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Groomer Spotlight: Christina Shealy of Berclair Animal Hospital

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 groomers like you. This month, we caught up with groomer Christina Shealy of Berclair Animal Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.

Christina Shealy with dog

GC: Tell us your grooming story.

CS: I've been grooming for almost 10 years and have been in the salon even longer. After starting my journey in the corporate world, I discovered it wasn't for me. Now, I've moved into the next phase of my career, vet grooming. 


GC: What are your responsibilities as a groomer in a veterinarian environment and do they differ from those of a pet salon groomer? 

CS: My responsibilities are much the same as other groomers, but there are a few key differences. We often see a lot of pets with a variety of health conditions and pets that may require sedation for grooming.

Even the smallest amount of stress can be harmful to a pet, so it is important to make sure you take the extra steps to keep your salon as stress free as possible. Always trust your instincts! If something doesn't seem quite right, seek veterinary care.


GC: Has COVID-19 impacted your work or the animal hospital where you work? If so, how? 

CS: The biggest way it has impacted my job is client communication. While the majority of the clients enjoy the convenience of staying in their car, there are some that don't understand we are solely curbside for the time being for their (and our) safety. I've found that having a very detailed check-in sheet is key to eliminating any confusion while face-to-face contact is limited. 


GC: What is your favorite part about your job? 

CS: I really enjoy being able to connect with my clients on a more personal level, and the bonds I've made with their pets are priceless.


GC: What’s the best piece of grooming advice you’ve received?

CS: Re-invest in yourself. Attend trade shows, try different tools and continue your education. Continuing your education by attending seminars is crucial to learning the tips and tricks to make your career flourish. Having the best tools for the job helps you work smarter and not harder.


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

CS: I would say do it! The days can be long and stressful, but it’s totally worth it. There is nothing more rewarding to me than helping a pet look and feel their best. Most importantly, don't forget to build the relationship with clients. Just spending a few extra minutes talking to them will increase their trust in you and gain a loyal client.


GC: What’s next for you? 

CS: I'm starting into the competitive world for the first time in 2021. I can't wait to see what's next in this amazing career.


GC: Anything else you want to add? 

CS: Don't be afraid to get critiques of your work. A lot of the industry giants are more than happy to email critiques.

Most importantly, don't be upset if the response isn't totally favorable. You will never grow in your craft if you are okay with staying the same. Take the criticism, apply their advice and watch your abilities grow!


Keep up with Christina and Berclair Animal Hospital on Facebook

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