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Atlanta Pet Fair 2002

Atlanta Pet Fair 2002
2002 Show
World Championships
Northern Groomers Event
Irish Championships
Eurogroom 2002
Groomer of the Year 2001

By Louisa Tandy, Louisa’s Grooming Salon, Gravesend

Atlanta is famous for many things; it is the birth and burial place of Martin Luther King Jr and the backdrop to Gone with the Wind as well as being the home to the 1996 Olympics. Atlanta is also famous (well, within grooming circles anyway) for the Atlanta Pet Fair …in its own words "a pet styling extravaganza, trade show & competition. The largest show in Southeast U.S.A for the professional pet stylist" - well I just couldn’t resist!

I first heard about the APF through the Groom_TNT, an American based email list with members from all over the world. I really wanted a chance to meet up with friends I had made through this list and see how much the grooming differs over in the states and when I found out that Bob and Agnes were going my mind was made up, I was getting on a plane! (With half my family in tow under the pretence that they didn’t want me going on my own)

wpeB.jpg (9276 bytes)
Best In Show Winner Vero DaSylva

We arrived in Atlanta on Thursday after a very scary landing and made our way to the hotel. The Capitol Plaza Hotel was hosting the Pet Fair for the first time and despite the fact that the elevators would stop between floors when they got over crowded and in some cases you had to step down out of the elevator to your floor, they did an excellent job.

Friday 1st March 7.00am I rush down for my first Yoga for Groomers class. This was run by the wonderful Barbara Bird who showed us some excellent techniques for reducing stress in the salon and to help prevent common ailments such as carpal tunnel syndrome. The rest of the day was taken up with watching breed demos, Poodle, Bichon, WHFT and Mixed breed. I also caught a class called "Carding …Just Taking Out The Trash!" This answered a lot of my questions about carding and gave me some really good tips.

Saturday 2nd March 7.00am Yoga again then off to my first class. There were so many different classes available from basics of bathing to dye techniques, customer management, mobile grooming…. in fact there were about 45 different classes to choose from! Each class was separated into one of the following groups Prep Tech, Stylist, Management and Mobile. Upon booking for the Atlanta Pet Fair you were asked whether you were a salon owner, groomer, mobile or prep tech. I thought this was a good idea as this gave you some idea about what each lecture contained. I attended the customer management classes and learnt how to deal with complaints more effectively. The day ended with an Internet Groomers Gathering where we swapped gifts and got a chance to put faces to all of those email addresses I had been writing to.

Sunday 3rd March 7.00 am Yup! you guessed it Yoga again, by now I am feeling particularly healthy and bendy. More classes today but I managed to get a quick look at some of the competition grooming. Some of the standards were very high. A particular favourite of Agnes’ and mine was a Portuguese Water Spaniel that had been scissored beautifully, the only let down was the head, the muzzle was too short and looked out of proportion. We were then entertained by Delise Knight, a very funny lady who owns her own salon and is also a stand up comedian. She had us all in fits of laughter with her stories in the grooming salon.

All in all it was a fabulous 3 days. 1050 groomers attended and 199 dogs were entered. All of the speakers were charismatic and the lectures were fascinating. There were loads of grooming stands and thanks to my email friend Terri Curry, I was given lots of free products to try out. I picked up some wonderful little gadgets such as a set of strange little slicker brushes that I now prefer to the Mikki Slickers and a Rust Eraser that Sue Boswell persuaded me to buy.... I must admit I was sceptical at first but wow! It really works.

I would just like to say thanks to the G TNT and the GroomNet TNT. It is through these email lists that groomers from all over the world are getting together and sharing tips and stories and gave me the get up and go to…well… get up and go!

Winners of the Beginners Class


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Copyright 2000 Northern Groomers
Last modified: November 05, 2000