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Associate Spotlight: Sarah Barnett, Professional Pet Stylist

Check out our interview with Sarah Barnett, Professional Pet Stylist at Store 1441! Sarah shares tips on staying motivated and avoiding burnout.

Q: How long have you been with PetSmart?

Sarah: I started with PetSmart 19 years ago this month!

Q: Wow, 19 years! That’s amazing. Did you spend all 19 years in grooming?

Sarah: I’ve done everything under the grooming umbrella. Started off as a Bather, did that for a couple of months before becoming a Stylist. I became a Salon Leader, and then I was an Academy Trainer. Did that for a couple of years, and then I took on a DST role. But now I’m back to being a Stylist.

Q: Do you have a favorite breed to groom?

Sarah: I love hand scissoring. So, doodles, bichons and poodles.

Q: What’s your favorite tool in your kit?

Sarah: My Artero Double Flexible Large Slicker. It has fine and coarse bristles, and I like how it works with the pet’s body.

Q: I can see how that would be valuable. What tips do you have for Stylists who are just starting out?

Sarah: Focus on time management. Learn a routine that works for you. It’s going to help you stay productive. HOPA is so important. Really take the time and don’t forget to charge your worth! If there’s matting or difficult behavior, we have SKUs for that. I undercharged for years because I didn’t know better.

Q: That is so true, your time is valuable. How do you avoid groomer burnout?

Sarah: Take your lunch breaks and ask for help! Rely on your leaders. Our Salon Leader Tiffany is always there for me when I fall behind. Don’t be afraid to use blocks when you have large labor-intensive breeds. You have to know your limits. Work with your leaders to know when those blocks are necessary. Make time for yourself outside of work. Get your massages and facials. It will help you feel rejuvenated.

Q: How do you stay safe while grooming?

Sarah: I feel that you have to stay focused on your pet. The dog I’m working on is the most important thing in the room. Focus on the dog and the dog’s behavior. Minimize distractions. That’s definitely going to help you stay safe and avoid accidents.

How do you stay so motivated?

Sarah: You have to keep yourself educated. Don’t get complacent. In this industry, you have to continue to grow. Go to conventions, take seminars, go to shows. Find a Master Stylist you admire and follow them. Elizabeth Gibbs started out at PetSmart and ended up on Groom Team USA. Kristie Reisenweaver was a PetSmart groomer, DST and QE Leader that was on the PetSmart Groom Team and now on Groom Team USA. They inspire me every day.

Thank you for sharing your inspiring journey with us, Sarah! Your passion and expertise truly shine through. 


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