New owner of Onekama pet grooming business says there aren’t enough groomers to meet demand

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ONEKAMA – Pet groomer Kate Lippert doesn’t just want to help your furry friends look their best. More important to her is that they also feel their best.

Like humans, pets also need regular grooming to stay both happy and healthy. This is the goal of Lippert’s new business called The Groomery.

Currently located in the garage of Lippert’s home in Onekema, work is underway to develop a full pet salon at his property located at 4990 Main Street. A date has not yet been set for its official opening, but Lippert hopes it will be ready by the end of July.

Lippert is an academically trained pet stylist with years of hands-on grooming experience that includes bathing, trimming, styling, and fingernails. The Groomery accepts all breeds of dogs, cats and even some reptiles for nail trimming.

“I started at Petsmart, then I became a groomer and worked in private stores,” Lippert said.

Lippert took a long time in her career after the birth of her daughter and later the start of the pandemic, she said.

“I didn’t think I would go back to grooming,” Lippert said. “I thought I was exhausted and was done with it, but I started to miss it. I was more than just exhausted from working for someone else. There is a lot of difficulty in grooming for someone who is not a dog groomer – when your boss is not a dog groomer but tells you what to do.

Although the full salon is not yet ready, Lippert said she has maintained a constant number of grooming appointments since March.

“When I started grooming 10 years ago… there were a lot of groomers and there weren’t that many dogs,” Lippert said. “But the industry has gone mad over the past few years. Everyone had a puppy during the pandemic and then they couldn’t get them groomed. Not only because of the groomers pushed back from the pandemic, it’s also just because there aren’t enough groomers. “

Lippert takes a pet-centric approach to his grooming, which prioritizes the needs and well-being of the animal.

“There are a lot of things I have been forced to do like shave labs, shave pugs, shave beagles, shave huskies – although I know it’s not healthy for their coats, but the client is always right, ”she said. “My approach is more than the dog is my client, the dog is my client so I will do what is best for the dog and the owner comes second.”

Related: Tips from a Onekama groomer to keep your pet’s coat looking its best for the summer

Lippert considers part of his job to educate dog owners about their pet’s needs and best practices.

“A lot of this is because people don’t know their dogs,” she said.

This includes shaving thick-haired breeds for the summer.

“It really damages that coat and it can cause sunburn and make them unable to regulate their own heat,” she said. “Dogs don’t sweat like humans, their coats are like insulation for them and they need it.”

Lippert’s advice to dog owners is to maintain a regular bathing schedule between visits to the groomer.

“People want this secret answer to shedding and everything and honestly it’s just about taking regular baths every six to eight weeks,” she said.

Lippert said the price and turnaround time are an estimate based on the assumption that the animal has been groomed and brushed regularly. Each breed and even each pet can also have unique variables, including the size and temperament of the animal, the type and condition of its coat, and the type of haircut desired.

“Dogs, like humans, each have their own unique personality. They have days off. They have days when they don’t feel well. Especially as your dogs get older they have body aches that we might not notice that can prevent them from getting their nails done or lifting their paws, ”Lippert wrote on the Groomery Facebook page.

“Some dogs just don’t like grooming… some dogs bite. Some dogs fight with everything I have to do and the groom takes twice as long and that’s good, ”she continued. “I can still work with a mean dog, but I won’t work with people who don’t understand and take into account what grooming involves for their dog and their groomer.”

Appointments can be made in advance by calling Lippert at 231-299-4658. More information is available online at Grooming facebook page and on Instagram @groomsbykate.



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