Alisha’s story

Alisha studied Animal Care Diploma (Level 2) and Animal Management Advanced Diploma (Level 3), before progressing on to Dog Grooming Assistant Certificate (Level 2).

I chose to study all three of my courses at Capel Manor College because they have a lot of courses to choose from – the variety intrigued me. The College is very well organised, and the tutors are incredibly supportive. They help you to see what course is best for your desired career path.

The animal courses are great because you can explore different areas to understand what interests you most. After my second year studying animal care, I had one free year left of education and my partner said, “Why don’t you study dog grooming?”, as he knew I had a passion for dogs. I thought to myself, yes that is perfect! I had grown up with dogs all my life so I knew deep down this would be the perfect career choice. I never thought I would have such a successful career in dog grooming years later.

I gained two Level 2 qualifications and one part of a Level 3 qualification. I have also completed a day of hand stripping. I regularly attend seminars and workshops to continue furthering my knowledge. I am currently studying a Dog Grooming Stylist OCN qualification, which is the equivalent to a Level 3 qualification.

I completed two work placements during my time at the College. One being at Grooming Marvellous in Hertford and the other at Pet Styles in Hoddesdon. Both experiences helped me get an idea of what is involved in dog grooming and running a business. It was good to see how the different salons operated.

The main skills I learnt were the general handling of different animals, communication skills when dealing with clients and tutors, and how to maintain the health and wellbeing of all types of animals. I loved every minute of my practical lessons.

I now run my own dog grooming salon in Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire – Scruff 2 Fluff Dog Grooming – after studying animal care and dog grooming at Capel Manor College. I started in a small shop alongside another dog groomer that I was sharing the premises with. I also had a part-time job at Tesco. I slowly built up my client base from scratch by advertising on social media such as Facebook and posted on groups and pages every day until late at night. I also attended fetes and fairs with a stall to advertise my work. I started on my own straight away alongside another experienced dog groomer to help me along the way.

If you want to start your own dog grooming business, my best advice would be to stay positive and work hard. It will be hard in the beginning but be persistent and you will get to your dreams.”