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GroomTeam USA with Kathy Rose

Special Guests

Kathy Rose

A salon owner since 1983, Kathy Rose has garnered recognition in the pet industry both as an expert stylist and educator. As a competitive stylist, Kathy has won numerous national and international titles including best in show at almost every major US contest and gold and silver medals on Groom Team USA on four consecutive teams. She also served as the coordinator for many years.

This week, Joe Zuccarello discusses competitive grooming with the talented Kathy Rose of GroomTeam USA. With the 2020 competitive season getting underway, Kathy has some great insights about competing, the origins of GroomTeam USA, and how to bring your best at home and on the road.

  • How can I go for the gold in competitive grooming?
  • How did the United States get a national competitive grooming team?
  • Should I consider competing?
  • How should I talk to celebrity groomers at events?
  • What’s next for GroomTeam USA?

Tune in to find out.

Announcer: Welcome to the Hey Joe. A podcast answering questions asked by our listeners. Created by pet professionals for pet professionals. And now, your host, Hey Joe’s very own, Joe Zucarello.

Joe Zucarello: What’s up everyone. Joe Zucarello here and welcome to Hey Joe, a podcast brought to you by Paragon School of Pet Grooming. Check out our site at paragonpetschool.com for lots of really cool information on a variety of programs, products, and to connect to educational resources such as webinars, podcasts, current events, special news, certifications, and lots of other helpful information to help you grow yourself, your team, and of course your business. Let’s get started with this week’s episode.

Hello everyone out there, this is Joe Zucarello your host of the Hey Joe podcast and today I am joined by Kathy Rose. Kathy is … goodness, if you were to look at the professional pet grooming industry and start identifying some of the icons and some of the pioneers of what we now know as today’s current Pet Grooming industry professional landscape, you would be remiss not to include Kathy in what you’re seeing out there as far as the pioneers, and the shapers, and influencers in this industry. And today we’re going to be talking about Groom Team USA. And, Kathy, thank you for joining us today. And I know this is a topic that we’re going to have a great deal of interest in.

Kathy Rose: Yes. Thank you, Joe. I’m very happy to be here. Groom Team USA is passionate to my heart and I’ve been involved with it for a long time, so I’m excited to share what I can on my thoughts and what’s been happening.

Joe Zucarello: Well, and when I hear of Groom Team USA, I’ve been in the industry since the mid 80s, and one of the things that we’re going to talk a lot about what Green Team USA looks like, and sounds like, and the influence it has on the industry and such. But before we hop right into what it is that is Groom Team USA, why don’t you tell the Hey Joe listener audience out there, our audience members, our listeners, a little bit about yourself.

Kathy Rose: Well I was … Let me start right with Groom Team USA. I was a four time member, part of the first point tabulated team and then three more teams after that, traveling teams, helping Groom Team USA bring home three golds and a silver medal. I’ve been grooming for well over 30 years and have my own business salon, I built out three salons in Boynton Beach, Florida and still have my hands in hair every day, and I’m decided to do that.

Joe Zucarello: Well, and we talk a lot at Paragon School of Pet Grooming and learntogroomdogs.com about professionalism in this industry. And I look around the landscape of professionals in this industry and you are definitely one of those people Kathy. Every time I see you, you present yourself so well, so professional, you are in the public eye, you’re judging, you’re emceeing, you’re the voice behind the microphone at a lot of the trade shows and grooming competitions. So, if I look at the consummate professional in this industry, I definitely see you as being part of that. So that’s a big nod to you, so thank you for doing that.

Kathy Rose: Thanks Joe. I try and it just is my persona, to tell you the truth, it’s not something I really design, but it’s important to me and I think that professionalism in our industry is extremely important.

Joe Zucarello: Yes. And for all of the Hey Joe listener audience members out there, if you’re driving and you want to make some notes, definitely don’t do that while you’re driving. But if you want to go back and listen to this episode, you can always do that and all of our previous episodes at paragonpetschool.com, and if you have any questions that you would like brought up in a future podcast episode, feel free to also email us at HeyJoequestions@paragonpetschool.com.

So let’s dive right into Groom Team USA. And you’d be hard to miss these folks when you’re at any type of trade show or even reading some of the industry trade publications and such because they’re always in a red, white, and blue jackets, and there’s a certain amount of pride and we’re going to talk a little bit about that. But I think before we dive into that, let’s talk a little bit, Kathy, if you don’t mind, taking us in a little bit of a time machine back to the beginning or the roots of Groom Team USA, how did it get started? And, frankly, why did it get started?

Kathy Rose: Well, it was a more than 30 years ago, I think it was in around 1987 or so, and one of our industry icons, Jerry Shainberg, was traveling home from a trade show in Great Britain. And with him was a small group of Americans that attended together and we’re competing. And it was actually his inception to create what we now know as Groom Team USA. The first official team was actually formed a year later. I think that was around 88, something like that. And it was handpicked by a pure ballot system. And these ballots were chosen, people actually sent a resume in, groomers stylist, who had been competing at the shows, there weren’t that many at the time, but there were some intergrooom, all American, quite a few other ones.

And so people began making a name for themselves and submitted a resume, and they were chosen by peers and some of the movers and shakers of that time period. And those were the official first Groom Team USA Team. They went to winter England and they brought home the gold. After that, it seemed important to not handpick, there had to be a method to tabulate points and earn a spot. So, that’s when the first tabulated team formed. And again, we brought home the gold.

Now back in this timeframe frame, the World Team Championships, they were rather small, there was maybe between six and 10 groups of teams from various parts of the world, Italy, France, England, to name a few. And then sometimes they even had a team called, the rest of the world or just a few stragglers from different countries got together and formed a team, but there was usually somewhere between six and 10 teams. And quite honestly, all thanks to some of the real mover shakers at that time, Jerry Shainberg, Julie Cal Stone, Judy Breton, Terry De Marino created the Groom Team USA which was the first organization anywhere ever to officially sponsor groomers to represent their country at internationally held competitions. And donations from manufacturers, companies, and individuals support the travel expense of the team.

Joe Zucarello: So you’re saying Groom Team USA them was the first of its kind then and other countries started seeing what you were doing, and started falling into place and duplicating that inside their own countries, is that right? So Groom Team USA was the pioneer?

Kathy Rose: Absolutely. I think that there were groups in many countries in Europe that wanted to get together and create something, but the concept of actually having a sponsored, official team hadn’t quite gone around. It was actually quite some years later that it began to take off into what it is today well over 30 years later where we have more than 25, sometimes 28 teams from teams from all over the globe.

Joe Zucarello: So when I think of Groom Team USA, and I don’t know, I guess this is a little bit of a, not necessarily an outsider’s perspective, but let’s call me maybe an inside, outsider perspective.

Kathy Rose: There you go.

Joe Zucarello: I’m in the industry, but I get to view certain happenings in the industry. And one of the, I think it’s really cool phenomenon that is Groom Team USA in that I look at it, and maybe I’m right, maybe I’m wrong, but I almost see it being a parallel to the United States gymnastics team. I mean, what a great timing, right. We’ve just started year 2020, at the time of this recording, and here Tokyo 2020 is coming up, the Summer Olympics, and we’re going to see the best of the best athletes that are … they work at becoming the best of the best and being recognized for that, but then they’re hand picked … Well they’re not hand picked, I guess they earn their points but just a limited number of them go and represent the country. And when I see Groom Team USA, I immediately think of the parallel to the United States gymnastics team.

And I have two sons, I’ve said that before, I’ve got two boys, I’ve never had daughters, and not that it necessarily is only for females, but from a point of this reference is we’ve got some friends that have a daughter in gymnastics and a daughter in dance, and it is super competitive, but I see a whole lot of parallels. Am I seeing that correctly and that it’s similar to that in how we represent ourselves in the grooming industry?

Kathy Rose: I think you nailed it Joe. I think we’ve always looked at Groom Team USA as the Olympics of dog grooming competition world. And as it’s grown, and expanded, and gotten to the heights it’s gotten to, we see even more of a parallel on the competitive spirit and everything that can be done. I absolutely agree with that.

Joe Zucarello: So Kathy, when this group is put together every year and sometimes the same members are on the team for several years, and we’ve seen some members come in and go and some new members coming in. So it is a little bit in flux. But when you look at Groom Team USA, what did it mean back in the days when you were on some of the first teams and even now with some of the new members of Groom Team USA, what does it mean to a Groom Team USA member to put on a jacket? It’s got to feel pretty cool.

Kathy Rose: Well, the jackets have become a symbol of achieving the highest level that you can achieve in the pet grooming competition world. And I’m not saying that’s all there is to pet grooming for sure. But in the competition of pet grooming, this is the highest goal that you can achieve. And to represent your country, to earn enough points to represent your country in international competition is really special. And every year, 10 members are recognized and they are presented with the jacket, and that’s the top 10 point earning groomers, and they were presented with a jacket. Now this jacket cannot be purchased, it can only be earned.

Joe Zucarello: And did they get to keep their jacket after they may be retire off of the team or do they hand it down to a new team member?

Kathy Rose: No, it’s a new jacket every year. New members will receive a new jacket. And they change over the years, these have our fabulous sponsors and our premium sponsors are all listed on the jacket, so that will change every year. And once you have earned a jacket once, then you are entitled to continue to purchase jackets but you may not give them away, you may not sell them, you may not donate, these are strictly for those members that have competed and earned the top 10 points. Now from the other competition aspect, there’s the also travel team and that is something different which we can get into in a bit.

Joe Zucarello: Right. Well let’s start going into the mechanics of groom team because one of the reasons why I am bringing this topic forward on the Hey Joe podcast for our audience is because we get asked this question quite a bit. It’s come up in the Hey Joe questions at paragonpetschool.com email, it’s come up every time we’re at a trade show, sometimes in telephone calls and such, so we get asked the question all the time, how do I become a Groom Team USA member or competitor? And bigger than that, sometimes people are just wanting to know a little bit more about it so that they can have that sense of American pride, USA pride to backing the top of the top in our industry.

So, let’s maybe talk a little bit about the mechanics of it. So, obviously you had pointed out … you had talked about points, and you talked about earning, and you talked about some funding, right, and how does the team get funding and such? And then also you pointed out, well, there is a smaller group inside this group, which is the travel team. So let’s talk about the competitions, and what is sanctioning and how does that work?

Kathy Rose: Well sanctioning was designed. If you take a step back even from that and look at what our mission is or our goals, it will bring us on to sanctioning. And our mission for Groom Team USA is a vehicle to encourage continued education, growth, pride, and competitive spirit within the pet styling industry. Now, to accomplish this, the internal structure of groom team needed to be molded, and formed, and fine tuned. Rules, regulations, and protocols are needed to maintain a fair and equitable method to support this organization and tabulate points. It’s an ongoing process and with the help of many volunteers and sponsors, over the years, groom team has succeeded and continue to blossom.

Now a structured set of rules and guidelines for competitors, show promoters, and of course the board members has been created and established to sustain and provide point earning opportunities for those wishing to become team members. And how we really started to mold that is to create a set of structured rules for the classes. And what we now do, back in 2015, we created four classes that are accepted. And these four classes were modeled after the World Team Championships, which actually utilize these exact classes.

So over the years, competitive grooming industry evolved and we have to evolve as well. Now those four classes are hand stripping, sporting and setters, poodles and purebred scissoring. And every show, in order to be sanctioned, must hold those four classes independently so that the groomer has an opportunity to earn points. As far as sanctioning goes, the show promoters have to exhibit sustainability so that we can actually grant them sanctioning. Early history showed us that this was important. So shows could not just pop up randomly and convolute the point calculation. So, a show must really run successfully for two years prior to even applying for sanctioning.

Joe Zucarello: So it sounds like in the establishment of not only the point system, but also the class system and the show system, which you’re … When I look at grooming, when I look at professional pet grooming, I know there’s, I’ve often said, it’s artistry, right, and it just happens to do with pets. And there’s a lot of subjective opinions out in dog grooming. And there’s a lot of differences of opinion on how we get to a finished product and such, but it’s not necessarily the technique to get to the finished product, I mean, of course, safety and things of that sort are paramount, but what you’re saying is that you have to create something so that it wasn’t a popularity contest. It was based on objective, provable systems.

Kathy Rose: Absolutely Joe. And early on we found a lot of this out through trial and error. Again, we’re more than 30 years old and we’re still learning always. I figure, when somebody’s cup is full, they don’t want to learn anymore. Well, my cup will never be full. And as far as I’m concerned, groom team’s cup will never be full because we’re always learning and trying to do better with everything. Now as far as the subjectivity, that’s absolutely correct, and you don’t want it to just be a popularity contest. And sometimes people say, well, that person always wins or that person always wins, but quite honestly, they’re just bringing their game to the table.

Joe Zucarello: Right. And on a previous podcast, I interviewed Victor Rosado, who, in my book, is certainly one of the top performers in the business and being part of groom team, he talked about that and really what we talked about was how to prepare for competition. And he admitted being shy and that the competition world actually brought him out of his shell. So part of this is just a competitive nature that it brings up and it’s not for everybody, is that right?

Kathy Rose: Absolutely, Joe. Not everybody is competitive and it can become very stressful. And those that may suffer from some anxiety or are not strong with accepting critique or having their work judged, probably isn’t the right venue for them to share their grooming expertise, maybe teaching is a better way to do it, or just their everyday grooming in their salons. But not everybody loves competing. Going to the shows and learning there’s so many opportunities to learn at every show, there’s excitement, with worldwide grooming competitions, you make friends for life all over the world, career building opportunities, there’s just so much that can be offered through going to trade shows and learning more, but for the competition, it takes a special and unique strength I think.

Joe Zucarello: So Kathy, that brings me to a real important … this is what we get asked all the time, and I don’t have a simple answer, there’s probably not a simple answer for what appears to be a simple question. And that is, groomers come up to me all the time, or they come up to the Paragon team, or the learn to groom team at the trade shows, or even email us in and say, I want to know, how do I become a groom Team USA member? So if you’re asked that, how do you answer that?

Kathy Rose: How do I answer that? First of all, I think after I did have the chance to listen to Victor’s great podcast, and actually he had some excellent information. And if you really, really enjoy grooming, and you have a competitive spirit, then going to the trade shows, and learning what it’s all about, and taking the time to accept structured critiques, to learn more, and to understand what you have to compete with, what the rules are, it takes a special type of person. But mostly to look up the sanction shows, to become a Groom Team USA member … By the way, anybody can go to the Groom Team USA meetings and events and functions that we have at many of the trade shows. Usually at least four to five, sometimes even six shows. We have lots of different events and we generally hold meetings as well, and those are open to anybody, even if you’re not a competitor. Just to learn more about what grim team is all about.

It’s not necessarily just about being in a competition, and donations, and and help to work with the board of directors, and offer help at the auctions and the booth is always cherished, absolutely cherished. So there’s lots of things that can be done to actually start, you actually have to enter sanctioned competitions. And points are calculated by the number of competitors that you defeat. It only comes from the open level so to get started, generally people start off in either the entry division or intermediate division and build their way up. And if they decide that competing is for them, and they get the bug, so to speak, then they continue on and they continue to excel. And it means taking a little bit of lumps here and there. And it’s hard work, and it’s not inexpensive either.

But once you move up to open division, the contestant, the show promoter will turn in the results to the board, the groom team board, with the number of contestants in each class and with the placements. Groom team then awards points based on a predetermine table. For instance, if there’s only two contestants in the open division class, for whichever class it is, then only first place will receive one point. If they’re say 21 to 25 contestants, first place would receive 11 points, second would receive 10 points, and third would receive nine points. Groom team also awards bonus points for best in show. So that’s the way to begin. It’s to just go to some of the meetings that we hold, learn about it, you can go to the Facebook page. Actually the Facebook group is probably your best bet. We’ve had both, a page and a group, and you become a member of the group there, we accept everybody, we encourage it. And you can see a running up to date schedule of the top point earners for each and every class.

Joe Zucarello: So it’s interesting and I want to just hit the pause button just one moment. I’d like to unpack something I thought was just so profound that you talked about or you mentioned, and you may or may not realize how profound it might be but you talked about these general meetings that are held at the trade show. So yes, if a person is inclined to at least find out more information about competing in general, but while they’re at the shows, not only learning how to take constructive criticism and learning the ins and outs of the competition world before they jump in, but you talked about being able to attend these meetings, they’re open to anybody that’s there. And what’s interesting about that is I think sometimes, I don’t know, but I hope that does is that lets people know that this isn’t just an elite group of talented professionals but it’s also an open group.

Which means you can learn from these folks. You can go to the meetings, you can talk to the Board of Directors, you can … These … In fact, I’ve actually sat in on some of these meetings and what’s really great, everybody, not only the Groom Team USA competitors and the people wearing the jackets, but also the board of directors loves to talk to people who are interested in learning more about groom team.

Kathy Rose: Absolutely Joe. And at the shows that we have a booth, we generally have a meeting as well. So when we have a booth as I said, we don’t do every show because we have to watch our pennies because we have to be able to support the team. But at these shows, we generally have the meeting, when we have a booth, anytime when you’re at a trade show, you can come by the groom team booth, we have merchandise. Whose ever working the booth are our trade show representatives, right now which is a Annette Quick, or myself, or Terry, or any one of us standing by to be able to talk with you or talk with competitors, give you information. We’re open books and we would love to see more interest in more people. And we encourage the growth and the competitive spirit. And we encourage any groomer that would just like more information, even if they don’t want to compete just to find out more. You can never learn too much.

Joe Zucarello: Right. And if nothing else, just to become a bigger fan of Groom Team USA.

Kathy Rose: Absolutely.

Joe Zucarello: Just to be a supporter. So let’s talk a moment about a form of support. And you talked about the expense of being Groom Team USA. And obviously as you start learning to compete and you start competing on your own, you have to get yourself to the trade shows, and there are costs and entry costs and things like that. And sometimes if you’re good, you win some money back, right. But you talked about traveling. Let’s say you land on groom team, let’s say you’ve earned your spot in groom team, how does groom team support itself? You’ve told me before, it’s a nonprofit organization, so how does groom team financially function?

Kathy Rose: Groom team is financially supported solely from sponsorships from the large companies that you see at the trade shows, starting with our top sponsor, which is the American Kennel Club, which they are what we call our presenting sponsor, and they are the ones that actually get their name to be used as they’re presenting Groom Team USA at the World Championships. And there are many other sponsors, Cooper companies, we have a pet insurance, there’s just so many, shampoo companies, and they donate money and it’s a lot of money because it takes a lot of money to send a team every two years, to help support the booth at the shows. Trade shows usually will donate the booth space to us. It’s also by cash donations, sales from products in our booth, we hold raffles which you can have the opportunity to win something with a donation. So it is 100% funded by donations through manufacturers, companies, individuals, and it’s really turned into a very fine tuned business organization.

Joe Zucarello: What I like about that is that at every level, the industry is supporting Groom Team USA. And I see, again, that parallel back to the USA Gymnastics team, and how proud are we as a country and as an industry to put our top of the top out there in the world for company for competing? And being somebody that has had the pleasure of leading large grooming teams in the commercial space at high end pet resorts, or doggie daycare facilities, grooming spas, things like that, I know that not everybody understands and can appreciate just the importance it is to have this international influence that is Groom Team USA. So the average or common groomer out there that’s who we’re speaking to today on the Hey Joe podcast, is it’s great to have pride and it’s great to know that this is going on, but it’s also a sense of pride in supporting Groom Team USA as well.

So let’s talk a little bit about the results of groom Team USA. And in our show prep, you brought up two really great points and I wanted to unpack those a little bit for our audience today. And again, just a reminder, we’re talking with Kathy Rose, all about Groom Team USA and you can listen to this particular episode as a replay or any of our previous episodes at paragonpetschool.com and you can also access it and you can watch some of Kathy. Kathy I forgot to even mention, you’re a learntogroomdogs.com training expert as well. So if you want to see Kathy in action, consider a membership over at learntogroomdogs.com.

But as we start talking about some of the results of what groom team has done for the industry, part of it is the influence on people. So, you made a point of saying, there’s a lot of folks out there whose careers have been enhanced or guided by the existence of Groom Team USA. Do you mind letting us know a little bit more about what your thought process there was?

Kathy Rose: Well, if you think about this for over the past 30 years, groom team, which is a nonprofit organization as we said, has grown into an internationally recognized well oiled machine. Other countries emulate our structured methods, our rules, and we continue to provide assistance to other countries that seek our help since organized inception of the first official team, more than 30 years ago, Groom Team USA has achieved international recognition of winning more gold and more silver medals than any other country in the world.

Joe Zucarello: Wow, that’s really great.

Kathy Rose: Now groom team, the entries are funded as we said by donation, but not only does the entire world of the pet grooming industry see this, but camaraderie is built self esteem. I know, for me personally, when I first started grooming my father would always ask me, he says, “When are you going to get a real job?” And the first time I offered to pay my parents way over to Europe they said, “I guess she made it.”

Joe Zucarello: That’s spectacular.

Kathy Rose: But it’s truly a self esteem builder and I think some of the other podcast interviews, I had mentioned about being shy, well it pulled me out of my box because I’m actually a shy person too unless I’ve got my hands on a dog or I’m out in the world. So, lifelong friendships worldwide are made, career building opportunities, as you mentioned, when you become the top in your … What I like to liken it to sometimes is when you really make it all the way in the competition world, you can become a big fish in a little pond. And it really opens up doors for representing companies, or getting sponsors, and so there’s just so much that can enhance your career when you work toward or work with an organization like groom team.

Joe Zucarello: And what’s interesting that you mentioned there is that there’s a lot of professional pet groomers out there, and for any of you audience members that are out there listening, you know who you are. There’s a lot of us out there that it’s like, and I called it before, it’s like Groundhog Day for pet grooming, right. So today is the same as it was yesterday and tomorrow will be the same as it is today. And it means we come in, we turn on the lights, we turn on our clippers, and we go to work, and we do six, seven, eight, 10 dogs, and it’s just wash, rinse, repeat literally in our career one day to the next, and it can get mundane, and it can get exhaustive. Not telling the groomers out there anything you don’t know, but you also know that it has an expiration date because it is to Dr. Matt Phineas credit and other Hey Joe podcast guest. This is an athletic career, which means it’s physical and you can only do it for so long. So what is in your long term picture?

And competing and potentially becoming a Team USA international competitor can pave a new path in your career that is a little bit different than just working yourself to exhaustion and to sometimes physical inability and having to retire from the business early. So, I love that lifelong friendships, lifelong camaraderie. What I really like about it too Kathy that you mentioned is that it’s constructive criticism. So I would believe that it helps people achieve … and this is just competing in general, right. But it helps people achieve a level that they might not have been able to do on their own, it’s like an island in ABC Pet Grooming out there on the road.

Kathy Rose: Absolutely Joe. And early on in my career I had always strived to learn as much as I could. And quite honestly, I learned in back one of the old school groomer that self taught. And I learned in the competition ring. And doing that absolutely you getting critiques from some of the most knowledgeable judges in the world, and not everybody will agree with what you’ve done on your particular model dog that you’re working on, but you take what you want and what you can use and you leave the rest. And it really helps to improve and what it taught me is that there’s a far less burnout rate with groomers, as you mentioned about the mundane wash, rinse, repeat and all that, but there’s far less burnout rate with groomers that continue to learn, and especially competitors because what I found is I would go to a show and I would compete, and I would take pictures, and I would look at the other dogs, I would watch some other grooming and I would learn.

I would take the critique from whatever judge was going over my dog, and I’d go home, and then every dog in my salon, even if it wasn’t the ideal, might it be a much, it wouldn’t matter what it was but every dog became a practice dog. And therefore, it boosts my excitement every day to continue to groom dogs.

Joe Zucarello: I can tell the excitement just in what you’re talking about your octave went up like three degrees.

Kathy Rose: [crosstalk 00:38:32] Well it’s the truth. I think if you ask most successful competitors, they started out the same way. Nobody just jumps right in winning right off the bat. I was fortunate that I actually did. I never in my entire career went to a show without winning something. But of course this started 30 years ago and the shows weren’t as big and grooming wasn’t as good.

Joe Zucarello: Well, and to your point, that’s how we’ve evolved because we have these structured processes that are put in place to help push people because at the time when this podcast is being recorded, other than the pet owners establishment of accountability for quality in such of our work as pet grooming professionals, outside of some obvious reasoning, we don’t have governmental regulations or stipulations yet imposed on our industry. So without accountability from some sources we would expect accountability to come from, we’re accountable where we set our own accountability and putting yourself in that vulnerable position, and in that state of being accountable, actually pushes the entire industry, it tows the entire industry behind. So, that’s a real important point to make out as well.

So if this conversation with Kathy is inspiring you at all, even to just even consider competing and maybe even competing on a world stage like Groom Team USA, then we’ve done our job. If it helps you get better at what you do and helps you feel more fulfilled. So here’s what I would encourage you to do as a Hey Joe listener audience out there, go to the paragonpetschool.com website and and listen to this episode, share it with your team members and such, consider a membership at learntogroomdogs.com so that you can watch some of the industry’s top talent.

And Kathy I know that you have been a training expert for learntogroomdogs.com for several years now, and we receive comments all the time that that’s where competitors will hone their skills because they have access to 40 or so training experts to watch different methods of proper grooming and enhanced grooming techniques to get them ready so that they are not going in blind. So that coupled with what Kathy had said earlier, which is the approachability of the top competitors, Kathy, would you say that if somebody went to a trade show where groom team members are at, and they’ve got their jackets on, and they’re walking on, they’re approachable. I mean, we want somebody to go up and tug on their jacket nicely and ask them questions, isn’t that right?

Kathy Rose: I think so. With one caveat to that is if it looks like they’re walking really fast, and they’ve got a dog in tow, and they’ve got a grooming bag in their hand, that means they’re in a hurry to get on stage for either a presentation, an instructional class, or a very important competition. So, if one can use just common sense when you see them, if they’re just meandering around, absolutely, or if you see anyone standing at the groom team booth, absolutely. Just got to use a little … common.

Joe Zucarello: Right, we appreciate that. We appreciate that. But definitely maybe attend the general session as well because the ones I’ve sat it on, there’s a lot of groom team members that are in those meetings as well. So I’ve seen a lot of little breakout conversations that happen between the attendee of a grooming show wanting to pick the brains of some of the best of the best. So, Kathy, so what’s next for groom team? Is it upward and onward? Do we continue to turn [inaudible 00:42:44] we’re just going to continue to try to dominate the world stage, anything coming down the pipe for groom team?

Kathy Rose: Well, as you might know or not, we have our next World Team Championship coming up and it got postponed, this is … The World Team Championships are currently being basically organized by the EGA which is the European Groomers Association and the next world championships will be held in Dijon France on May 31st of 2020. So right as we speak, we are creating our airfares, we’ve reserved our hotels for our team, we’re trying to coordinate us all getting over there as a team together with our flags and our banners, and we certainly hope to bring home the gold but even if it were not to happen, you wouldn’t believe the excitement of going to one of these events.

The the roaring of the crowd and the flags waving from all the different countries is absolutely awe inspiring. And you might be able to have seen some of the videos of past events that I think Berkeley had produced or a couple of different people had produced, and it’s very exciting. So, we are looking forward to Dijon France on May 31st. And we plan on bringing home that gold medal trophy.

Joe Zucarello: Well, I will tell you what, I’m going to ask for a commitment from you right now, I’m going to put you on the spot. And I would love to have you back on. Now you’ve got a lot to do between now and then, so I’m not going to bug you, right, because you’ve got that dog in tow and you’re walking real fast. So, would you come back on as a podcast guest and let us know how the competition went and maybe have a recap after you get back and the dust settles?

Kathy Rose: You bet Joe. It’s very exciting and I’ll be over there … I think we actually have our top four members plus our alternate, which will be bringing dogs and they also have individual classes a couple of days before, so there’s some exciting things. But we also have a team of cheerleaders going from our industry, some of our top founders they’re going to be there. I think there’s about 18 or 19 of us all together. So we’ll have quite a large team of people there just to cheer, and help, and show moral support for Groom Team USA, and also to visit with friends from all over the world. It’s very exciting and I’d be delighted to come back and talk about it.

Joe Zucarello: Well that’s great Kathy. Know that we’re all behind you. We’re all rooting for you if we’re not there personally, and you’ve got the support probably even a bigger support now since you were kind enough to come on to this episode of The Hey Joe podcast and give us a little bit of a peek behind the curtain of how Groom Team USA started, its mission, the mechanics of it, and the results of groom team. So good luck in the May competition in France and we look forward to having you back on an episode after you get home. So Kathy, thank you very much and take care.

Kathy Rose: Thanks Joe. Appreciate it. And thanks for having me.

About Joe

Joe Zuccarello is president of the Paragon School of Pet Grooming, leaders in grooming education on campus and online. He possesses more than three decades of experience in the pet grooming, product development and pet business consulting disciplines.

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