VIG Spotlight: Ginnie Potts

VIG Spotlight: Ginnie Potts

Posted by Kelsey Mailloux, Digital Marketing Strategist on 17th May 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 Ginnie Potts of Wylie, Texas. 

GC: Tell us your grooming story. 

GP: Growing up, my family always had dogs. I remember sitting in the backyard with our Great Pyrenees and brushing his coat. I loved seeing how much hair I could brush off him. 

As an adult, I noticed my own dog’s nails were getting long, so I attempted to do them myself. After trying all the tricks to get her nails clipped, I gave up and booked an appointment with a local pet groomer. When I walked in, I saw hair being cut off dogs. I truly thought dogs didn’t need haircuts. I thought Poodles had short faces and Shih Tzus had long ears, and that’s how they were supposed to be. 

When covid hit and I lost my manager position at a local rock-climbing gym, I only had a few months to find a new job. After scrolling on TikTok, I came across a @girlwiththedogs video. It only took a few of her videos before I decided this would be my new destiny. 

My grooming career did not start off well. After working at a few salons with lots of red flags, I found a job at a boarding, daycare and grooming facility. Most people would begin to feel discouraged after having two jobs in three months, but I knew this was the career for me. I started as a bather, and after a few months I was put through an online grooming school. Although it was appreciated, I knew I deserved more. I needed someone by my side helping me groom. I needed a mentor. 

Ginnie Raye with a Poodle at a Dog Competition

Around that time, I discovered pet grooming conventions exist and that they were a great place to learn, shop and even compete! I am incredibly competitive by nature, so this gave me a great goal and sense of direction. 

My first grooming convention was Pet Pro Classic in October 2021. I didn’t know anyone at the time, so I was determined to use this as an opportunity to network. However, I’m incredibly shy so it was easier said than done. I signed up for a hand scissoring class, and halfway through it, someone turned to me and said, “Wow! Your butt looks good!” I was flattered, until I realized she was talking about the model dog I was scissoring. We started talking, and next thing you know, I had an interview to become a pet groomer. 

And more than two years later, I still work with her. She - Liz Edmond - quickly knew I wasn’t up to par to be a pet groomer. Liz mentored me and gave me the support I needed to start taking those big steps towards becoming a competitive pet groomer, including attending grooming seminars, taking private lessons and connecting with someone in the dog show world. 

In March 2023, I began mentoring with Thomas Katzenstein. He and his wife, Susan, took me under their wing. They introduced me to the Standard Schnauzer, taught me how to hand strip, showed me how to prep dogs for the show ring and how to handle them in the ring. 

With the help of everyone I’ve met since starting my pet grooming journey, I was able to attended Pet Pro Classic again in October 2023. I competed in the Poodle and Wire class in the Yellow Rose (novice and intermediate combined) Division. I took 3rd place with my Poodle and 1st place with my Standard Schnauzer. The next day, I received Best In Show in my division amongst some incredibly talented and wonderful individuals. 

As I continue to meet so many amazing people, I continue to grow. 

GC: What interested you about becoming a dog groomer? 

GP: I dropped out of college and always struggled between choosing something science or art related. What I love about dog grooming is that it can be both. The art part is obvious. There are so many different ways to style a dog! The science part is me enjoying learning about dogs' skin and coat, their structure and the science behind their behavior. The cute haircuts pulled me in, and the endless knowledge made sure I stayed! 

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

GP: Standard Schnauzers have a special place in my heart. I owe this breed for really kicking off my career. Haircut wise, they are a great blend between hand stripping and scissoring, so you get a bit of everything. They also give the best cuddles and most gentle kisses. 

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

GP: The easiest way to meet someone is through a dog. Just by shaving some dogs’ butts and clipping some nails, I get to be a small part in so many people's lives. Many clients consider us part of their family which means I get to be an aunt to hundreds of dogs. 

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

GP: The best piece of advice I’ve seen is “Never let anyone recruit you into hating someone who never wronged you.” There are many individuals we can learn from. A lot of times you may not give yourself the chance based off someone else’s opinion. Always be open to learning from anyone. Sometimes you may learn what not to do, and that’s ok too! 

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

GP: You will fail a lot, and you may fail more than others. That just means you have more pictures to use for progress photos. Don’t be scared to try something because you’re afraid of failing. Go in there and start cutting because it can always be fixed with blenders anyway! 

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

GP: I love everything they do for the grooming community. I see them support a lot of groomers at various ability levels. You do not have to have GroomTeam USA quality haircuts to be the best pet groomer, and I really love all the individuals they showcase. I also really love the wide selection of products to choose from! 

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