Daryl Conner

Daryl Conner has been devoted to making dogs and cats more comfortable and beautiful for almost 40 years.  You can find her happily working at FairWinds Grooming Studio with her daughter and infant granddaughter, or typing away at her latest grooming-related article. Daryl was awarded both a Cardinal Crystal Award and Barkleigh Honors Award for journalism.  She shares her meadow-hugged antique Maine farmhouse with her practically perfect husband and too many animals. 

Groom Faster without Rushing

Most groomers would love to be a little faster at their work. That whole "Time is Money" thing is easily illustrated in a grooming business. But rushing is a bad idea. Because dogs and cats are so sensitive to our moods and actions, a harried, hurried groomer can cause the animal she is working on to act up and behave in ways that slow the process down.

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Four Ideas for Holiday Gifting

Imagine a Christmas Tree at your grooming business that is completely covered from bottom to top with adorable plush dog toys. As each dog completes their pre-holiday grooming session, its owner is instructed to choose any toy they wish from the tree for their pet. If their dog is not a fan of plush toys (or eats them!), there is also a stack of soft fleece blankets by the tree to be gifted instead.

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Breaking Up is Hard to Do

You know that customer. The one that when their name shows up on caller ID, you cringe. The one that, when you see them on the calendar, makes you wish you had called in sick.

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Changing Your Perspective

For many years I worked at an upscale grooming salon where several groomers shared one space to complete finish work on pets. It was great because we could all chat and visit while we worked, and it was also terrific because it meant that there was more than one pair of eyes looking at every dog before it got off the table, eyes that could see each pet from a different perspective.

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Skin Care for Groomers

Between regular exposure to water, shampoos, and the warm air from dryers, groomers’ hands have a rough time. If you live in a place with a cold season, the problem multiplies as outside temperatures drop. Many groomers experience irritating dermatitis, a medical term for inflamed skin.

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The Tip Jar

Pet Grooming falls into the category of “service industry,” like human hair stylists and barbers.  However, many customers are a little confused when it comes to the topic of tipping.

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Choosing the right grooming table

When choosing a grooming table, the many options can be a little overwhelming. It can be helpful to narrow down your choices by looking at the basics. 

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Cat Grooming 101

Although cats and dogs may share people’s homes and hearts, their grooming requirements are as different as, well, cats and dogs. Approximately 40 million households have one or more pet cats in residence, making cat grooming a highly sought-after skill.

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The importance of back ups

In the military, they have a saying, “Two is one, one is none.” I scratched my head the first time I heard this, but what it means is that if you have one of an item and it breaks, you have nothing. However, if you have a spare, you are back to having one. What does this have to do with pet grooming? For example, if you are clipping a dog and it kicks the clipper out of your hand, and the clipper hits the floor and is broken, you are out of business unless you have a spare clipper on hand.

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Poodle Feet-Fast!

I’ve lost track of how many groomers have told me, “I hate clipping poodle feet.” Trimming poodle feet can be done quickly and safely with the right tools and techniques. With practice, a skilled groomer can clip four beautiful feet in around 5 minutes.

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