Here in California, Hispanic culture is everywhere. From your favorite street festival to many Mexican american restaurants and places to shop, Southern California is known for its diversity! Many, many Hispanic women are going back to school and learning trades, being able to help the family and make better lives for their children! Becoming a certified Pet Stylist with American Grooming Academy is one way many ethnic women have made a life for themselves and their families and AGA couldn’t be more proud of the diversity and culture we have gained over the years!
Being a Mexican American in Southern California was never anything I even realized growing up! I knew my heritage, spoke Spanish with my father and grandparents and celebrated Mexican Holidays. Being a woman I went to college, earned a degree and became a pet stylist to pay for it! I went on to become a grooming instructor. Sometimes you have no idea the impact you make from day to day, and you’ll never know when you’ll be surprised.
More and more, Hispanic and Mexican American women are leaving the home and taking charge of their lives and the lives of their families. Over the years at AGA we have had a number of women who wanted something of their own. They wanted to help support their families, and they have achieved that with the help of American Grooming Academy. There are many who have made us proud, and we interviewed a recent graduate who kick-started her career by becoming the manager of a grooming salon shortly after graduating!
Here is Irma’s Story
Irma, you’ve taken over the Dog Topia, Grooming Salon, here in Temecula, CA and we wanted to know what you expect and what you want for your own salon.
“When signing on to American Grooming Academy (AGA), one of the benefits is they will help you find a career you love! Being a second career, older Mexican American I was extremely nervous and excited about this part. When I sign on to AGA I had no previous experience working with animals. I had done some volunteering and help in shelters but didn’t feel that I had the self-esteem or confidence. Angela Clark, one of my teachers had seen my progress and was encouraging. She helped me see how far I had come in my grooming and overall made me feel like I could go out and do this. Angela had communicated that Patrick Moody, Director of Dogtopia was looking for a groomer. I worked up the courage and filled out the application. It turns out that not only were they looking for a groomer, but they’re also looking for someone to take over the grooming salon. I did get the job and have the pleasure of running the grooming salon in Dogtopia. I am 100% sure that AGA has the best teachers and will continue helping and encouraging even after you complete the program.”
What will be your biggest changes in running your own salon?
“I was able to incorporate the ideas from AGA bathing into Dogtopia. Simple and efficient, Hypoallergenic and Natural De-Shedding shampoo. One of the things AGA help me understand is that you always want to start with a clean dog. Having the proper shampoo is just the start of a good groom even if its just a bath or touch up your giving your dog. AGA has to help me understand what kind of shampoo and what is the correct dilution you should be using. Next, after getting the shampoo in order, I will be moving to groom prices. AGA has shown me how to market and sell grooming package deals. If it’s just your basic bath and brush or full grooming! Kat Marchant (teacher at AGA) has been amazing in helping me not to get overwhelmed. She has shown me what how to break down the cost of product total use per dog and what the total price should cost. I will use that to properly change the prices of bathing and grooming.”
What is the most exciting thing about being a Hispanic woman running your own facility?
“I am excited about being able to use the skills learned from AGA to better and smoother run Dogtopia grooming spa. As a Hispanic woman I now the self-esteem and confidence that I did not have before about this career. If for whatever reason I need help or have a question I know the instructors at AGA are just a call away!”
We are so very proud of Irma, Not only because she developed into a talented Pet Stylist but also because she took charge of her life and is now running it the way she wants! Empowering women of all backgrounds, ages, and talents is something very near and dear to the staff at AGA and we will always be here to move women forward in the pet industry!