"You will NEVER be as good as me"! Did this statement shock you a little? Imagine that this came from someone you looked up to...a mentor maybe? Now, how do you feel? Defeated...? Angry...? Sad...? Well, this is where my journey starts. The statement "You will never be as good as me" rang loud and clear in my head. It wasn't until that point, I realized, I would never be allowed to reach my full potential or harness my dreams. It propelled me to find a new job and eventually, quit the concrete building that crumbled and smoldered my dreams and muted my aspirations.
What makes Healthy Spot so special? A halfhearted, joke of question that I asked myself as I put together my resume and application. I was, after all only applying to be "just a bather", an often belittled and looked down upon role in many "mom and pop" grooming salons. It wasn't until my first day that I would be able to genuinely start answering that question, what does make Healthy Spot so special?
Day 1, I walked into a salon filled with positive energy, passion and love towards both animals and people. Surly, this could not be how everyone is all the time... they are just being this way because I'm new...or so I thought. Over time, the passion, positivity and love never faltered. Those dreams and aspirations that I had inside me were never squashed but rather fueled. I learned how to be a pivotal team member and not "just a bather".
Shortly after I was hired, I was considered, then accepted into the Grooming Apprenticeship. My instructor was Cameron and I do not think there is any cooler instructor then him. He implemented and emphasized, patience, education and a "can do attitude". Cam pushed me to get better and better even though I thought I would fail. He taught me that even if I do fail, so what? If I don't fail, I won't learn and get better. To this day, I still look up to him as a great mentor, coach and support system.
After a short 2 1/2 years from when I was first hired, I am now the Lead Groomer at Costa Mesa. I love being able to grow my teams knowledge and push them, like I was pushed, when they say that they are unable. I have been coached and awarded with a second place grooming prize by Ken Negase an amazing and well known, artisan groomer from Japan. I have competed in both Pasadena and Las Vegas to continue to refine my craft. I am working towards my IPG certification, so I can become a Grooming instructor and as a Certified Groomer. I cannot wait until I am able to nourish the minds and advocate the aspirations of my own students.
Overall, I am very grateful for everything that I have been allowed to accomplish so far here at Healthy Spot, including my apprenticeship. To this day, I am still excited to get up and see what the new day will bring me. I didn't allow anyone to put limits on my aspirations. The truth is, I don't need to be better than anyone else, I just need to be better than myself, better then who I was the day before. What makes Healthy Spot so special? Well simply, it’s the unselfish, supportive and devoted team that I call my Healthy Spot family. Never quit! “You miss 100% of the shots you don't take" -Wayne Gretzky
I was an executive assistant for over 13 years, and 10 of those long years I worked as an executive assistant at an investment banking firm. I was never happy being in that profession, as I always had dreamed of being involved in the pet industry. But, I just continued going to a job that I dreaded everyday…thinking that it was “too late for me”. In 2009, the financial crisis hit and like the other financial institutions during that time-it led my company in to financial ruin. As a result, I was unceremoniously laid off after 10 years without remorse or a kind “thank you” for my loyalty and long years of dedicated service. It was extremely heart-breaking and I went into a state of severe grief for a long period of time. With the support of my husband, he saw the lay off as a sign to change my career and encouraged me to pursue my dreams of being a groomer. I had heard of the impeccable reputation of “Healthy Spot”, so in 2010 (when “Healthy Spot” was only just one store), I interviewed and did a “try out” with Patricia Sugihara, to see if I could be part of her training program. Well, to put it mildly…my “try out” was a fiasco, much like out of a TV sitcom. I had thought that I had failed the “try out”, but Patricia took a chance on me and said I didn’t fail, because I worked extremely hard and I just needed additional guidance, training. The “one-on-one” training that I received from the apprenticeship program was invaluable! Patricia was an amazing instructor, she is very patient, caring, and supportive. She adapts her teaching style to whatever makes you feel comfortable and secure, as she knows it is very intimidating learning a new skill set. Patricia’s dedication, love, and passion about the art of grooming and “Healthy Spot” inspired me and continues to inspire me! She also taught me the sacred principles of what Healthy Spot grooming is all about – safety and quality.
Through the years, Healthy Spot’s training has not only supported my development via grooming education, but also training in management and customer service. In 2014, I was promoted as Grooming Manager and started the salon in the Costa Mesa location, our very first location in Orange County! Then, shortly after I was transferred to start our salon in the new Long Beach location and help build the business. I love being at the store level, as I can contribute in building our business and to continue to promote the sacred values of“Healthy Spot” to a new community. I also enjoy developing relationships with our customers - it is very gratifying to see our business increase, as the bond deepens and strengthens with our valuable customers. In addition, I love being a service to my staff! I enjoy being a support system for them and help to develop and achieve their professional goals, dreams at “Healthy Spot”. It warms my heart when I see them promoted – I have seen my many staff members move away from the “nest” to become Professional Bathers, Grooming Students/Groomers, and Assistant Salon Managers.
I will be so eternally grateful of the valuable training and opportunity that Healthy Spot and Patricia Sugihara provided me.