VIG Spotlight: LeEtta Robinson

VIG Spotlight: LeEtta Robinson

Posted by Kelsey Mailloux, Digital Marketing Strategist on 15th Mar 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 LeEtta Robinson of Lincoln, Nebraska.

GC: Tell us your grooming story. 

LR: For as long as I can remember I have loved animals. My grandma and dad always had dogs and cats, and for my 13th birthday, all I wanted was my own pet. My mom and stepdad took me to a shelter, and I fell in love with a Chihuahua/Terrier mix. My mom told me they didn't know if we could afford it, so I was heartbroken. The next day, I came home after school to dog toys, bowls and the puppy I had fallen in love with. I renamed her Reesie and having her in my life only deepened my love for animals. 

I wanted to be a vet to help animals, but in college I realized it was not for me. When I was 20, I moved from Wisconsin to Nebraska and found a grooming job with the help of my boyfriend’s mom. It was the best decision I could have made. 

I started out as a bather and remember admiring the stylists’ work. It amazed me and inspired my career. I started doing partial grooms after watching many training videos and my co-workers. I became a pet stylist through the Paragon Pet School. It wasn’t easy, but I pushed through. I have about three certificates and am working on my master's. Now at 25, I am a certified pet stylist and Groom Salon Manager at Kenl Inn, and I absolutely love what I do. 

GC: What interested you about becoming a dog groomer? 

LR: I loved the beautification of grooming and that I could absolutely change the look of a dog. 

GC: Can you tell us more about your time with Paragon Pet School? 

LR: Paragon Pet School’s grooming program consists of three learning levels. Level 1 teaches the foundational skills necessary for a successful start to your pet grooming career. I had been grooming for about a year and half at that point, so this lesson was repetitive for me. Depending on their experience level, I do not have my employees do this level. 

Level 2 consists of teaching the intermediate skills necessary to properly groom typical grooming salon dogs. You learn low maintenance clipper trims, basic head styling, foundational scissoring skills, pet handling skills, an introduction to dog nutrition/pet health, practical grooming techniques using Melissa Verplank's book, "Theory of 5," parasites, vaccines, diseases, common illnesses, pet first aid and CPR. This lesson was where I got to learn how to do haircuts along with guidance from our master groomer and some of the other current stylists at the time. 

Level 3 is a more advanced, in-depth program focused on practicing, perfecting and testing your grooming skills on dogs commonly found in salons. This lesson concentrates on AKC breed history, theory/identification, pattern, breed specific trims, corrective grooming, basic hand stripping and client communications. This lesson was my most challenging because my salon did not have a lot of the breeds I needed for my grooming submissions. But we made it work by grooming off the clock and talking to clients who don't usually get those breed standard cuts to do it just for my submission at a discounted rate. 

Even with the challenges I faced, I was able to finish all these lessons in two to three months. 

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

LR: Miniature Poodles! I love their hair and how you can do so many things with it. The options are honestly endless. 

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

LR: My favorite thing about being a groomer is being able to be around animals all day. I love that I get to bring their coats back to life. 

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

LR: Practice, practice, practice! It doesn't make perfect, but it does make it better. 

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

LR: Make sure that you have patience. Being a groomer takes a lot of that. 

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

LR: They have a lot of the things that I need for good pricing compared to other pet supply sellers. 

Keep up with LeEtta and Kenl Inn on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok

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