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Trade Show Proves to Be Invaluable Tool

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For mobile groomers like Alisa Kane, owner of Sicklerville, N.J.-based Dog-Gone Stylin’, Intergroom creates a world of convenience and opportunity.

“It is [a] perfect place to pick up everything you need and you don’t need to pay shipping,” Kane said. Intergroom is a pet grooming competition and trade show that features industry vendors, master classes and grooming seminars. “Mobile is hard because when you are not in the shop, it’s hard to learn about new products and talk with others about clients.”

Despite having various online forums and ways to communicate with other groomers across the country through the Internet, Kane said she still finds a show like Intergroom invaluable.

“There are show specials so [even with travel costs] you are still saving money,” Kane said, who estimated she would likely spend between $1,000 and $2,000 at the event that she has been attending for the last 9 years. “You get to try on smocks and really overall get to try it before you use it.”

Founded by Shirlee Kalstone in 1981, this year’s Intergroom was held in April at the Hilton Meadowlands in East Rutherford, N.J.

The annual event drew groomers, retailers and vendors from across the country, including Tyana Leake, a groomer at It’s A Dog’s Life in Sharon, Mass.

“I really wanted to learn from expert groomers and competitors,” said Leake, whose first time it was at the event. “Everyone is just so open to teaching new things.”

She, too, liked the idea of being able to test out the products.

“If you buy something, you don’t really know how it will work,” she said, while testing out The German Red Clipper. “Here you can try it on [the] hair [of] different dogs and get a feel if you want to use it or not.”

One of the draws of Intergroom is its grooming competitions, which is one of the reasons Brynn Haynes, a competitive groomer and owner of Bark n’ Bubbles, was at the event.

“It’s something different than everyday hair cuts,” Haynes said, adding that she had seen the creative grooming style on a magazine cover. “I thought, ‘Wow, I would never be able to do it.’ It’s so cool.”

But now it’s second nature. She even got her current dog, Frost, a standard poodle, specifically for the competitions.

“My dog is so happy,” she said. “He just soaks up the attention. It’s fun to see everyone’s creative grooming.”

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