With COVID-19 still lingering, many business owners are feeling worried and worn down. It can be inspiring to witness a small business showing creativity, adapting, and being successful through this rough storm. In that spirit, I am pleased to have Ani Corless – Founder and President of the in-home dog grooming service, Luxury Groomer – as my next guest.
Despite the obstacles that the pandemic has posed for Ani and her business, she persevered, got creative, and pivoted in her business model. Ani will share her insights and experiences – including the ups and downs over the past 10 months – so that our listeners can be inspired to keep on keeping on.
About Ani Corless:
0:18 – 13:50 – Eric Sarver introduces Ani Corless, founder and President of Luxury Groomer, a boutique. Despite the obstacles of the pandemic Ani has persevered during these challenging times and services pet owners in the New York Metropolitan area and Jersey City. While she enjoyed working at a vet clinic being a groomer combined her love of science and creativity. When the pandemic first hit many people were wary about being in a close proximity to others. Ani was able to receive advice from a friend in Milan who was able to share insight about the adaptations made in Italy. Her colleagues decided it was time to shut down temporarily when Ani received a call from a client she has seen five days before tested positive for Covid-19. In order to adjust they began teaching clients online through zoom meetings, group sessions and individual. Ani also posted an instructional video on Youtube that has been shared by many.
16:00 – 29:35 – Eric recalls that many felt an immediate shock when the pandemic began. Ani’s response to it by adapting to an online format is something that he has encouraged others to do as well. She allowed her employees to begin working when they felt more comfortable. When they began seeing clients again boundaries were set regarding ppe and the workspace and the employees who began to work again would choose to drive in order to avoid public transportation. Some of the first in person clients they received were doctors so employees felt more comfortable working with them. Not all homes have been easy to work in due to the layout or the number of people within the home. Ani was able to adapt by developing a partnership with a veterinarian clinic. They worked in sterile exam rooms that were not in use. Grooming the pets of the clinic’s veterinarians got her in the door but it was due to her skills and certifications, specifically her Fear Free Certification, that ani was able to gain this access as well as gain new clients.
31:40 – 43:37 – They are now able to work within the homes of clients but having the clinic space helped them tremendously. When faced with an opportunity to work with a client who had rescue dogs who were difficult to groom she was able to work with the assistance of the veterinarians. Now when some of her clients come to the clinic for her services, they may even utilize that opportunity to get their dogs a checkup. Ani explained her Fear Free technique. She trays away from the use of muzzles and restraints in order to train dogs to become more comfortable with the use of grooming tools. Ani took a very big risk and began operating as a specialist and increased her prices. While many people are wary of spending during the pandemic, Ani understood the value of her services. Because of her specialization she often works with dogs that are being rehabilitated or need training before they can work with other groomers. With her qualifications and skills her clients have not opposed her rates.
45:48 – 57:01 – Ani had the support of her friends who were in the same industry. They discussed ideas of collaboration and sharing a truck to park in front of vet clinics and service people there. Many of their regular clients went to the Hamptons and when they had time, one of Ani’s groomer friends would drive a van to his regulars. Not all of their plans were seen through but the community was able to support one another. One of her biggest pieces of advice is to listen to what your clients want. When the pandemic began many people decided to adopt rescues and Ani saw a growing demand for her Fear Free skills. These are skills that she has had for a long time but in order to meet the demand she decided to get the certification to meet the demand. You can find Ani on Instagram @luxurygroomer, the Luxury Groomer Youtube channel and on Tik Tok @luxurygroomer.
About Employment Law Today
Helping Business With Employment Law Issues.
For many business owners, it can be overwhelming to keep up and comply with the federal and state labor and employment laws that govern how they run their business. With the COVID-19 pandemic, there are new laws and regulations regarding hiring, firing, and workplace practices and protocols — all of which can increase business owners’ anxieties about regaining traction or thriving again. On my weekly show, we will be discussing the most common employment law related questions and challenges that business owners have been facing in these uncertain times.
The show will have three main goals: (1) to inform businesses about employment law updates, (2) to inspire businesses by giving them the tools to move forward, and (3) to demonstrate how some business owners have overcome their employment law problems, walked through the challenges imposed by this pandemic, and have taken steps to regain traction during the reopening phases of this pandemic.
Our guests will include professionals who advise businesses from an H.R., legal, and financial perspective, along with thriving business owners who will share their experiences and insights into running a successful company while complying with labor and employment law mandates during COVID-19.