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Professional Dog Grooming: Generational Series – Youth Influence with Jeanine Palmiteer

Special Guests

Jeanine Palmiteer

I’m Jeanine Palmiteer, better known as Grooms by Jeanine, and I live in Williamston, South Carolina. I began cosmetology school in August of 2011 and got my Cosmetology license in September of 2012. While I attended school I worked at Sally Beauty Supply. When I graduated I was offered a promotion to become an assistant manager which I gladly accepted. I worked there for 2 years before I got a dog. Getting a dog changed my life. I hated leaving him home while I was at work, so I got a job where I could bring him with me at a doggy daycare called Camp Bow Wow. Thus began my career working with animals. Many people told me I should groom dogs which I firmly disagreed with because I “didn’t like froo froo dogs”. Unfortunately, I had to move to an area with no doggy daycares so I was left with two options: quit working with dogs or apply for a grooming position. I applied at some shops and was quickly hired due to my cosmetology background and experience working with dogs. Turns out I was pretty good at grooming and I really love the “froo froo” dogs after all. Grooming has opened doors for me I could have never imagined like starting a YouTube channel, traveling around the country, and even being on Groomer Tv. I am so happy to have found a career that truly allows me to unleash my creativity while also allowing me to be myself. It has changed my life.

Joe Zuccarello joins Jeanine Palmiteer to talk about the challenges of being a young professional groomer. Find out how Jeanine made her way into the industry, and how the next generation of groomers influence the industry.

  • What’s the most difficult part of being a young professional groomer?
  • How do blade numbers differ between cosmetology and dog grooming?
  • What goes into starting your own business?
  • Where can I start learning as a young groomer?

Tune in to find out.

Announcer: Welcome to “Hey Joe!,” a podcast answering questions asked by our listeners. Created by pet professionals for pet professionals. Now your host, Hey Joe’s very own, Joe Zuccarello.

Joe Zuccarello: What’s up everyone? Joe Zuccarello here. 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.

Joe Zuccarello: Hey everyone, this is Joe Zuccarello, your host of the “Hey Joe!” Podcast. We are doing something a little bit new and cool to kick off the new year. The “Hey Joe!” Podcast, the team at the podcast and for our show, we started to talk about the need to start speaking to individual types of groomers out there in our listener audience. One of the themes that we put together for… Call it kind of a mini series, if you would, is about generations in grooming.

Joe Zuccarello: When I talk about generations in grooming, yeah, I’m talking about the different age groups in grooming. Because if you take a moment and look around, this is such a phenomenal industry and such a phenomenal career that some are starting very young and actually, some are hitting a career reset button and learning how to groom later in their lives or later after maybe a professional career.

Joe Zuccarello: But today, we’re talking with a really special person. Her name is Jeanine. I first met Jeanine about a year ago, I think. I was immediately impressed by her drive, and her enthusiasm, and her desire to learn. Jeanine is actually a younger professional groomer. In our generation series, she’s going to kind of be representing what we see is a really good representation of some of the younger people coming up in this industry that just… I’ve been in this industry, I just started my 35th year and I’m super excited about all of these young people coming up in the industry.

Joe Zuccarello: Jeanine, thank you for hopping on the podcast today. I would love for you to tell the Hey Joe! listener audience a little bit more about yourself.

Jeanine: Hey, Joe. I am a younger groomer. I have been grooming for close to five years. It’ll be five years in like June or July of this year. I’ve been working professionally with animals for close to seven years.

Jeanine: I actually came from human cosmetology. I did cosmetology fresh out of high school. As soon as I graduated, I started cosmetology school. Went through the full thing, got my license, figured out really quickly that’s not what I wanted to do. I loved a lot about cosmetology. I love doing the haircuts. I loved color. Was really, really into color. But I found I didn’t enjoy sitting… It was hard for me to just sit there and talk to somebody for several hours straight. When you’re doing a long process, I mean, especially a color process, you could have somebody there four or five hours. To sit there and make conversation the whole time was really difficult for me.

Jeanine: I was actually working as an assistant manager at Sally Beauty Supply and just chose to kind of stay there for a while until I got a dog. Then I had this whole problem of I have this dog. He’s having to stay at home eight hours a day while I was at work. I was having my mom watch him. I was dropping him off at friends’ houses before I went to work. It was just getting out of hand.

Jeanine: I had a friend that had been working at a daycare called Camp Bow Wow, and she said, “You can bring your dogs with you to work.” I was completely onboard. Ended up applying, getting the job. I was actually making more money working at the daycare than I was as an assistant manager.

Jeanine: I was really, really happy. Doing something I loved. I loved being around the animals. Ended up unfortunately, moving an hour away, so I didn’t have the option of working at the daycare anymore. The only thing in my area was grooming shops, and I kind of just fell into it. The rest is kind of history.

Joe Zuccarello: Wow. What I like about that is and in our show prep, all of my productions, everything we do, we talk about… Because obviously, we talk a little bit before and we kind of do some prep. One of the things that you mentioned and I wanted to kind of just take a small step back on is you said getting a dog changed your life. Not only did it change your life maybe about just being a pet parent, but also it literally changed the course of your career path.

Jeanine: Yeah, 100%. I would not be probably talking to you right now if I hadn’t gotten a dog. I think I would still be doing human hair, cosmetology. Maybe still at Sally’s, maybe a manager somewhere else. But getting a dog definitely changed that path.

Joe Zuccarello: We talk about so many times that this industry is… It’s a trade. It’s like if you’re a mechanic, or you’re a plumber, or you’re an electrician, or you are a… Even any skilled trade. A doctor, a lawyer, whatever profession you choose. Dog grooming is one of those choices.

Joe Zuccarello: A lot of people happen to kind of stumble into dog grooming, while others, they just want to do something a little bit more fulfilling, right? They want to do something that, to your point… What also impressed me when we first met was you know you, right? You recognize that… And just there, you have some humility, right? So you’re able to say, “I’m humble enough to know that, listen, striking up a conversation with somebody and sustaining conversation with somebody for five, six hours at a time,” you weren’t really great at. It doesn’t mean that you don’t like people, right?

Jeanine: Right.

Joe Zuccarello: There’s a lot of people that get into dog grooming and say, “Well, I got into dog grooming because I don’t like people.” Well, that’s not necessarily the best… It might still not be the best choice for you because those dogs are connected at the end of a three, four, six foot leash to a person, right?

Jeanine: Mm-hmm.

Joe Zuccarello: And dogs don’t bring themselves in for grooming. So you still have to like people. But to your point, you were humble enough to know, “You know what? I know me. I’m not great at keeping conversation all day.”

Joe Zuccarello: Just a reminder to the Hey Joe! listener audience out there, the main topic of this particular podcast episode is professional pet grooming careers for the younger groomer. We’re joined by Jeanine.

Joe Zuccarello: I can’t wait. I think a lot of what you’re about to share with the audience, Jeanine, is going to be so inspiring for the younger groomer. Somebody that might be coming right out of high school, somebody that might’ve dabbled with thinking about if they were going to go down a traditional education path or a traditional career path, and it just wasn’t fulfilling.

Joe Zuccarello: Let’s start. Let’s just dive right in and say, Jeanine, as a younger groomer, what were some of your challenges? If you can kind of go back in time a few years, what were some of the challenges you remember first starting out?

Jeanine: Well, one of my challenges that I still face today is being really, really hard on myself and overthinking. That was something that I really struggled with in the beginning. It’s something that I still struggle with.

Jeanine: Another thing that was really hard for me, there is no grooming schools near me. I’m sure I’m not alone in this that there were no grooming schools near me. So it was really hard for me to find somebody to teach me.

Jeanine: I would go to private salons. They teach you some but not maybe everything. I kept getting shown enough that I would be able to work really well underneath somebody, but not enough that I could actually go out and do it myself. So I really, really struggled to find education until I started finding out about Atlanta Pet Fair, or things like learn2groomdogs.com, or all of these new options that are coming in. So that was really, really hard for me, was finding just somebody to teach me.

Joe Zuccarello: Yeah. One of the cautionary tales, I mean, I sort of fell into the pet industry through grooming as well. Now, I was a terrible groomer. I’ve told that to everybody I talked to. I just don’t have the hand for it, right? I don’t have the soft enough hands for it. But I make a mean bather brusher, or what we call around Paragon is groom techs, right?

Jeanine: Uh-huh.

Joe Zuccarello: But I happened to stumble into it as well. One of the things that I noticed early on was that just because you do have somebody to teach you, doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re teaching you correctly. So you end up with a copy of a copy of a copy, right?

Jeanine: That too. Mm-hmm.

Joe Zuccarello: I could see where that was and still continues, even in this industry today, to be a challenge. That’s why thank you for mentioning learn2groomdogs.com. That’s one of our missions is helping people find their success. The same thing with Paragon School of Pet Grooming, with our distance learning program. Those are new ways of using technology, right? Which is embraced more and more by younger people using technology to find a solution.

Joe Zuccarello: Let’s talk about those customers, right? Well, you talked about not being able to… You realized it wasn’t really your super power to talk to people for four or five hours a day. Do you find that the clients take younger groomers as seriously as they need to or, or how do clients treat younger groomers?

Jeanine: Okay. For anybody that hasn’t seen what I look like, I have bright red hair and tattoos. So yeah, when the older clients see me coming, they’re like, “Oh dear.” They’re like, “Who’s this crazy girl about to come work on my dog?” But I can always change their mind by just having a simple conversation.

Jeanine: Like I said, sitting there having a really long conversation, I might not be as good at. But I’m really good at explaining things that I know about. So if they’re coming to me, as we’re the professionals, we do know what we’re talking about or we wouldn’t be standing there.

Jeanine: When they come to you, that’s… A lot of times, they are just trying to challenge your knowledge. They want to make sure you know what you’re talking about. As long as you can answer those questions for them without hesitation and show them that you know what you’re talking about, they will take you seriously and the age thing goes right out the window.

Joe Zuccarello: Yeah. I can completely appreciate that. I’ve seen… And everybody on the Hey Joe! listener audience out there, you’ll be able to see Jeanine’s picture. She does look young, which I think that’s awesome, right? I think it’s great. But what I really like is that you have a confidence. I think confidence, to your point, kind of transcends age, right?

Jeanine: Mm-hmm.

Joe Zuccarello: You command the space when you’re there. You are the resident expert. They’re bringing their pets to you.

Joe Zuccarello: Really, it doesn’t matter what age. I’ve seen some people with decades of age behind them act immature and not be the expert and actually have less confidence from the pet parent than some of the younger people that are in our profession now.

Jeanine: Mm-hmm. Yeah. All they want to know is that you know what you’re doing and that their pet is going to be taken care of. That’s really the most important thing to them. So as long as you can show them that, they’re probably going to be okay.

Joe Zuccarello: As you were navigating through your education and you’ve been grooming for about five years, been around pets for seven, so you’re, I’m sure, still experiencing lots of new first time things or you’re hearing some things. Because I know I see at the trade shows, you actively participate and surrounding yourself with influence and professionals.

Joe Zuccarello: What are some of the surprises in that period of time? What are some of the surprises, good, bad, or ugly, that you’ve encountered along your journey so far?

Jeanine: Well, the first major surprise to me coming from cosmetology, I thought there was grooming schools. I thought grooming was done just like cosmetology. So I thought there was going to be licensing. I thought we were going to all have to go take state boards, all of that stuff. That was the first thing that I was like, “Wow, you don’t have to do all that stuff.”

Jeanine: And then the one thing, and this is probably going to sound really silly to people, especially if they’ve been grooming for a really long time, but I used to watch the Animal Cops and all those, and I saw the neglected dogs on TV. But honest to God, I had no idea that that’s something that you could see down the street from your own house. I guess I thought that that was a really extreme case. I didn’t know that seemingly normal owners would let their dogs get to a point of being severely matted and living like that. That’s not something… I really did think it was just on TV or in really extreme situations. But that was something that really surprised me.

Jeanine: And then also, one lighter one that’s kind of funny is the blade numbers and the comb guard attachments are so different from cosmetology. It really confused me at first. I think that was a major surprise for me. I was like, “What is this?” It was like reading a different language to me.

Joe Zuccarello: It’s funny you mentioned that because I go to a barber and I’ll sit in the chair and I try to pretend like I know what I’m doing because I’ve been around dog grooming for so long, that then my barber will look at me and like, “Do you want it big shaved or do you want a little bit of peach fuzz?” .So I’m trying to say, “Hey, if you use this clipper there or this blade there,” and they’re like, “Yeah, dude, no.” It is not translating.

Jeanine: It’s so much more simple in cosmetology. The blade numbers are… Yeah, there’s really one blade you use and then the guards are just 1 through 10. It’s very straightforward. Whereas grooming, it’s like you’ve got an 0, a 1, a 2. There’s like an A in there. There’s letters, numbers. It’s kind of all over the place.

Joe Zuccarello: Yeah. You wonder, “Okay, who was the first person to have to come up with that plan and why did we stick with it?” Right? But I guess everybody… Memorization and it doesn’t matter after a short period of time. But yeah, I could… I never even thought about that. That is a funny surprise.

Jeanine: It is. Also, I did find out through some friends that it’s not like that in other countries. The UK groomers and Australian groomers, they have a normal numbering system. They don’t have the A, and the E, and the… They just have a 1 through 10 kind of thing. It’s interesting that only America does that.

Joe Zuccarello: Leave it up to us to make a few things a little bit more complicated, right?

Jeanine: Yes, exactly.

Joe Zuccarello: When we first started talking today at the beginning of the episode, I mentioned how impressed I was by how much you pour into yourself and that you continue to invest in yourself and invest in learning and such. How have you invested in yourself and how do you plan to continue to invest in yourself and to be a continuous learner?

Jeanine: Well, as you mentioned early, I do go to trade shows. I go to the Atlanta Pet Fair every year. That’s the closest one to me, as I’m in South Carolina. But I try to go to any trade shows I can get to.

Jeanine: Another way that I kind of invested in myself and as me as a person, I do YouTube and I do… I’d like to continue my education for that so I can share it with people on YouTube. I also will invest more into buying new products and new tools and equipment to try out. It also kind of helps me to better my skills and better my grooms, but also, I can help other people by telling them like, “Hey, this product worked for me,” or, “Maybe this one didn’t because of this,” or… To kind of help people there too.

Jeanine: But yeah, mainly just the trade shows. I do online webinars. I love free education. I have a little group that we do, it’s called Groomer Support. We do free education on there. Just always trying to take in new things.

Jeanine: Even I listen to the Hey Joe! Podcast, obviously, and just any grooming podcast that I can kind of get ahold of. I really love to listen to grooming podcasts as I’m grooming. It keeps me motivated for whatever reason, just hearing it and then being able to be like, “I’m going to implement this right now,” or whatever. I guess I kind of have a lot of different ways that I have invested into myself.

Joe Zuccarello: Well, and one thing that I really like about what you’re talking about is that you keep a certain variety or a certain mix to how you’re consuming your education and your influence, and how you’re influencing others.

Joe Zuccarello: What I really like about that, we talk a lot of times about there’s no one correct way to groom, right? Everybody has their own little tips, and tricks, and shortcuts, and processes. You kind of have to take all of that in and make it yours.

Joe Zuccarello: That’s one of the brilliant parts about this career and this industry is that you can customize. It doesn’t mean that you don’t learn and that you have to pioneer or create things from scratch. In fact, it’s just the opposite. There’s plenty of information out there.

Joe Zuccarello: Even sometimes, and maybe you’ve found this, even sometimes by consuming or making sure that you are exposed to a lot of different variety of forms of education, it does help you kind of identify what is not correct because there are… Although there’s not just one correct way, there’s a lot of not correct out there. Especially, you do find that out a lot on free. A lot of free services that are offered out there. But to your point, watch them all, hear them all, learn them all. You’ll start to recognize some patterns of, “Okay, those are for the good and those are not for the good. Those are going in the wrong direction.”

Jeanine: Right. Yeah. One of my favorite sayings is take what you need and leave the rest. That’s definitely what I do. I like to take in information from anybody. Even if somebody is telling me something that maybe I don’t off the bat agree with, I at least listen, take what I need, and leave the rest.

Joe Zuccarello: Yeah. Great point. If the Hey Joe! listener audience out there, young and not so young groomers out there, take something from this, I think that’s definitely one worth writing down. Thanks for sharing that.

Joe Zuccarello: As we go through the industry, as you go through your career… It’s a fairly short career compared to some others that are in the industry, but what so far are some of your biggest successes? What are things that you’re like, “Yeah, I did that.”?

Jeanine: I’ve been very fortunate. I’ve had some really awesome successes. One of the biggest things I did, I went on GroomerTV, which that was actually one of the platforms that I originally learned from was watching groomers on GroomerTV. Because if you’re not familiar with GroomerTV, a lot of times they go around at trade shows and they video the demos that they’re doing at trade shows. So before I was even able to go to trade shows, I was watching the demos that they were doing there. To be able to… It was kind of like a full circle moment to be able to go on GroomerTV.

Jeanine: I also had a small feature in Groomer to Groomer Magazine, which was also really crazy because I’ve had Groomer to Groomer magazine for years sent to me for free and it’s so crazy to be able to see my name in there.

Jeanine: And then just having some really big name groomers that I really, really look up to tell me that they actually have watched my videos. That’s a major success. It’s really… I’m very, very lucky to have such huge successes like that. I’ve had some really incredible things happening.

Jeanine: But it’s not all been easy though. I’ve had some things, I’ve had some bumps in the road. I just started my own business. I think most people that have started their own business know it’s really, really hard. It seems like it’ll just be fine, but there’s a lot more to it. I’m in the process of trying to get a mobile van. Even though things are going, I know there’s going to be bumps in the road. I know it’s not just going to be all smooth sailing, and it’s hard.

Jeanine: I’ve worked at places that didn’t fit my needs and I’ve worked at places that I really loved but had to move from. I’ve kind of had some stuff like that. But I have to say, I’ve definitely had a lot more successes than I’ve had failures. But you get both. It always comes with both.

Joe Zuccarello: Mm-hmm. Well, one of the things you pointed out was starting your own business. I have seen some phenomenal dog groomers be terrible business people because sometimes we try to apply the same principles of care and going above and beyond with the pets to also going above and beyond with the customers.

Joe Zuccarello: Let me tell you, I mean, I am first, a huge advocate of the customer experience, the client experience, and making sure that they have the best service possible. But I’ve seen some people that, again, that are really great artists but not necessarily really great business people. Sometimes it’s detrimental, right?

Joe Zuccarello: So learn as much as you do, pour into as much as you do for your skills in business as you do in your grooming. You’ll put yourself in the best chance of success that way. And find business experts just like you find grooming experts. I think that’s sometimes where some groomers come up a little bit short in business.

Jeanine: Mm-hmm. Yeah. Something that Melissa Verplank talked about, I believe is on Learn2GroomDogs, but she talks about having a really good team behind you if you’re in business. I think she’s so right about that. That’s so important. You can’t do it all yourself.

Jeanine: Get yourself a good accountant. If you’re at a point that you need somebody to help you book appointments, then get somebody to book your appointments. Don’t try to just take it all on yourself, because that is kind of a way to set yourself up for failure by just trying to do too much.

Joe Zuccarello: Well, because at some point, then you stop focusing on your super power, which is grooming.

Jeanine: Exactly.

Joe Zuccarello: The worst thing that can happen is that you start to fall out of love of grooming, right?

Jeanine: Mm-hmm.

Joe Zuccarello: Keeping your super power front and center. It’s kind of a term we throw around at Paragon and learn2groomdogs.com is focus on your super powers. Where you come up a little bit short, to your point, scoop up some other people that that’s their super power, and surround yourself with those people.

Jeanine: Yeah, I know [DeLisa 00:23:10] has talked about it too, that she doesn’t like to clean her house. So she’ll hire a cleaning person to just take that one thing off of herself to just have one less stress. So she has a nice clean house and she can focus on the things that she’s good at. For [DeLisa Dubos 00:23:25] and then for us groomers, it’d be grooming.

Jeanine: If there’s things, if you can afford to kind of give that to somebody else to take one thing off of your back so that you can focus on what you do best, then I definitely think that’s the best way to go about it.

Joe Zuccarello: Yeah. More great words from you, Jeanine. I appreciate that.

Joe Zuccarello: Jeanine, on those days when it seems mundane, on the days when it seems like more of a challenge or that you’re having… It seems like more failures than successes, which I doubt that that’s going to be the case for you. But what motivates you? What kind of gets you going in the morning and what gets you just out of bed, just hitting the ground running?

Jeanine: I have a variety of things. Sometimes I just need to look at some good grooms. Sometimes I’ll just go scroll through Instagram and look at some really amazing groomers and be like, “Man, I just want to go groom today.” Or sometimes I’ll listen to a podcast. Sometimes I need… I guess it depends on what kind of motivation I need. If I’m just feeling like I’m a little tired today, then maybe I’ll listen to something that’s more inspiring that will kind of help me… Just kind of some words of wisdom.

Jeanine: But if I’m feeling like, “Maybe I don’t feel like getting up and doing a haircut today,” then I’ll go look at a bunch of really cute haircuts and be like, “Okay, you know what? I do kind of want to do a cute little haircut today.”

Jeanine: I just kind of… I check in with myself and I’m like, “Okay, what do I need right now? What’s going to make me feel better?” I just kind of go with that. Like I said, each scenario sometimes can be different. Sometimes I need to just go drive around in my car and cool off for a second and take a break from society. Sometimes I just need to put my phone down.

Jeanine: But I think checking in with yourself is super important. Seeing how you’re feeling. Sometimes you do just need to ask yourself how you’re feeling. It seems like you would just know, but sometimes you don’t even realize until you take that moment to check in.

Joe Zuccarello: Well, and sometimes hours, days, months, and sometimes in some extreme cases, even years go by before you check in with yourself. I often say that grooming can be like Groundhog Day, right? The movie Groundhog Day. You put your head down and you work and you do your eight or nine dogs that day. It’s the same as yesterday, and tomorrow will be the same as today. You go home exhausted, just to get up the next morning and do it all over again.

Joe Zuccarello: But to your point, what is it that you want to become? Are there small goals? Maybe it’s a daily goal, maybe it’s a yearly goal. Whatever those goals are, setting up for yourself and finding the people that you can kind of scoop up around you to help you be successful. I like that self-reflection comment or suggestion that you made to the audience. I appreciate that for sure. I’m sure they will as well.

Joe Zuccarello: As we started earlier talking about some of these, especially younger people, right? This whole podcast again, just as a reminder, this is Joe Zuccarello, your host with the Hey Joe! Podcast. Today we’re talking with Jeanine. Jeanine is sharing with us kind of her angle or her story, if you would, as part of a series we’re doing called Professional Pet Grooming Careers for Different Generations, and her being Jeanine, being one that’s representing the younger groomer.

Joe Zuccarello: What would you tell younger people? People that might be staring down the barrel, if you would, of, “I’m going to be graduating high school,” or maybe I just started college and it doesn’t feel perfect for me, or maybe I’ve graduated college, but the career of choice, it’s not a fit any longer, or maybe I’ve just become somebody different. What would you, from your perspective, tell the younger person out there who’s contemplating professional pet grooming as a career?

Jeanine: I’d say please just try it. We really need more awesome professionals in this business for sure. We need so many more people to come in. If you just come in and try it and you hate it, then you know it’s not for you and you can go and find what thing makes you happy and what works for you. But you may find that you love it.

Jeanine: You’ve got some options as to where to start. I tell every single person that asks me, when I got hired at Camp Bow Wow, I’d never worked with dogs professionally. I’ve done animal rescue with my grandma growing up, but I’d never worked with animals professionally.

Jeanine: When I applied for that job, I sat down in my interview and he asked me if I’d ever worked with dogs before, and I said no. He told me that he would rather work with somebody that was just motivated and willing to learn. Somebody that he could mold into the employee he wanted to create, rather than taking somebody that believes they already knew it all and was maybe not going to do things the way that… Because they may know it all from working at another place. But especially with Camp Bow Wow, it was a corporate place, so you’ve got corporate rules. So just because they know how to do it at this shop, doesn’t mean they know how to do it the Camp Bow Wow way.

Jeanine: I always tell people that, don’t be afraid of being turned down because you don’t have the experience. You might just be what that person is looking for. Like I said, if it doesn’t work out and you hate it, because some people it’s just not for. I mean, as you mentioned, bathing and brush outs were your thing, but full grooming, it’s not for everybody. If you find, “This isn’t for me,” you’re not stuck in it. You can go wherever you want and you can find something that fits better for you.

Joe Zuccarello: It might even… Jeanine, would you agree that it might even just spark a slightly different path, but it still might be in pet? For me, when I… I knew that I was not going to be successful as a dog groomer. I just didn’t have it. But I loved the industry and I loved the business aspect of the industry. So here we are, three and a half decades later, here I am still in the industry and loving it. I call it my home.

Joe Zuccarello: But being a bather brusher at age 13 years old, working in a little grooming shop in the St. Louis Metro Area, has led to a career that I would chalk up as one that’s successful. To your point, start. You may not like dog grooming, but you might still like the pet industry.

Jeanine: Yeah, I like to recommend places that are like Camp Bow Wow or any daycare that you can find that maybe does daycare training and grooming. Those are really great to get into because you have options. If you try grooming and you’re like, “Eh,” maybe you can go try training. Maybe they even have a vet hospital that you could work if you like vet tech, if you want to maybe try that or kind of get your feet wet in that area.

Jeanine: I like the ones that you do have some options. Like I said, that’s where I started. That’s how I was first exposed to grooming, was seeing it at the daycare.

Joe Zuccarello: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I couldn’t agree with you more. Jeanine, I’ll tell you, I’m thrilled that our paths crossed about a year ago. I’m thrilled to have watched you over the course of the last year and stayed in contact with you. I couldn’t be more thrilled that you agreed to come onto the Hey Joe! Podcast and talk to our audience about something that’s so important and to help shaping the career of young people. Especially, I love the word that you used, professional. That’s what we need in this industry are more professionals, and young professionals will continue to fuel the future.

Joe Zuccarello: Jeanine, I know we’re going to continue to see great things from you. I really do appreciate you coming onto the show today and talking with the audience.

Jeanine: No problem. Thank you for having me.

Joe Zuccarello: If you have any questions for future show topics, in fact, this particular show topic, this generational series was a question or a comment actually that came in through the Hey Joe! Podcast question email. Again, we explore those topics. So if you have any questions or any topics, episode topic recommendations, please submit those via email to us at heyjoequestions@paragonpetschool.com.

Joe Zuccarello: You’re going to be able to find this episode at that same website, at paragonpetschool.com. You can subscribe to the podcast on basically any platform where you might get your podcasts from.

Joe Zuccarello: Jeanine, thank you so much. Your new mobile business, we cannot wait to see. I can’t wait to see what you decorate your van to look like.

Jeanine: Yeah, I know. Me too.

Joe Zuccarello: You’re so into color and vibrancy. I can’t wait to see what it looks like. We wish you the very best, Jeanine. Thanks again for being on the show.

Jeanine: Thank you so much 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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