Press release: Christies Direct
In January 2021, Christies Direct launched Can You Cut it? The 2021 Brand Ambassador search. The hope was to find someone that was not only a highly skilled groomer, with a wealth of breed and product knowledge, but also someone with passion for the industry, a friendly personality and a positive can-do attitude.
“We were overwhelmed with the initial response, and the number of fantastic applications is a testament to the grooming industry,” said Amy Donaghey, event manager. “Our judges had the task of selecting our finalists and it was not an easy one.”
From these applications the judges created a shortlist of 8 finalists who moved through to stage 2. During this stage, the finalists were asked to create some pieces of content to showcase their skills and product knowledge and share passion.
“The calibre of content from finalists was incredible and our judges, Michael Shiels, Colin Christie and Lindy Harper read and re-read, watched and re-watched, but one name stood out,” Donaghey said.
And Christies Direct was delighted to announce Kayla Harrison, as the company’s 2021 Brand Ambassador during its first live-streamed event – Unleashed Live on March 11. So, who is Kayla Harrison?
Early Life and Education
A young Harrison dreamed of one day becoming an international spy, but when it became clear she couldn’t do a front flip, she realised she’d need to explore another of her lifelong passions – animals. After achieving a whole host of distinctions while studying Animal Management, Behaviour and Welfare at college, Kayla went on to study dog grooming which is where she found her calling.
Harrison has now been grooming for over 10 years. She holds her OCN level 3 in grooming, has studied Pet First Aid, and has almost finished her ICMG qualification. In the future she hopes to complete her Level 4 teaching qualification and use her passion for grooming to inspire up-and-coming groomers in her own Grooming School.
Harrison specialises in poodles and schnauzers but is an expert at handling challenging dogs in the salon. She loves creative grooming and her two standard poodles regularly model her talents. Harrison and her sister own two busy salons in Berkshire: ‘2 Left Paws’, and she recently featured on BBC One’s Pooch Perfect.
Along with her well-earned reputation as a top-class groomer, Kayla is also known for preparing and handling long-haired Briards at Crufts. Prepping a dog for a show like Crufts requires specific skills to ensure the coat is show ring ready, but not left fly-away before showing. She has prepped and handled dogs to podium positions in the Good Citizen Dog class, Veteran Bitch, and Post Graduate Bitch classes.
The judges were very impressed with Kayla’s clear understanding and knowledge of breeds and products. They loved her confident personality on camera and her relaxed humour.
Marketing director Lindy Harper commented: “Kayla naturally and effortlessly talked to camera during her grooming demonstrations, sharing not only product recommendations, but how these products translated to time and money savings for groomers in the salon, and we know how important that is for our customers!”
The judges all agreed that her content was educational and informative, but also fun and genuine.
Harper said: “Kayla will excel as our Brand Ambassador because she is approachable and friendly, and groomers of all levels will be able to learn so much from her as not only a passionate groomer but also a successful business owner.”
Christies Direct looks forward to producing lots of content alongside Kayla and can’t wait until she can take to the main stage at one of its highly anticipated grooming expos!