It is still a shock, the first place win with Cosimo the Bedlington Terrier in the All Other Pure Breed class, and second place win with Amavi the poodle in Salon Freestyle class. Then going to Best In Show only to receive the Best All Around Groomer Award at the National Dog Groomers Association of America event Fun In The Sun in Orlando, FL. It has been a world win of emotions from stress, anxiety of being watched and judged in a large ring full of people then to worry, "am I good enough". Then finally feeling of oh my goodness, I can't believe it, these top level judges like my work and style.
You're not only going up against your nerves your going up against other groomers around the country. Competing pushes you, at least it does for me to do better and learn more.
Believe it or not, I didn't start competing until recently. I tried once in March of 2021 with no success. Then frustrated I vowed again to try once more to see if I had what it took. In January 2022 I competed at a small show in Hilton Head, SC and took 1st place in Salon Freestyle with my poodle Amavi. I didn't place at all with my poodle Lucifer in the Poodle division but it didn't knock me down. I asked the judge why? It wasn't because I wasn't good enough, I choose the wrong trim for my dog as he lacked coat where he truly needed it and due to that the trim lacked the humph to win. A different trim maybe could have won me a placement. These experiences have developed my eye a bit better which also carries over to my pet trims.
How this translates to grooming pets at home
I have always forced myself to take my time to put the best possible trim I can do on each and every dog I groom. Not just in the competition ring. Over the years forcing to be better and do the best groom I possibly can made me able to compete in the ring. I once had a past client say to me "you only do show dog trims and not pet trims so you don't understand your clients." I found that quiet comical as I had not once put her Shih-tzu in a show groom as the dog was always cut short all over at her request with a round teddy head. I just took my time to accomplish a great smooth finish and a cute round head and applied some cute bows in the ears. The results were an adorably fabulous finish. I believe that is what a pet stylist should be aiming for.
Whether or not I can make everyone that comes my way happy, I strive to deliver the best results possible with good skin and coat care and the best finish I can obtain that day for the dogs I groom.