Ambassador of Buzz
I don’t think it is possible for people to love their pets more than I do. I LOVE MY BABIES and I will do anything for them! Okay, so I guess that it is possible that you love your fur babies as much as me! That’s why we can be friends!
My name is Brittany Cannelli and you can say I started my pet care career before I even knew what a groomer was!
My mom likes to tell the story of when I was little, we were walking into the supermarket and there was a charity collecting money for vets. I begged my mom to give them money because, “I was going to be a vet someday!” (Little did I know at the time but that charity was representing the men and women who serve our armed forces. A worthy cause to donate to, by the way, but my intense love for animals made me think of veterinarians!).
So, I never became a vet but I did become an EMT for several years. It was my passion for helping others that made me chose this type of career. However, the sorrow that plagued me every day with accidents, death, abuse and trauma wore on my heart. I was desperate to see the world through my “happy lenses” again therefore I turned back to my main love – animals.
I started grooming when I was 19 years old and I was trained by an amazing groomer. She knew everything about grooming and even worked in the show world for some time. She had an outstanding reputation for being ‘the dog person’ that everyone went to for advice. The one problem though:
She was always broke and struggling to pay her bills.
Here was this phenomenal groomer that couldn’t make ends meet and I got very scared. I watched how she had no idea how to track what was going on in her business. She never raised prices, even though her costs were rising year after year. She was the typical ‘old school groomer’ and after throwing in the towel at 80 years old, she had nothing to show for her years of dedication. Nothing. No retirement plans. No money. And a body that was broken.
I vowed that this would NEVER BE ME. I just had my son Ben, and all I thought about was how I could support him if all I did was groom. Could he have a fulfilled life on just my grooming income? That is when I got serious and started looking at my options.
I quickly got good at organizing money and learning how to budget. I researched and studied the fastest, easiest and best way to run a grooming salon. I did run my former employer’s business for 5 years. I kept her business afloat despite her resistance to raising her prices and pushing back on the clients that were clearly taking advantage of her. We made it work but I knew there was a better way.
I believe it was watching my boss struggle that prompted me to make a major life change. I picked up my stuff and moved south to find greener pastures. It wasn’t easy – I thought, “everyone is looking for a groomer. I’ll find a job in no time!” It didn’t exactly go as planned!
I interviewed at every shop in a 20-mile radius! I could tell that this was a good area for grooming but once again, I saw businesses that were run like the one I just left in New Jersey. I began to think I should quit grooming and start a new career. But I LOVED it and persisted.
I finally found Million Dollar Dog and Tara’s goals, mission and business aligned with everything I wanted. I quickly told her that I would love to manage her business and once I proved myself through hard work, dedication and going above and beyond, I became the Grooming Director. It is now 7+ years later, that the daily conversations with Tara about our struggling industry led us to GBU.
I want to be a part of changing the grooming industry for the better. My work experience outside of grooming, as well as managing two types of businesses, has given me valuable knowledge that can help all of us improve.
Pet Stylists are hardworking people and we deserve to retire with financial security. It saddens me to see us breaking our bodies and missing our families if we cannot reap the rewards at the end of our careers.
I may not have been able to help my friend that got me into grooming, but if I can help just one person now, I feel like my heart is complete.
And if you want to have a debate about who has a cuter dog…… 😉