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Intergroom 2011

(This blog is written by Juli Anderson, CFMG, CFCG, Certifier/Instructor for the NCGIA and owner/operator of Anam Cara Pet Spa in NJ.)
Time for INTERGROOM! It’s the tradeshow right in my own home state, all my favorite groomers always attend, and it’s the show where I had a life enhancing experience!
Today, Danelle arrived from South Carolina around noon at Newark Airport with my favorite little SC Persian, Monica, peeking out of her shoulder bag. It was so good to see these two Southern Belles again! What should have been a quick drive from Newark Airport to Secaucus to the Convention Center took a little longer as I was too busy talking to pay attention to the driving! Imagine that – me talking too much!
Set up of the NCGIA booth took minutes but, again, we took longer because Danelle and I had so much to catch up on! In my defense, I have to say, I’m mobile – so I am alone most of my day!!! It is rare that I have adult conversation on a Friday afternoon, and nothing beats good company, especially when the topic is Cat Grooming!
Time for a late lunch… and guess what – that ran into the early evening all because we talked more than we chewed! Seriously, all of the conversation revolved around our favorite share topic of cat grooming and the joys (and pitfalls) of running businesses that revolve around this said activity. I love this industry, and on the eve of Intergroom 2011, I find myself getting excited for the opening bell tomorrow morning!
It was 3-4 years ago at Intergroom that I had the privilege of hearing Danelle speak for the first time. I was already on my own personal pilgrimage to learn all I could about cat grooming. I had bought and read every book ever written on the topic, which isn’t saying much; completed the Nash Academy of Animal Arts online course on Cats and received hands-on experience with the beloved Joey Villani at Nash New Jersey. I was already grooming cats for clients at the shop I was working at, and thought I was a competent groomer, but I just had too many unanswered questions because I knew there had to be a better way. So imagine my excitement when my Intergroom catalog announced that some lady was going to do an all-day seminar series on cat grooming. Whoo-hoo! Although, I was also very skeptical, sometimes the title is more exciting than the seminar….

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To say I underestimated the extent of “a better way” is likely an understatement. I sat in the back row of the first seminar, and by the end of the day during seminar 4, I was in the front row hanging on every word Danelle said. I still have my composition book from that weekend at Intergroom filled with all my notes. I have 30 complete pages from the 4 seminars on cat grooming alone! I went back to work the next day with a new confidence, and happened to have a schedule full of cats. From that brief glimpse into cat grooming by a true cat groomer I immediately saw a significant improvement in my own grooms, the level of positive experience for both the cats and me, and my ability to successfully pre-book my clients. I was hooked, and the rest is history!

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Here’s to all the groomers planning on attending this year’s event! May you all have a wonderful time and come away with not only a memorable weekend, but one filled with shared knowledge exchanges that impact you in wondrous ways!
Don’t forget to stop by the NCGIA booth and say hello to Danelle, Monica and myself!

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