Yumiko McClay 

NDGAA Certified Master Groomer
NDGAA Certified Groomer - Sporting Breeds
NDGAA Certified Groomer -  Non-Sporting Breeds
NDGAA Certified Groomer - Terrier Breeds

When I first arrived in America as a student in 1987, I enrolled in college and graduated with a triple major in Art, Animal Health Technology and Business Management. Following several years of working in accounting within a semiconductor company, then becoming involved in bar management (my wild days), I made the decision to return my childhood dream, which was to work with animals. I always loved dogs in particular, and this is why I resolved to completely change career paths to become a groomer.

 

Spa for Pets (then called the Pet Spa) was the first grooming salon I worked at after completing my training at a local grooming school in 2005. I gained four years of practical experience here before deciding to aim higher, and this was how I found myself studying to become a Master Groomer.

 

I initially spent two years studying everything there is to learn about dogs registered with the AKC (American Kennel Club) – including each breed’s history, characteristics and breed standards. I attended countless dog shows and saw for myself what true breed standard haircuts looked like, while simultaneously taking hands-on lessons from a retired professional handler. Finally, in 2010, I achieved the coveted title of Master Groomer, issued by the National Dog Groomers Association of America (NDGAA).

 

By this time my aspirations had grown to the point where I wanted to own my own salon, and as fate would have it, I returned to Spa for Pets, this time as its owner.

 

My own personal grooming style is to adapt the breed standard cut into a pet trim, which still allows the dog to look beautiful without losing the breed’s distinctive features, but at the same time means easier home maintenance for the owner. I am particularly good with poodles as I enjoy the wide variation of styles, and I also specialize in creative cuts. Furthermore, I am proud to be able to provide services that are rarely available elsewhere, such as hand stripping, and the maintenance of drop-coated dogs.

 

At home, I am mom to a Miniature Pinscher and two Toy Poodles.



Jimmy Yeung

NDGAA Certified Groomer - Terrier Breeds


In September 2016, Jimmy Yeung completed the National Dog Groomers Association of America (NDGAA) requirements and exams to become a Certified Groomer – Terrier Breeds. Below, Jimmy shares his thoughts about this achievement and his plans for the future.


In November 2013, I was fortunate to begin my pet grooming career at Spa for Pets. Having no prior experience, I soon found the professional staff at Spa provided the perfect environment for me to grow my skills. My first 700 hours of training and practical experience gave me a rock-solid foundation on which to build my future skills.


During my nearly three years at Spa, my desire to become stronger in my skills grew until I realized it was time to pursue a recognized path of knowledge and training to become certified. Being acknowledged by industry experts is something I value highly, so naturally, my next goal was to become certified by the National Dog Groomers Association of America.


At Spa for Pets, I am fortunate to have many varieties of dogs to groom and improve my skills. I have always been fascinated by the distinctive appearance of the Terriers which is why I decided to focus my studies and training for the Terrier Group Certification Exam first. Achieving NDGAA certification for these breeds was a starting point for my greater goal of becoming a certified Master Groomer. Gaining the confidence that comes from achieving this milestone will help me as I take my next steps to becoming a Master Groomer.


Many thanks to my mentors NDGAA Certified Master Groomer Yumiko McClay, and former professional dog show handler and breeder of top-winning show dogs, Hideko Strasbaugh, for all the guidance and support they have given me as I pursue my dream.