/2 a Shih Tzu more for the complete groom, which was still a $Chihuahua bath lower than it should have been. until now, the previous manager allowed the owner to bathe him at home the night before and gave him a full haircut for $Shih Tzu price. We talked her into allowing Stewie to bathe him, and yes, he was still quite dirty (but in great condition).

she was so happy that she called back to thank Stewie again for the beautiful haircut. ill be contacting her tomorrow to ask if she might consider rating us on Yelp.

Stewie was a machine, churning out dogs as fast as our bather could finish bathing them. At first i felt a bit… outdone, as if i werent doing enough, and started beating myself up for not being that fast, that efficient… then i recognized my error (competing) and stopped resenting her speed and instead became GRATEFUL for it. i’ve never worked with a groomer who wasnt out to feed her own ego, nor have i ever team-worked with a groomer, where i would begin shaving, or would bathe and begin drying dogs and have her jump in and finish them so i could get something else started. it was incredible.

our bather was DYNAMITE for her first real day. i planned to keep her up front, have her bathe like, 3 or 4 dogs, then watch us and do customer service. NOPE, that girl was thrown in the bathing room headfirst and there was NO CHALLENGE she wasnt up for, no advice she didnt accept with a smile, no argument or refusal when given 30 things to do and 15 ways to do them.

All told, i worked 11.5 hours today, and we turned out about 22 pets and just under my goal in sales. included in today’s madhouse were two Huskies i foolishly accepted last minute… and you know that one showed up as a full-blown MALAMUTE. i took those beasts on myself, as punishment.

i made mistakes today, broke my promises and overbooked us, and definitely learned some lessons today… but thanks to my team of hard-working ladies, the customers went home happy and the pets left with bouncing steps and  wagging tails.


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