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VIG Spotlight: Nellie Dunlap

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 Nellie Dunlap from San Antonio, Texas.

GC: Tell us your grooming story. Nellie Dunlap - 2

ND:  I have always loved animals. My first job at the age of 15 was as a kennel tech at a vet, and I learned so much, including how to handle dogs. I also bathed dogs and loved the bond it created with them. After 10 years, I decided to move on to the health field with people, but I missed being able to spend time with dogs. In the end of 2020, I decided to start my own grooming business. It took a good year to get clients and lots of hard work. I started with one pair of clippers and three pairs of scissors. Now, I have my own home salon that's growing more than ever and all the tools and necessities to be a successful groomer. 

GC: What interested you in becoming a dog groomer?

ND: I love helping people and animating feels good. Even if it’s only for two hours, you grow a bond with dogs, and I personally find it therapeutic. And it’s so rewarding seeing a scruffy dirty dog turn into a soft, fluffy and shiny pup!

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

ND: I love grooming any type of doodle. I just love their personalities and love seeing how fluffy they get. There are many styles as well for a doodle. 

GC: Can you tell us more about K9freshcuts?

ND: I groom part-time typically Friday through Sunday. On average I’ll groom two to three dogs a day.

As a home-based groomer, it's all one-on-one with no kennels, and I like to take my time and give them all the attention. The more they come to me, I feel the bond gets better and stronger. 

I also love sending updates and cute photos of the grooming process to pet parents throughout the groom. (You don’t always get that at a huge, busy salon.)

GC: What is your favorite thing about being a groomer? Nellie Dunlap- 3

ND: I wish I could groom full-time but even just grooming part-time does take a toll on my body. Having more than four dogs a day for me can be very tiring. 

Having a prosthetic leg doesn’t stop me, but it does tire me out standing for long periods of time. I have to remember at times to sit and take a break. So, for now part-time grooming is what I can do. But I do not let physical disabilities get in the way. I still push and strive to be the best person I can be, and I love to inspire others.

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

ND: Being able to share my experience and photos and videos of before and after of my grooms. Every now and then, I go back to see how I started and where I’m at, and I'm just so blessed to be where I’m at. 

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

ND: Never give up.

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

ND: It takes time to start and grow a business. Learning is the best thing. You’ll have good days and bad days but keep striving and keep your head up! 

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

ND: Great quality products and fast shipping. My No. 1 choice. 

Keep up with Nellie and K9freshcuts on Facebook, TikTok and Instagram.

Are you a groomer or pet professional? Want to be featured in a future Groomer's Choice blog post or magazine? Submit your grooming story! 💜

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