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 Emily Cohen from Guilderland, New York.
GC: Tell us your grooming story.
EC: Hi! My name is Emily, and I started grooming a year after graduating high school. I was working at a local pet store and wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life. After a few months of seeing the lack of care the animals were getting, I realized I had to do something to help animals.
I’ve always rescued dogs and volunteered at local rescue groups, so I guess it was right in front of me all along.
GC: What interested you in becoming a dog groomer?
EC: I started as a bather for a mobile dog groomer. Once I finished the bathing, I basically would just watch her groom the dogs. The more I watched and learned how to bathe properly, I knew I wanted to be a groomer, too! I attended a local school to get certified.
GC: Can you tell us more about The Detailed Dog?
EC: The Detailed Dog opened in November 2022. It hasn’t even been a full year, and I’m no longer able to take on new clients!
A workday for me is typically five to seven groom dogs with potentially a few nail trims. I’m a one-on-one groomer, so providing this specialty service limits how many dogs I can groom in a day. Each client is picked up as soon as they’re done, which helps the salon stay quiet and plays a big role in why it’s such a luxurious experience.
GC: What are the sacrifices and rewards that come with owning a grooming business?
EC: Opening my own shop has been the most rewarding thing I have ever done. I could honestly cry just thinking about how two years ago I didn’t think I’d ever have the guts to do it. My confidence level has soared, and I finally feel like I’m where I belong.
If I had to think of a downfall of owning your own business, it would be that there really are mentally no days off. I am always thinking about how to improve and keep my clients happy. I’m a people pleaser, so it’s hard to put myself first. It can also take a toll on relationships but as long as you remind yourself to put aside time for YOU, you can get through it. The rewarding feeling overcomes the sacrifices.
GC: Do you have a favorite breed to groom? If so, why are they your favorite?
EC: Shih Tzus and doodles. They’re complete opposites! Shih Tzus just crack me up, and they are so stinkin’ cute. I love their little lips!
I feel I’m best at grooming doodles, which are the majority of my clientele.
GC: What is your favorite thing about being a groomer?
EC: As a one-on-one groomer, I get to really bond with each pet. I have bad anxiety, so I feel most at peace when I’m alone and in the groove. Dogs are all so special and different, and I love being able to create a haircut to accentuate that for each pup!
GC: What is the best piece of grooming advice you've received?
EC: Always put the dog first. If they are uncomfortable with something, figure out why and find the best solution for THEM.
GC: What would you say to someone interested in becoming a groomer?
EC: This career is not for everybody. Yes, you need to love dogs to be a groomer, but you also have to be one with them and always patient. You have to understand why they are moving around or acting stressed and work around those obstacles.
I can’t tell you how many groomers I’ve seen get frustrated with the dog they’re working on just because they’re fighting something simple. Take a deep breath. Dogs can feel your energy and use it to feel safer.
GC: Why do you choose to shop with Groomer's Choice?
EC: I only want the best quality equipment for my customers!
GC: Is there anything else you'd like to add?
EC: I don’t know where I’d be without this passion of mine!
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!