VIG Spotlight: Angie Smith

VIG Spotlight: Angie Smith

Posted by Kelsey Mailloux, Digital Marketing Strategist on 16th Feb 2024

Groomers around the world inspire us. Their passion for pets and business consistently set the bar for the industry, which is why we'll be featuring stories from VIGs - very important groomers - like you. This month's spotlight features Angie Smith of Wakarusa, Indiana

GC: Tell us your grooming story. 

AS: I became a dog groomer at 40 years old! In my younger years, I worked in business and finance, and then the life of a stay-at-home mom brought out a creative side of me I didn’t realize was there. I wanted to have a fulfilling career, run a business close to home and work with dogs. I learned to groom hands-on from a mentor, and now I have my own grooming salon, The Pampered Pup. 

This career is far more fulfilling than any bank job ever was! But nothing this good is easy. I have done a lot of continuing education courses, watched videos and grooming demos, etc. It’s also a lot of physical work, and there are emotional days as well. But I love it and would not change my decision to groom dogs for any other field! 

GC: What interested you about becoming a dog groomer? 

Dog Groomed by Angie Smith

AS: I wanted a fulfilling career. Something that would allow me to express my creative side, while also being around dogs and doing something entirely different than before. 

GC: Can you tell us more about The Pampered Pup? 

AS: I opened the Pampered Pup April 1, 2019. I worked one-on-one for about six months before realizing I needed to hire because my business was growing so fast! 

I have three additional groomers and a bather, all of whom I’ve trained. I strive to lift them up, teach them well and give them the career they have dreamed of. I believe if we have a great team relationship, the dogs will feel more comfortable being with us. 

We now offer ultrasonic toothbrushing, which is nice for their breath, removing plaque and staining, but especially great for preventative dental care. I decided to become CPR and animal safety certified, in case of any emergencies in my salon. Additionally, I’m currently enrolled in a canine esthetician course. 

GC: Do you have a favorite breed to groom? If so, why are they your favorite? 

AS: My favorite is a mini golden doodle. Specifically, one that has been maintained with curly, manageable hair that’s closer to Poodle texture so I can shape it easily! 

GC: What is your favorite thing about being a groomer? 

AS: My favorite thing about being a groomer is when customers treat me like an expert. People tell us my salon is the best or we are worth driving the extra distance. Knowing I have happy customers gives me a sense of pride. 

GC: What is the best piece of grooming advice you've received? 

AS: There are so many pieces of advice, how do I choose? “Comfort over vanity.” When making a hard decision about shaving or not to shave, I think of that quote. 

But then there’s also “Groom smarter, not harder!” Take care of yourself, friends. We can’t be great tomorrow if we’re pushing ourselves too hard today. 

GC: What would you say to someone interested in becoming a groomer? 

Angie Smith posing for a photo with a puppy

AS: I would be happy for them and want them to be ready to always be learning! My groomers know not to get stuck in their ways because new tips and tricks are being posted all the time. So, be ready to keep up! 

If you’re not patient, you’re about to learn patience. Dogs don’t respond well to anything but a patient groomer who treats them with care. Also, customer service is everything! You will need to know how to talk to humans as well. I’ve been sent so many clients because of other local shops’ poor customer service. 

GC: Why do you choose to shop with Groomer's Choice? 

AS: At first it was just for the products, but then I realized the customer service was great! Groomer’s Choice has a wide variety of quality professional products I am interested in buying on a regular basis. And they offer sale discounts from time to time, which is huge to me. I also like seeing the social media tips, and the Super Styling Sessions are a big plus! 

GC: Is there anything else you'd like to add? 

AS: I learned about Groomer’s Choice’s great customer service when buying two sets of Wahl clippers after the SSS Doodle Session. I have been very impressed, so much that I switched my shampoo line to Barks2Basics and ordered a couple of top-of-the-line dryers

Keep up with Angie and The Pampered Pup on FacebookInstagram and TikTok

Are you a groomer or pet professional? Want to be featured in a future Groomer's Choice blog post or magazine? Submit your grooming story!