Case Study: Kirsty Brook

After undertaking dog grooming training at The College of Animal Welfare, Kirsty Brook went on to start her own dog grooming business, 1st Class Paws. Here, Kirsty looks back at her time in college and her life since completing her studies…

Why did you choose this course?

I had always wanted a career working with animals, but I was raising my son and helping my husband build his business first.

What did you like best about your course? How did it help you prepare for your career?

I loved that it gave me my identity back. I wasn’t just a mum or a wife, I was Kirsty. I made friends and did something that genuinely made me happy. Wednesday was always my favourite day of the week as I was going to college. The course gave me the confidence to learn a trade and then go on to open my business doing something I love and could fit in around my family.

Why did you choose to study at The College of Animal Welfare? What did you like best about your time at college?

I chose this college as it was close to my home and was available on a day release basis rather than block; this fit in perfectly with my home life too. The best bit about the college were my tutors: super supportive, very knowledgeable, positive attitude, gave me confidence, friendly, pleasure to learn from.

What did you do after you left college?

When leaving college I opened my own salon from my purpose built salon in my garden. I have a full book of customers who re-book and recommend me to others and I have only 5 star reviews on my Facebook page which I am very proud of as these people are judging my work and it is lovely when they’re pleased. I work part-time to fit in with my son, so I have the best of both worlds being a mum and getting to work with dogs. Amazing.

What do you think has been your biggest achievement in your career so far?

Having a full book of clients who re-book, as it must mean I’m doing something right for them to return. I have at least four clients that book a full year in advance. I’m actually running a successful business doing what I love and enjoy.

Can you tell us what your plans are for the future?

At the moment my part-time business fits in perfectly with my family life, but it’s comforting to know that if I wanted to go full-time I have a good starting point with my business gaining such a good reputation. I’m shocked and very pleased and proud of myself and my achievements. A proud moment was when my son cut the hair on his ‘teddy’ dog and I said “what are you doing” and he said “being a dog groomer like you!”

What advice do you have for someone looking to do this course/career?

It’s hard work but so rewarding. I honestly loved it, I loved learning new information, meeting new people and learning a skill that also involved meeting lots of dogs which was lovely.

Kirsty Brook is the owner of 1st Class Paws.

Interested in becoming a dog groomer? Find out more…