Alumni Stories

Alumni - Where Are They Now?

Graduates are on our minds at American Grooming Academy! We not only love our current students, but we have a special relationship and love for our alumna! American Grooming Academy is invested in our students, even when they are not ours anymore!


Angie and Rodger Aldray - Alopaw

You may remember Angie and Rodger Aldray, and their mobile grooming business Alopaw. They have taken San Diego by storm in their surf-loving grooming van. Rodger has many clients who adore not only his grooming skills but his tact and love for what he does. Rodger's wife Angie, who also attended American Grooming Academy, would help Rodger on her days off from her work as a dental hygienist. Over the past year, they have gained a reputation for amazing work, and a client list that any academy graduate would be thrilled to have. Rodger and Angie decide that it was time to expand! Rodger would keep the mobile van and his primary customers, while Angie ran their stationary salon!

Welcome, Barkley’s Pet Spa situated in trendy Rancho Bernardo San Diego. Barkley’s is a full-service pet salon that not only has the advantage of having two certified groomers, but also a mobile van attached to the salon! Angie wanted a “warm inviting place that felt like home. Mobile grooming is so personal, and we wanted Barkley’s to be just as personal!”

With its sea blue walls and trendy decor, Barkley’s is the ideal place to get your pooch ready for spring! Rodger and Angie are the first American Grooming Academy Students to open TWO successful pet salons and we are proud of their achievements!
Barkley’s Pet Spa


Blaire Edwards

Blaire  Edwards, “Blaire Bear” to all of us, was not your ordinary student at American Grooming Academy. Blaire was always on time for class, never had a bad day and loved every animal she met. She was exactly what you hope for in a potential new pet stylist! Blair struggled however on her homework and test taking skills. At American Grooming Academy, we strive to make all our students feel like they can succeed and be challenged. So instructor Kat decided that test taking for Blair Bear should be interactive. By reading the tests aloud to Blaire Bear she excelled and became a model student. Blarie became so good at her job as a student, that American Grooming Academy offered her a employment after graduation. Blarie Bear has been a part of the American Grooming Academy ever since. She not only is amazing at her job, including customer service skills and grooming skills, but she can always make a new student feel comfortable on their first day, or make a joke when the day to day rush of the academy is too much! For this reason, we love our Blair Bear! She is a shining example of what it means to find your place in this business, and her place is with American Grooming Academy!

Blair is currently working in a shop in Arizona where she now lives!


April Hernandez

Another American Grooming Academy success story is one of our freshman year graduates! April Hernandez came to American Grooming Academy because like most of our students she wanted to make money, and have a career! April always had a smile on her face, loved all animals, and did great impressions of staff, making every day with her filled with joy and laughter! After graduating, April acquired a job at PETCO in Escondido California. She completes anywhere from 5-8 clients a day and has been a successful part of the PETCO team for three years! April say’s “I always enjoy the dogs, it’s people that sometimes get complicated!” April is thankful for her time as a groomer at PETCO and gives all potential students the advice that “in this field expect a lot. Sales, customer service, and getting return business, it’s not just grooming and going home.” We are thankful to have had April’s beautiful face and charming character, together, both April and our own Blaire Bear make us proud to be American Grooming Academy!

April is now a head groomer at Camp Run A Mutt in Kerney Mesa!


Kent Bailey

…. “you what?” Angela Clark, director of AGA, said at their first potential student meeting. “I already purchased my Wag ‘n Tails Elite Mobile Grooming Salon.” Kent Bailey had already made a huge purchase without even STARTING school yet. This made him unique and also to this day the only student of AGA’s that had his van before class started. He started class just one month later.

Kent, like so many others, had a career that he became the best at. “I made a hobby into a profession by going to cooking school and becoming a professional chef. After many cooking and chef positions, two restaurants and leadership positions in college and university food service, I realized it was time for a change. Kent researched the pet care business because he wanted something new, fun and challenging. After finding that pet stylist learn new skills, get to be with pets all day and help their owners keep them healthy, he knew this was the new career path for him!

We recently had students graduate, that Kent advised going the American Grooming Academy way. Denise Ray finished our academy and graduated in December of 2014.

She is currently getting her field training with Kent as a mentor. “She is doing very well and taking on her own clients!” Kent decided to send his potential employees to his alma mater because, “without good and well-trained employees, its difficult for a business to grow successfully!”

Kent currently has plans to add another Mobile unit or start a salon in addition to his already very popular, “Bailey’s Groom Service”. Kent says his favorite part of being a new business owner is the “Independence”!!!

Here at American Grooming Academy, our students mean everything to us, and now Kent, an alumnus, business owner, and mentor is the shining light in our dream to create the best pet stylist in the world! Thank you Kent, you make us so proud!


Sandra Perez

Pacific Grooming isn't just another mobile grooming salon. Its special, not only because it is beautiful and specializes in Luxury Service for pets, but because of who owns and operates it. Sandra Perez is not only an amazing Pet Stylist but she is also an American Grooming Academy Alumni.

“The biggest lesson I have learned from becoming a mobile grooming business owner has been that what I perceived as my weaknesses, are actually my strengths, I am not the fastest groomer, nor am I the very best groomer, I still have much to learn, but I am a very careful groomer, I am slow and methodical, and therefore I have a ZERO injury record, that is something that is very important to me and it's even more important to my pet parents!”

We are so very proud of our alumni, especially one who is against all the odds!


Allison Greer

Allison Greer came to American Grooming Academy to learn a trade right out of high school. She had received money for college and deciding that the traditional university was not the right fit for her, she came to AGA with bright eyes ready to learn. Allison was also the very first student to graduate the Advance Professional Pet Stylist program, making her not only very special but very loved by American Grooming Academy instructor Kat Marchant. “I pushed Al, I pushed her hard to be better, even when she cried or got frustrated. She learned to handle any situation, preparing her for a life long career in the pet care industry. She is still not only my best accomplishment, but also my best friend.”

Shortly after graduating Allison was hired by American Grooming Academy. After some time Allison and high school sweetheart Alex St. Yves were engaged. Another life step had occurred shortly there after, Alex had joined the Army. After their wedding, Allison and Alex were separated. He went to boot camp, she stayed in California and continued to work at AGA.

“The hardest thing about being a military spouse is being away from my husband and the last minute changes. One day you aren't going anywhere and the next day you are moving.”

Best friend and instructor Kat Marchant interviewed Allison to get her assessment of AGA’s big news!

When asked what would be a deciding factor to come to AGA?
“One deciding factor is definitely my love for animals, I love working with them and I always will. Another deciding factor for me would be you can groom anywhere you go, there is always a salon looking for a stylist”

What benefits does being a Certified Advanced Professional Pet Stylist give you as a military spouse?
“Being an Advance Professional Pet Stylist I have a variety of skill sets from hand stripping, to clipper work, to scissor work which gives me the option to work anywhere from a boarding facility, high-end salon, or corporate salon. Which is helpful when you move around so much.”

Being the very first graduate of the Advanced Professional Pet Stylist Program at American Grooming Academy makes you special, What advice would you give future students regarding becoming a pet stylist?
“Kat always told me "Work smarter not harder" and I use that as a guideline to this day. Stay patient, if a dog is being difficult take a minute and breathe. Dogs can sense your irritation, the calmer you are the better groomer you will be and lastly ALWAYS look to improve, no one is perfect and there is always room to grow in this business.”

Allison is now the mother of Grayson and Amelia, she is working for Petsmart in their new location just outside of Washington D.C.

American Grooming Academy is very proud of Allison St. Yves. We are also proud to be recognized by the military for our program.


Fannie Wong

For close to five years The American Grooming Academy has been educating people of all ages in the art of pet styling. Our innovative techniques, hands on approach, and finely tuned curriculum, have changed the lives of many people. All ages, races, learning types, background, and people from all kinds of different working backgrounds have succeeded at american grooming academy. Here are a few of their stories!

Fannie Wong came to American Grooming Academy wanting to open her own business. She drove two hours each way. She came to American Grooming part time for over a year to complete her education! Fannie graduated and along with her husband and three poodles, Sesame, Sugar, and Tiny Tofu, opened “Little Paws Grooming Salon.” Fannie is a testament to putting your mind to it to get it done. We celebrate her as a determined and wonderful part of our pet styling alumna!


Valerie Greer

Valerie Greer is a mom of three girls, including a set of twins. Valerie’s trade of choice for many years was a professional photographer! Some of her work can be seen on the AGA website. After sending three girls to American Grooming Academy….yes you heard right…. Allison St. Yves, Darla Greer, and Sandy Greer are all daughters of this recent grad, she decided that this would be a family business! The Greers are gearing up to open their very own salon and we salute a family that “works” together stays together!!

Valerie is currently working as a Professional Pet Groomer in Two locations, Including Instructor Kat's Grooming Salon the Pit Stop! She also helps AGA with all adds, images, and interviews!


Pam and Amy Morrissey

Pam and Amy have a successful shop in Redding California, Cutie Pies! They have been in business for a total of 5 years! They have a great clientele and even have a bather to help out with all their clients!  They have become certified in cat grooming, so they can offer this service to their clients. Here at American Grooming Academy, we are very proud of our graduates, and wish them every bit of success and happiness from owning their own business!

Congratulations Pam and Amy!

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