We have recently celebrated 5 YEARS IN BUSINESS!! HOLY SMOKES
It has gotten me thinking about where we started and how far we have come.
In case you didn't know, here's some background...
I used to work as a groomer for a corporate grooming salon. It started off great, but the longer I was there the longer the corporate politics weighed on me. Towards the end I was basically crying every day and just miserable. I wanted to leave, but as many of you know groomers are paid commission only and going to a new salon is a big risk. Will you get enough dogs? Will your clients follow you? It's a gamble. I was making really good money at the corporate salon, but it just wasn't worth my sanity anymore.
Let me say that a little louder for those in the back...
NO AMOUNT OF MONEY IS WORTH YOUR SANITY. Take care of yourselves! Your employer is pretty much never going to put you first so you have to put yourself first.
So, I took the plunge and left that corporate h*ll!! To take a little of the pressure off starting at a new salon I decided to start selling these dog bows I had been making for my own clients. Guys, if you bought from me in our first year bless you! Those were some drastically mediocre bows! Looking back on those pictures I'm not sure how I've made it this far.
Ok, enough background, here's the nitty gritty on owning a business.
IT IS HELLA HARD.
My favorite way to describe owning a business is this, all day every day you are both always working and never working. On the one hand, you're doing what you want to do, setting your own hours, fulfilling your passion. On the other hand, you take your work on vacation with you, you take it to bed with you, you eat, sleep and breath work.
Thinking of owning your own business? Let me break it down for you...
First- why christmas movies are the best, followed by Why Cindy Lou Who was a Badass Female role model
It is December 15th. The countdown to Christmas is in full swing and if you're like me you're binge watching at least one Christmas movie a day. I would like to take a quick tangent to explain why Christmas movies are the best movies....
1- You're basically guaranteed a happy ending. Movies with a sad or depressing ending can leave me feeling morose for days. I love that quote "Everyone has a happy ending, if it's not happy then it's not the end". (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel). When I saw the Titanic I seriously sat there until the end of the credits thinking they were going to come back and say "Just kidding! Jack is perfectly fine and he's an old man too and here he is!"
At this point you may be thinking I am a naive, rose-colored glasses type girl. I have experienced pain, loss and grief and maybe that's part of the reason I love a happy ending so much. When you feel like the world is crashing around you, when you feel so sad and so hurt that the pain radiates your body and it's impossible to stand. Even then, it's possible to somehow find the strength to stand up, put yourself back together and find a piece of happiness for yourself. I would like to reference another quote and I know I am rambling, hang in there!! "Everyday may not be good, but there is something good in every day". I love movies with happy endings because sometimes they can be my good thing on a crappy day.
Ok, back to why Christmas Movies are the best!!!
2- The MUSIC. Ahhhh, the music is so happy and bouncy and fun. Today I was in the grocery store and I swear half the customers walking around we're singing along to the Christmas music they had playing. It is impossible to be anything other than joyful when people around you are so freely singing "Jingle Bells".
3- The moral of the story. Seriously, most Christmas movies have a great moral to the story and it's almost always to appreciate your family and friends, enjoy the little things in life, and not work so much. A Christmas Carol is one of my favorites and has the best lesson of them all.
Ok, Those are my top three reasons why Christmas Movies are the best. Are you still with me? Moving on the Cindy Lou Who and why she is a Badass Role Model
Cindy Lou Who- Did I mention she's a badass role model?
Whenever anyone talks about role models for kids, particularly female role models, we think of characters like Mulan, Pocahontas, and Moana. Don't get me wrong, they're all awesome in their own way and Cindy Lou Who belongs with them!
First, I'm talking about the Cindy Lou Who in the Jim Carey version of the Grinch. Ok, now that we're all on the same page, let's get started. We're going to cover my favorite scenes that illustrate what a smart, brave, strong young person Cindy is and why she is an amazing role model.
In the beginning of the movie we see Cindy voice her concerns about Christmas to her father. Her concerns that all the Christmas mania seemed "superfluous and a bit much". I love this scene because Cindy is bold enough to tell her dad he's acting nuts, and second because she's casually using words like superfluous. Vocab is important kids!
After a run in with the Grinch she starts to doubt the rumors she's heard about him, thinking maybe he's not so bad after all. Cindy realizes that rumors aren't always true and the only way to find the truth is to investigate. So this bold girl goes out and full on investigates what happened and why the Grinch disappeared. Going door to door, asking questions, taking notes, interrogating the witnesses.
We come next to another great scene with her dad, she gives him a heads up that "she may do something drastic". When was the last time you did something drastic and had the forethought to warn your loved ones about it? All my crazy ideas are on impulse only.
This is my favorite part, she decides the Grinch is probably misunderstood and needs to be shown he's welcome in the town, so she yells out in front of the whole town and nominates him to be the Holiday Cheermaster! I would definitely not be brave enough to do that!
However, the Mayor contests her nomination, but this girl stands toe to toe with not only an adult, but the most powerful adult in the city! She makes a coherent, well reasoned argument and manages to prove him wrong and outsmart him. Get him girl!! I was 18 years old before I was able to make a reasoned argument like that and that may have been a one time thing!
So now she just has the small task of climbing a terrifying mountain and talking to someone the whole town has feared for what, 20-30 years to invite him to the Christmas Party. No big deal for Cindy though!
Even when the Grinch is acting like a complete loon, trying to scare her away, yelling at her, she stands her ground. Finally recommending a time out for him as she maintains her composure. Bravery level 10.
(I would like to take the moment to note, it may have been an impulsive decision to write all this about a children's Christmas movie, I'm mildly regretting it but I'm in too deep now so on we go)
So we skip ahead, Grinch ruins the Christmas party, steals Christmas, and is on his mountain gloating...
Cindy is taking all the blame from the mayor for ruining Christmas. Finally dad gets his head out of his bum and defends his daughter!! Wake up Lou!!
Cindy, despite all this, even though the Grinch has probably disappointed her and committed a felony, she still doesn't want him to spend Christmas alone. She manages to put it all aside and climb that darn mountain again. This girl is crazy fearless.
Throughout the whole movie, she never gave up on him. She stood up to everyone who dismissed her as "a little, not to be taken seriously, girl!" (quote, Mayor MayWho). She did so eloquently and with great bravery. She taught the whole town the true meaning of Christmas and basically rehabilitated a chronic agoraphobe with anger issues. She was strong enough to let her love and light bring everyone together. Cindy Lou Who, you are going down in my Bad Ass Role Model hall of fame!
The holidays are here and they're filling me with a little extra stress this year. I have been feeling like I don't have enough of anything. Not enough hours in the day, not enough money coming in, not enough help with the bows, not enough time for yoga. I feel like we are all probably feeling like that this time of year, at least a little.
I think I'm going to try something new, every time I feel like I don't have enough of something, I am going to think of 3 things I am lucky to have.
My friends. I have some really amazing friends. I can be a difficult person at times, and they love me anyway. Caroline, Melanie, Darcy, Kassie you guys have not only promoted my business, but bought from me too. Your support means the world to me.
My boyfriend. This spring will be 10 years that we've been together! Can you believe it, ten years!!! We bought a new house last summer, and honestly couldn't be happier. How is it after ten years I still love his goofy ass so much? And he still tolerates my emotional break downs, not to mention the glitter EVERYWHERE!
My jobs. First is my job here, making bows, being crafty and creative and happy. It has it's highs and lows, but ultimately having your own business is amazing. Amazingly difficult, but amazingly awesome too. Second, is my grooming job. I get to work at a place that lets me work there only 7 days of the month. I get to work with some really great people, including one of my best friends. I have become a better groomer because my coworkers have been (and are) so incredibly talented and inspire me everyday to do better. And my boss. She's awesome. She has held me while I cried, she has helped me when I needed it, and she has truly cared every single day. She helps keep me sane.
My Family. (ps- family this is in no particular order). Those who don't know, my dad died almost 9 years ago. It absolutely breaks my heart pretty much every day. In many ways he is still my role model. He was constantly flirting with the idea of his own business, and unfortunately none of his ever took off, but I hope he would be proud of mine. When my dad died it brought my mom and I much closer. She's one of my best friends now and I can't wait for the next time she comes to visit. I have 2 sisters and 2 brothers, plus one adorable new nephew, 2 sister in laws, 2 parent in laws, some great aunts and grandparents. They're all just amazing and I'm so lucky for each and every one of them. They have supported me even when I'm making horrible decisions.
My Customers. Man you guys are awesome. You're understanding when your orders are late, you check in when something is happening in my personal life, and you promote my business every chance you get. It's been really awesome. Special thanks to Tiffany, without you there would be no business. Really. Ok, you really want to know, I'll tell you the story. So I started the business on Etsy. For about 6 months I was selling next to nothing. Like $20 a month and that was it. Well Tiffany had purchased a couple times from me so I reached out to her and asked if she could leave reviews for her purchases in the hopes that would help. Well she did more than that, she shared me all over facebook!! I will never forget laying awake that night and just watching the orders pour in. She changed my life and I honestly don't know if I will ever be able to thank her properly.
My new helper Mary. Couldn't do it without you!
My Dogs who give me kisses on rough days
My Cat who resists the urge to lay on my face and smother me in my sleep. (He did this once but he was sorry).
Florida. Ah Florida. I love life here.
Yoga, thank you for yoga. It keeps me sane.
Wine, yes, I may be a glass and a half in as I'm typing this and so bear with me.
Trader Joes Dark Chocolate and Peppermint covered Jo-Jos. You are heaven. Will have to do extra yoga tomorrow to make up for all these cookies.
Ok, the wine is doing it's work and so I need to wrap this up. It's been a really great year. I've had some lows but some crazy highs and you're all to thank for that. I hope you have the best holiday season and a fantastic new year to come!
PS- Click on the link up top that says Brown Dog's Beds to learn about our new business coming soon!!!
Groomer Subscription Services
First things first, if you've tried a subscription please comment below telling us about your experiences! This feedback will help other groomers know which to try and which to pass on. Might also help the subscription owners know what they're doing right/wrong! Did I miss one? Let me know so I can add it!
Hello All! Hope you're having a great 2018 so far!
This past year has been an exciting one in the grooming industry! There have been lots of new products and new subscription services! This is kind of a good/bad type situation. On the one hand, yay! We have a variety of great subscriptions to choose from and try out new products. The bad though, how on earth do you choose just one?!?!?
I wanted to make the search a little easier on everyone, little did I know doing the research on all these subscriptions would take all week!! Crazy! But in the long run I think it's worth it!
**I would like to note, all of these subscriptions are relatively new. As with any new business, there will be bumps in the road. These subscriptions can't get better without your feedback, so if there's something you like/don't like, let them know! If you've tried one in the past and weren't thrilled, maybe it's time to give them a second look. Almost all of these are owner/operated by people who are also groomers. As corny as it sounds, the grooming world is small and we are all a big family of sorts. Let's build each other up rather than tearing each other down. The information in this blog is based on customer reviews, as well as information received from the subscription owners and their websites.
I've broken them down into four groups
Don't want to read all this? No worries, I'll give you the highlights right here!
Groomer's Best Bet- goes to Love Groomer's VIP and Hot to Trot boxes! They can't be beat on the value of items included, and their customer service is above and beyond! This box doesn't include shears (currently, but maybe soon they say), but all of their customers sing their praises and you will not be disappointed!
Runner Up- Scissor of the month club! They had a few bumps in the beginning, but they got their manufacturing issues under control and they are now a favorite! Their customer service is also outstanding, and their line of Blake's Fleek shears are out of this world! Plus each month they include a coupon for the first sharpening of their shears free!
Honorable Mention- Pure Paws! Pure paws is a very new subscription but already making big waves! Their products are a big hit, as is their customer service! Their February boxes even arrived with big bows on the top! A present for you every month.
I chose not to pick a favorite from the accessories section since we have our own accessory subscription. I didn't want to be biased, so try them all and you decide! You'll end up using that many accessories anyway right?
Alright, so here we go! Hang in there until the end, it'll be worth it!
We're going to start with the Accessories subscriptions, for the obvious reason, it's my blog and we offer an accessory subscription. haha
The Little Bird Stop
Where to find it? Right here! https://www.thelittlebirdstop.com/monthly-subscriptions.html
What's the cost? There are many subscription options available, our most popular are the value packs which are $25 for small and $50 for large. However we also offer individualized packs of hair bows, bow ties, and neck ties so you can mix and match and create your own subscription starting at just $12-$17.
What's included? Value packs include Bows, Bow Ties, Neck Ties, and MORE! Specially chosen for the season and holidays of the month.
Is there a fee to cancel? Absolutely not! Cancel anytime. Switch to a different subscription anytime. You're the boss!
What are the pros? Not having to worry about ordering bows every month for one! Plus if you choose the value pack you get to try an assortment of products and new items that haven't even been released yet.
What are the cons? You don't get exposure to other companies, products or brands.
How's the customer service? I do my best to make every customer happy every time. You can message me or email me personally anytime you have an issue and we'll make it right.
What are people saying about it? See for yourself! https://www.thelittlebirdstop.com/customer-reviews.html
Worth the Value Paid? You always get a good value with us. We try to keep our prices affordable for groomers, comparable with our competition, while also keeping the quality top notch.
Bottom Line- Give it a try! You can cancel anytime, but you won't want to! I'm also a groomer, and myself and my coworkers use my products on our grooms. I wouldn't send you anything I don't love myself!
Where to find it? https://fozziebros.com/
What's the cost? Three Size Options, $35 (30+ accessories), $45 (45+ items), $75 (85+ items)
What's included? Their monthly collection includes bow ties, collar bows, collar flowers, bandannas and more! These come from a variety of vendors so you can get a diverse selection. Hair bows are not included, but can be added on! ($10 for 20)
Is there a fee to cancel? Nope!
What are the pros? You use accessories every month right? Save yourself a step and get them automatically shipped
What are the cons? Only con I see is getting things you may not want/use, however you probably have friends or coworkers who would want them right?
How's the customer service? They go above and beyond to be their for their customers.
What are people saying about it? Fozzie Bros is new, however the vendors they are using so far have great feedback themselves. The owners of Fozzie Bros also have Scissor of the Month club as well as The Blade Bag, which are both favorites among groomers.
Worth the Value Paid? That is up to you and how much you love to spoil your clients with fun accessories!
Bottom Line- Give it a try! You can always cancel and you'll get some fun bling!
Where to find it? http://groomergirls.storenvy.com/groomersclub
What's the cost? Options start at $32-$35
What's included? Their Tie Boxes include 40 total ties, 25 neck ties and 15 bow ties. This set is $32 per month. Their Value Boxes include 20 bows, 10 collar bows, 10 neckties, 6 bow ties, and 6 necklaces and is $35 per month.
Is there a fee to cancel? No fee, you just have to cancel before the 15th.
What are the pros? As with the other accessory subscriptions, these are items you will probably use every month and so getting them automatically delivered is a no brainer!
What are the cons? Getting products from just one vendor rather than an assortment.
How's the customer service? Great. Owner is also a groomer and knows the value of good quality supplies
What are people saying about it? People love their items from Groomer Girls!
Worth the Value Paid? Definitely! You get $3 off the regular price for subscribing and shipping is included.
Bottom Line- Scared to sign up? Go to their website and try out a regular order first! http://groomergirls.storenvy.com/products
Scissors! Scissor subscriptions are great because who couldn't use extra shears? Even if you already have them, you can always use a back up right? We've all had those moments as you watch your favorite curves fall to the floor and all you can do is cringe. Yes, backups are good!
There are other subscriptions that included shears, however these are the ones specifically geared towards a new scissor every month.
Freebird- Shear Gear
Photo by Lynn A Marad
Where to find it? freebirdshears.com
What's the cost? $52 for month to month. They also offer assorted prepaid plans that include free bonuses for signing up!
What's included? A freebird custom engraved shear, cool styling tool as a mystery gift, and a T-shirt.
Is there a fee to cancel? No, although you obviously can't cancel the prepaid
What are the pros? Everyone seems to like the shears they receive. They're good quality and the engraving is a nice touch. Their subscription comes with lots of customization options when you sign up (shirt size, righty vs lefty, etc).
What are the cons? Shipping time seems to be much longer than other subscriptions.
How's the customer service? I have unfortunately heard they are difficult to contact with issues.
Worth the Value Paid? The consensus seems to be that the shears are good quality and definitely worth the money.
Bottom Line- If you don't have a problem waiting, then this one could be a good deal! However their slow shipping time and lack of communication is a turn off for many of their customers.
Scissor of the month club
Where to find it? scissorofthemonthclub.com
What's the cost? $45 per month
What's included? Each month you are sent one pair of shears and a free gift! Each month the shears are designed specifically for the subscription to ensure a great variety in style, function, color, size, handle type, etc. The free gift will be something useful for grooming and in the past has been things like stainless steel combs, nail files, and vinyl aprons. There is also at least one grooming related sticker just for fun!
Is there a fee to cancel? No way Jose!
What are the pros? Great way to stock up on shears, especially for new groomers who may not have favorites yet!
What are the cons? Only con I see is getting shears you may not want/use, however you probably have friends or coworkers who would want them right?
Other Notes- According to the owner they had production issues when they first started out. This has since been resolved. Their customers have confirmed that there were issues in the beginning, but it's been smooth sailing since then! So if you tried them before, give them a second look.
How's the customer service? Great. Owner communicates well with the customers and really works to fix any issues.
Worth the Value Paid? Definitely!
Bottom Line- Give it a try! You can cancel anytime and if you're anything like me, you can always use more back up shears!
Variety boxes generally have a little taste from every aspect of the grooming world. Including shampoos, shears, perfumes, vet wrap, and more! They're a great bet to try things you may have never heard of before.
Love Groomers- VIP and
From Chemist to Groomer to Bow Maker. Where will we go next? Let's find out!