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From Student to Pro: A Dog Groomer's Journey to Success

Updated: Apr 29

When Colin Medler first decided to pursue a career as a dog groomer, he didn’t know what to expect. As a lifelong dog lover, with three dogs of his own; Harvey, Freddie and Lockie, he knew he wanted a job where he could work closely with canine companions. Read on to discover how Colin made it from student dog groomer to a qualified groomer and business owner in a very short period of time.


Colin’s previous career was a Prison Officer and then an HGV Driver, but he found himself being drawn into the idea of turning his love of dogs into a fulfilling career, as he felt a gravitation to dogs over humans, any day.

 


Male dog groomer with three dogs on a grooming table
Colin's Canine Adventure Begins! 🐾

After extensive research on training schools, Colin discovered Four Paws in his local area. It was important to Colin to find training on his doorstep, to get an extensive course, plus a creditable qualification to enable him to have a new career.


He enrolled on a 30-day intensive practical dog grooming training program, and over the course of several weeks, he immersed himself in learning fundamental grooming styles to include how to use dog grooming clippers, scissors, and the basic skill on how to achieve various breed styles, maintaining equipment and canine first aid.

 

The highlight of his training, Colin says, was getting to work with a variety of dogs during the program’s supervised grooming sessions. “It was so rewarding taking a scruffy pup, and transforming them into a fresh, fluffy, and happy dog, “he recalls. “Plus, getting to interact with the dogs one-on-one really helped me understand their unique personalities and needs”.


With his newfound grooming expertise, Colin was ready to take the next step: outfitting his own grooming salon. This is when he turned to Clipit Grooming a leading supplier of high-quality grooming tools and equipment. From an all-inclusive Clipit student starter kit to ergonomic dog grooming scissors, Colin carefully curated his extensive set-up to ensure he had everything he’d need to set up Broadwings K9.

 

Setting up a grooming salon is a big investment, but researching and finding the right equipment does take time and money. The best time for Colin to find the right tools was when Crufts was on. “Attending Crufts was truly a career-defining moment for me, “Colin reflects. “Being able to look and feel scissors was essential, as having larger male hands, I wanted to feel and choose the scissors that felt comfortable.


A dog groomers journey-setting up Broadwings K9


When it came to stocking his grooming salon, Colin knew he needed to invest in high-quality, durable equipment that could withstand the rigours of daily use. One of his top priorities was finding the perfect bathing setup.

 

“Bathing is such a crucial part of the grooming process, so I wanted to make sure I had the best possible tools for the job.” Colin explains. After extensive research, he landed on a professional-grade stainless steel dog bath from Clipit. Stainless steel was an easy choice for Colin, as he knew it would be far more durable and long-lasting than plastic or fibreglass baths. “With all the shampooing, rinsing, and scrubbing that happens during a dog bath, I needed something that could really stand up to the wear and tear.



Complementing the sturdy bathing station, Colin also invested in the Twin Turbo Blaster/Dryer from Clipit. “After getting all the dog squeaky clean, I needed a way to get them completely dry before moving on to the styling and trimming, “he explains. The powerful, adjustable blaster/dryer not only cuts time dramatically, but it will also help remove all the dead hair on big dogs, that Colin wants to eventually specialise in.


One of the reasons why Colin decided to choose Clipit for some of his set-up was because of our knowledge, advice, communication and timing with products and deliveries. Colin recalls. “They really took the time to understand the specific needs of my grooming business and made recommendations tailored to my requirements.

 







Now Colin has completed his training with Four Paws and outfitted his grooming salon with top-notch dog salon equipment, shampoo and a Student Starter Kit from Clipit, he’s now ready to spread the word about his new business. Choosing where to house his new business was easy for Colin to decide. Colin carefully weighted the pros and cons of various options, and while opening a storefront on the high street may have seemed like the traditional choice, Colin ultimately decided that running his salon out of his home would be the best fit.

 

“As excited as I am to start my own grooming business, I knew I wanted to keep things fairly small and intimate. A high street location would have meant a much larger overhead in terms of rent and other operating costs, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to take on that kind of financial commitment.




three dogs outside
A lifelong dog lover, with his three dogs of his own; Harvey, Freddie and Lockie



 

Instead, Colin repurposed his drum room in his house, transforming it into a fully equipped grooming studio. ”Having the salon right here at home allows me to keep my costs down and focus on providing personalised, attentive service to my clients. The in-home setup also gives Colin the flexibility to set his own hours and accommodate clients schedules more easily. Colin has been able to create a calming ambiance in his in-home salon that he believes enhances the overall experience. “I’ve put a lot of thought and care into designing a calming, welcoming atmosphere, for both dogs and their owners to appreciate. Of course, Colins remains open to the possibility of expanding in the future,but for now he’s thrilled with his choice to start small and operate his grooming business from the comfort of his own home.

 

“I may not have the high street visibility that some salons enjoy, but I’ve more than made up for it in the level of personalised attention and care I’m able to provide. “Colin says. “At the end of the day, that’s what really matters most to me and my clients”.

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