Draw My Life – How I Became a Self Employed Dog Groomer


So I did remember to turn on the backlights this time but I didn’t remember to turn off the cat water fountain and it sounded like
I was peeing myself the whole time. So, let’s just redo this intro. Hello and welcome back. Sorry it’s taken so
long. It turns out between running a business, trying to play D&D twice a week, and trying
to finish Red Dead Redemption there’s no time for making videos. I don’t know why I
committed to weekly videos. But here we go. Todays video is going to be a career story,
but instead of looking at this beautiful face all day, you get to look my art skills. It’s
gonna be great, here we go. I have always loved animals. As a kid I wanted
to be one! I also wanted to become a vet, a sheep shearer, or work for the RSPCA. Though
my very first job was a little different, working the cashier at McDonalds at 15 years
old – which was apparently a childhood dream of mine considering this letter I wrote to
my future self in 2002 at 8 years old. It was a good job, but I just didn’t enjoy it.
Then in 2009 when I was in year 10, we had to do work experience. I’m not sure if it’s
a universal thing for schools, but work experience is pretty self explanitory – its a week that
you would spend at the workplace getting paid absolute peanuts, like 5 bucks a day, for
the experience of having a job. It was part of our curriculum at school. I wanted to do
mine at the vet clinic but didn’t realise you had to organise it pretty far in advance
due to its popularity. So I sort of gave up on the idea of work experience and thought
I would spend the week sitting at school catching up on homework.
One day mum had come home from shopping and she handed me a business card for the local
dog grooming salon. She said she had seen it on her errands and had popped in to ask
if they were taking on work experience kids. The owner of the business had told her that
I was more than welcome, but that it wasnt just playing with puppies all day and that
I may get peed on, I may get pooed on, and I may get bitten. Mum told her that it wouldn’t
worry me in the slightest, and of course, she was right. I was rapt to be able to spend
the week with dogs! My week of work experience was spent drying
dogs at first, then I learned to wash dogs, and then I would just sweep hair and do general
cleaning inbetween. I really enjoyed getting to be with dogs all week, and I remember admiring
the work the groomers were doing. I was really hoping to clip some hair like a sheep shearer
but I am now glad they didn’t let me because I would have done goofed somehow with my two
days experience. The girls were all lovely and it felt like a little family there. At
the end of my weeks work expereince, I was saddened it would come to a close. I got my
work experience report back and in the comments section the boss had written that she would
love to see me back as part of the team and I was asked if I wanted a job! Of course I
accepted, and when everyone at school was bragging about how much they had been paid,
I was bragging that I had just scored a job working with dogs.
I was still working at McDonalds at the time, so it was a busy period of high school, working
at Maccas after school, and working every Saturday at the salon. A full day off was
rare but I was glad to be working in a job that I loved. Some weekends I worked 8am to
3pm at the salon and then 6pm to midnight at Maccas. Eventually I was offered to work each
day after school at the salon as well to help finish up the last dogs and clean, which meant
thankfully that I was working enough at the salon to be able to quit McDonalds. Again,
it was busy, but it was all the one place and I would leave school and walk to the salon
every day. Being in the salon so often meant I was able to be taught more often and I think
I learned pretty quickly. I worked there for four years, in which time
I was taught to groom all sorts of dogs. One of the girls there would tell me that she
wanted a Samoyed one day and I would always tell her that she was crazy – why would you
want to work all day and then work on your own dog after work?
The salon owner is an amazing groomer and I was incredibly lucky to have been trained
by her. If you’re wanting to become a groomer, I think this is the number 1 way to learn.
Having hands on experience under training from a quality professional is going to be
far better than any short course can offer. But, Those courses will be a good start if
you can’t find anyone in your area to employ you.
I entered my first dog grooming competition in 2012, with a Bichon mix named Molly. Looking
at the before and after now, the dog looks exactly the same. I really didnt do all that
much as she didnt have a tonne of coat to begin with. But I still came away with a ribbon
so that was nice. At 19 years old in September of 2013, I had
moved out of home and to a new city with my partner at the time and had gotten a job with
the company of my dreams – the RSPCA. Ever since I was a child, I have admired and adored
them and have wanted to work for them so badly. I was the only groomer at the location (initially) so
it became a wonderful learning experience for me. I already knew how to groom, but here
I got to experiment with ways that a grooming business should run. Through trial and error,
i learned how to work effectively on my own, how to problem solve, and I learned to own
my work, my mistakes, and my achievements. There were staff who would take thephone calls
and check ins/outs for me, which allowed me to focus entirely on my work.
The store i worked at also had adoptions for dogs, cat, guinea pigs, and rabbits, and was
where I came across MY first dog – We had a had dogs as a family but this one was all
mine. She was an 11 year old Samoyed named Tara. I know I said I was never going to get
a Samoyed. I was only supposed to be grooming her as she was in terrible condition but after
the five hours it took me to groom her, i had fallen in love. She was the sweetest,
most gentle, loving creature I’ve ever met, and she is responsible for my Samoyed obsession,
despite the fact that I had previously told anyone who would listen that I was never gonna
get one! Working for the RSPCA was wonderful. The staff,
again, felt like a little family to me. I got to meet a whole bunch of lovely people
who would volunteer their time and energy to help care for the animals. I met hundreds
and hundreds of pets who found their new homes. People who came in wanting to support this
charity. And the client base I had there was incredible – I was so proud to be responsible
for creating a good reputation for grooming for myself and my store. One of my proudest grooming achievements was
in 2014 when I placed first at the Royal Melbourne Grooming Competitions for my category out
of, I think it was about a dozen people. I was absolutely rapt! Much better result than
the last time I entered a comp. Embarrassingly soon after moving in with that
boyfriend, we broke up and he moved out. I had to learn really quickly how to live solo
for the first time in my life. My pockets became much lighter when I had to foot every
bill entirely on my own and I started to feel the pinch. I went week to week with my money,
and though I had always considered myself to be financially responsible, I didn’t seem
to be getting ahead. And, being me, who is too proud to ask for help, I decided to start
grooming dogs from home to put some extra breathing room in my wallet. By then, Tara
had sadly passed away and I decided to name my new business venture in her memory as everyone
said she looked like a little polar bear. My grooming prices were stupid cheap but it
was the first step towards financial self dependency for me. My business grew slowly
but surely until I was grooming dogs at home most days after work and on my days off as
well. Sadly, all good things must come to an end,
and the location I worked at unfortunately had to close down in September of 2017. Whilst
it was intimidating to consider the fact that I would lose all financial stability, I was
incredibly lucky to have a loyal client base who would follow me anywhere. Encouraged by
colleagues, family, and friends, I decided to take the leap into full time self employment
and it has turned amazing for me! I had been saving to buy a house, but used
the money instead to fund my venture, and I managed to find a commercial property I could
both live and work in. My family and friends were amazing in helping me clean up and renovate
and I started trading the day after my employment finished and its just taken off since then.
Thankyou so much for watching. There’s nothing I love more than being self employed and I just
want to share it with everybody! If you have any questions or anything like that, Instagram
or the YouTube comments. Please don’t contact my business just Instagram or here, same as
always. See ya in the next video!

6 thoughts on “Draw My Life – How I Became a Self Employed Dog Groomer

  1. You are helping me a lot, Im thinking to start my own groom business and your videos are great! Thank you??

  2. I am so excited on your start of your YouTube channel! I am also going through my financial struggle, I left a domestic violence relationship with my 3 year old daughter and pregnant. I just overcame homelessness but am struggling with the stress that comes with the jobs i took. If you could please do a video on how you were as a solo empowering female able to get your tub installed and what systems you recommend for your business to run smooth I would highly appreciate it! I am looking into doing a solo business and don’t know where to start lol ? I just subscribed and thank you!

  3. Your videos are just amazing? you got such positive vibes. Looking forward to seeing more of your videos?

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