Today we’d like to introduce you to Matthew Aguilar.
Matthew, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I’m 25 from San Pedro, CA. I’ve been a professional pet groomer for six years and competing for a year in grooming shows. I’ve been working with dogs for about nine. Growing up, I was a child of two and adopted at six months along with my biological sister. My grandmother was the main caretaker of our household being the first woman on the docks of San Pedro. I lived in the house with my sister, two cousins, aunt and uncle and a set of grandparents. At 18, I left my Carnival Job to work for a doggy daycare for 2.5 years. I would spend time on and off the clock hanging out and taking photos of the dogs. One Thursday night, I accidentally walking into a pet grooming shop because they had adorable kittens in the window. I began talking to the owner about the dogs I worked with and left my number without any intentions of getting a new job. The next day, I was called and offered a job as a bather at the salon and I jumped on it. I was a bather for a year while learning and studying how to actually cut hair, which I caught on quickly after cutting some of mine and my friend’s hair to save money. After I found a few trusting clients to let to me learn on their dogs, I was on my way doing full haircuts.
As my style developed, I began to gain confidence and also met my fiancé at this time. He pushed me to go into more medical side of pet grooming because I had a goal of learning all I could about the pets. I applied to be the lead groomer at a prestigious hospital in Palos Verdes and got the opportunity to work on more breed standard trims and got into competing with my very own standard poodle. When I returned from competing in February, I came back to news of COVID and concerned for my clients and my own health, I decided to take a leave. And after things started to open up again, me and my partner started our own business. Currently, we offer house call grooming which is relatively new luxury service where we come to your work in the comfort of your own home. Pets generally like this set up because they do not have to travel or leave the safety of their own environment. I enjoy this service because we set enough time to address all of the pet’s needs as well as getting the social interaction we are all craving.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
We have faced many challenges be the air quality, weather, COVID precautions and the normal financial obstacles of a new business while trying to recover and catch up on back payments while not working.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I do a wide range of pet grooming from the everyday trim to the elegant styles Hollywood. Working with rescue and special needs dogs warms my heart, while the coloring and coat carving fill my creative needs.
Do you have any advice for those looking to network or find a mentor?
There are many schools that can teach you how to groom but the best way to learn is to get hands on experience as a bath first and apprentice under someone you admire. Many groomers including myself are always more than happy to teach someone and some even have many educational online.
- Full grooms starting at $75
- Full service baths starting at $55
- Hair coloring starting at $20
- Nail painting $10
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: www.groom-r.com
- Instagram: @groom_R_
- Facebook: Groom-R Mobile and Housecall Grooming
- Twitter: Groom-R
Ren Netherland. (Animalphotography.com)