If you’ve seen my business cards or checked me out online, you’ve probably seen the four funny letters after my name: CFMG. Those letter stand for Certified Feline Master Groomer, and they’re the biggest achievement of my career so far.
In 2011, I signed up to attend the National Cat Groomer’s Institute of America, a feline exclusive cat grooming school in Greenville, South Carolina. I had already groomed a handful of cats, but I didn’t have any real training, and I wanted to do better. The NCGIA offered a hefty education program and two full weeks of hands on direction – exactly the kind of training I needed to become not only better, but among the best.
I ordered all of their study materials and for nearly a full year before my session, I studied on a daily basis. My poor family was constantly dragged in to help drill me on behavior, health conditions, and running through my breed and coat color flashcards. I watched the videos a dozen times over, and did my best to implement my new skills on the few cats I was already grooming. I read and reread the training materials. I took notes, and studied them over and over. After days, weeks, and months, I finally attended the school.
For two weeks I attended lectures on the materials I had been studying and practiced hands on skills on real live cats. It was intense, and I loved it! I passed both my practical and written exams with flying colors, and was called by the founder, Danelle German, “possibly the fastest cat groomer we’ve seen!”
So what does all of this really mean?
Well, pet grooming isn’t a regulated industry. While grooming schools and apprenticeships are common, certification isn’t required by law – practically anyone can pick up a pair of clippers and start charging for services. And anyone who calls themselves a groomer can go onward to train others. This leaves the industry weak in terms of quality and safety standards, because there are no consistent guidelines.
I voluntarily spent a substantial amount of time, energy, and money to make sure I was knowledgeable in the safest and best ways to deliver the best quality service. I pay yearly dues, and routinely refresh myself on what I learned at the NCGIA, as well as the latest industry trends.
Basically, it means you can have a certain amount of confidence in what you’ll get when you bring your beloved pet to me. You can be sure your money is well spent. You can bet the results you see will be the best in town. And you can feel safe knowing your cat is in capable hands.