Michelle is a Bather turned Pet Stylist at Store #2285 in Ontario, Canada. She recently graduated from our PetSmart Grooming Academy and is ready to help to make all of the pups that enter her salon look their best! She took the time to share her journey with us, as well as a bit about her #LifeAtPetSmart. Check it out below! 🤓
Hey howdy! My name is Michelle, and I really love my work and making pups and pet parents feel great. I try to do anything I can to make grooming appointments a positive experience for my Pet Parents!
I started with PetSmart in 2017 at another location where I worked as a Pet Care Specialist for about a year. I've always adored working with animals and have since switched locations. When my manager came to me and proposed that I start bathing, I accepted right away! I love dogs!
I've got a little lady at home named Molly. She's a Shetland Sheepdog and is great for practice grooming! (You can follow Molly's adventures on Instagram! @mollyomalley.sheltie) I adore trimming up shelties. Any double-coated dog with a bum to trim and sculpt, that's fun for me!!
I decided to pursue a career in grooming at PetSmart for several reasons, but honestly, my whole life, I've been lost on what sort of job to make a career out of. I've always been a creative person, so grooming was a fantastic fit for me. I am genuinely in love with it. I feel truly happy that I've found something that I can be passionate about, look forward to, AND get paid while doing it! I find grooming to be a very creative process, and it's honestly an escape for me to groom dogs and get a wonderful finished product that makes the pet parent happy and the pet feel better!
At PetSmart's Grooming Academy, I really enjoyed learning all the little trade secrets that groomers and bathers alike use. Everyone has their own strategies and routines and little tricks that I've taken to my home salon! Not only did my District Academy Trainer have a huge arsenal of knowledge, but just being around other like-minded people that had a passion for grooming was great.
The biggest challenge I encountered during my time at the Grooming Academy was my own self-confidence! I was worried that I would make mistakes, but that was all in my head and my Salon Leader, Heather, was always there to help. I appreciated that I could always go to her about how I was feeling about any given situation. If I wasn't confident, she'd throw me a few more pointers, and if I were more confident, she'd trust me to experiment (safely, of course!) Heather is a spectacular teacher, and I'm really looking forward to learning and growing under her wing!! She's always provided guidance and compassion. She's an awesome person.
#LifeAtPetSmart really makes me feel like we are all in this together. I feel like I Belong. I know like I could make friends with any PetSmart associate just by talking shop! Life at PetSmart is really sweet to look back on, and it reminds me that we are all from different walks of life but share a passion for pets and animals!
I adore seeing the posts, seeing what sort of activities are going on from the other stores! (I've even seen coworkers from my first store, #2190, on there, it's really nice to see them happy!!)
I have a lot of great experiences and stories from work. The other day I had a couple come in. Neither of them could hear at all. We spent a lot of time writing on sticky notes, asking and answering questions about bath services. We ended up using a translating service to book an appointment. In the time that I had before their dog came in, I wrote up a bit of a ditty for these customers—I wrote down every possibility of what I'd verbalize at our check-in process. I typed down what to expect of their service, what would get done to their dog, and even what I would say if I found matting on their dog. Just because you have an exceptionality doesn't mean your store experience should be of lesser quality. I want everyone I talk to and work with in the salon to have a positive experience with me. Accessibility is so important, and I want to help abolish those communication barriers in the salon- and the whole store!