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  • 13 Nov 2019 12:54 PM | BIGA Chair (Administrator)

    One of this year's Christmas Market trade-stand exhibitors is Centre Stage Backdrops, by Katie Rourke-Dowding. This is the story behind the backdrop. 

    The Centre-Stage Backdrop

    Whilst devices to prevent dogs from reaching the back of the table have been used by smart groomers for decades, the bespoke hand made to measure Centre Stage Backdrop was an entirely new concept which was developed and designed by Katie Rourke Dowding in 2018.

    Katie realised how important it was to prevent "table migration" when her own back problems started to threaten her grooming career. Initally she used a board to block off half of her table, then her husband upgraded it to a hinged section that would lock into place with bolts.

    This, however wasn't "portable" either to other tables or other groomers and it was another 5 years before Katie developed the design we know and love to use today.

    "There were some spectacular failures in the first versions," she laughs. "Grommets that simply didn't do what they promised they would, which tore out of the fabric with little or no provocation and the first batches of fabric which simply fell apart with little or no pressure!"

    We quickly realised that the only safe Backdrop was one that fitted right across the table with very little room at either end of it and that although there are only half a dozen table widths out there, there are as many again different H-Frames to fit them so the total number of variables was much higher than initially anticipated.  

    Although she is happy with the current version (No 12 as it happens) she is constantly adapting it in response to groomer's requests.  That's the joy of making each and every one by hand," she says, "we can be spectacularly reactive to the market."

  • 13 Oct 2019 1:27 PM | BIGA Chair (Administrator)

    Amy Manser is one of TWELVE top dog groomers generously to provide a live grooming demonstration at this year's BIGA Show 2019. Don't miss Amy's Handstrip Schnauzer. 

    See who else will giving a live demo! For all the exciting details, click here

    All happening at The BIGA Show, Sunday Dec 1st, 2019.

    FREE Entry for Members when you pre-register online

  • 07 Jul 2019 1:54 PM | BIGA Chair (Administrator)

    Professional pet groomers, and members of the British Isles Grooming Association (BIGA) in particular, are eager to know what is going on with respect to the licensing or regulation of pet grooming. After all, since October last year, doggy daycares, home boarders as well as dog breeders and sellers of puppies in England have been required to obtain an animal activity licence. This requirement extends to other activities involving animals but, so far, does not include pet grooming.

    Pet groomers can therefore expect, not unreasonably, that they are next in line when it comes to animal activity licensing. The question is less about 'If' than 'When'.

    The Canine and Feline Sector Group (CFSG) advises government, specifically DEFRA (the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) with respect to animal activities licensing. They are the animal welfare experts behind last year's licensing. 

    BIGA was invited two years ago to join the CFSG as an associate member, with a view to represent professional pet grooming businesses when it comes to any regulation of pet grooming.

    We are grateful to the CFSG for the invitation. After all, who better than actual pet groomers to help ensure that any measures introduced are realistic and practical? 

    The CFSG has recently provided BIGA with an update:

    “There is an aim to get a non statutory set of standards which those wishing to improve the reputation of dog and cat groomers and to prove they operate to a a good standard will adopt of their own accord and which CFSG members would make the public aware existed.”

    The statement went on to say:

    “Once the huge amount of work around Brexit clears, we will be seeking to get DEFRA to add more activities to the Animal Activity Licensing Regulations of which grooming would be one so yes in the future it may well be regulated but not for the time being.”

    What does this mean for professional pet grooming businesses today?

    BIGA exists to promote the highest standards in animal welfare and professionalism in pet grooming businesses. We welcome any future animal activity licensing and look forward to an ongoing and active leadership role as discussions continue with the CFSG. We will be reaching out to our membership in due course about any potential 'gold standard' the industry may potentially create and embrace. The aim of this will help to provide pet owner reassurance, promote professionalism of pet grooming businesses and, best of all, protect animals in our care by ensuring the highest standards in animal welfare during pet grooming.

  • 29 Jun 2019 7:57 PM | BIGA Chair (Administrator)

    We are very pleased indeed that pet grooming suppliers Mutneys and Simpsons will both be sponsoring The BIGA Show 2019 as our two named GOLD Sponsors.

    Gold sponsorship of the show is a £500 donation in exchange for a 6m frontage stand in a prime location. This donation helps enormously to make the show a reality by contributing to venue hire, prizes and competition giveaways and general costs.

    A BIGA Thank You to our GOLD sponsors Simpsons and Mutneys !!

  • 12 May 2019 3:15 PM | BIGA Chair (Administrator)

    There's no such thing as a silly question, especially when you're new to pet grooming.

    But how do you ask the question in a public forum like Facebook without fear of a backlash from a cruel keyboard warrior?

    Why not join the BIGA Mentorship program on Facebook? If you're new to the industry, a student, just starting out, why not request a Mentor? It's the safe, happy place to learn from somebody in the business who has been there, done that. No judgment. Just supportive care and a real interest in helping you on your journey!

    Find out more about BIGA's Mentorship program on Facebook

    Click here 

  • 02 Mar 2019 6:19 PM | BIGA Chair (Administrator)

    Find us, the friendly BIGA family, at Crufts Hall 5 Stand 86 from Thursday March 7th through Sunday March 10th

    Make sure to ADD or CLAIM your FREE business listing on

    JOIN the more than 900 businesses already featured on MyPetGroomer!

    Find out more about BIGA and how you can get involved. BIGA is the pet groomers trade association and community support network. Be a part of something BIGA.

  • 18 Nov 2018 6:41 PM | BIGA Chair (Administrator)

    Always at the cutting edge (intentional pun) when it comes to progress in the industry, The BIGA Show is introducing an Open Mic Products and Services Showcase.

    Taking place in the main hall (the East Hall) instead of a separate seminar room, the Open Mic will be arranged a bit like a trade stand, on its own, but with a bunch of chairs for spectators (like the Live Demonstrations).

    Each session will take up to 30 minutes.

    Kevin Simpson from Simpsons is scheduled for 10am with "the big reveal".

    Next up is Rob Fellows showcasing Reiki for Dogs, and Groomers Too.

    At 11am we have the privilege of Paula Bryan talking about "Maintaining your Equipment".

    This slot is still available at the time of writing. If you are a trade stand exhibitor and would like to showcase your product or service, please get in touch. Send an email to

    Cleany Teeth is the ultrasonic teeth cleaning system. Heidi Anderton will tell us more!

    "The Vet said The Groomer Did It". Rafal from Dogzilian talks to us about clipper rash / irritation / hot spots - and the customer who thinks you injured their dog during grooming and how to prevent!

    Gia Anslin provides a demo of Karhia Pro - the first coat stripping machine!

    More Open Mic sessions to be confirmed!

  • 06 Oct 2018 11:50 AM | BIGA Chair (Administrator)

    BIGA is thrilled to announce an exciting lineup of VIP Seminar Speakers for this year's BIGA Show 2018


    This year's lineup of VIP speakers includes the following:

    • Angela Caley, ICMG UK: "The History of Dog Grooming"
    • Heidi Anderton, LCGI: "CAT Grooming"
    • Katie Rourke Dowding: "Mind Your Own Business"
    • Kelly Gayler: "Compassionate Handling"
    • Ryan Lee and Sophie James: "Make More Money #30WAYS"
    • Colin Taylor: "Work Smarter, Not Harder"
    • Paula Bryan: "Maintaining Your Equipment"

    To book your place at this year's must-attend event, go to the dedicated page within the Events section The BIGA Show 2018

    The BIGA Show 2018 takes place Sunday Dec 9th 9am-4pm at The Kennel Club Building, Stoneleigh Park, nr. Coventry, Warwickshire, CV8 2LZ

  • 19 Sep 2018 9:57 PM | BIGA Chair (Administrator)

    IMAGE: Lakhi Thindal of ICMG UK live demo at The BIGA Show 2017

    To the disappointment of many, there will be no President Trump balloon or any kind of political demonstration or police presence at this year's BIGA Show. We are, after all, above politics (ahem).

    BUT, here's the good news: we are thrilled to confirm an unprecedented TWELVE grooming demonstrations and demonstrators. They are:

    • Ryan Lee – Labradoodle Clip and Scissor
    • Colin Taylor – Yorkie in a Pet Trim
    • Kelly Gayler – Clipped Airedale
    • Jitka Krizova – Handstrip Welsh Terrier
    • Lisa Hart – Min Schnauzer Asian Style
    • Gia Anslin – Asian Style Poodle
    • Pammie Carmichael-Hogg – Asian Shih Tzu
    • Christine Anderton – Clipped Cocker Spaniel
    • Wayne Roby – Clip and scissor Cockerpoo
    • Zoe Duffy – Long Bichon Frise Pet Trim
    • Lakhi Thindal – Attachment Comb Poodle Made Easy
    • Holly Morris – Bedlington Half-Clipped / Half-Scissored

    To book your ticket to the BIGA Show 2018, please click here. Just £10 for members or £20 for non-members. Children 16 and under go FREE. Dogs also welcome.

  • 14 Sep 2018 7:15 AM | BIGA Chair (Administrator)

    The BIGA Show 2018 is OPEN for Trade Stand Applications.

    IMAGE: Secret Weapon UK, seen here at GroomFest in September, will be at The BIGA Show 2018

    At just £100 for the day ( 3m frontage tradestand), or £50 for a trestle table in the market, the show expects footfall of approx 200 or more pet grooming professionals. Spaces are Limited, so please be sure to apply quickly.

    Traders are asked to decorate their stands in a Christmas theme to help us create a "Christmas Market". The BIGA Show takes place at The Kennel Club Building at Stoneleigh Park, nr Coventry, on Sunday December 9th, 2018.

    We're expecting lots of interaction from the show visitors! Like last year, we're having a Treasure Hunt.

    Visitors will come to your stand to collect a clue, which is then used to solve a riddle for a chance at winning one of our grand prizes.

    In addition, we're organising a Passport for each visitor. The visitor comes to your stand to get their passport stamped by you. Completed passports are then entered into a draw for a chance to win yet another fabulous prize.

    And if that isn't exciting enough, we'll be providing a free mince pie to every guest who comes to the show. It's a lovely Christmassy show featuring 12 live grooming demonstrations, lots of guest speakers, a couple of fun competitions plus the BIGA Question Time (aka Town Hall) as well as a chance to win another Door Prize for the lucky visitors who buy a chocolate bar and find a Willy Wonka Golden Ticket inside.

    For more information and to register, please go to The BIGA Show 2018 or send an email to Sarah Sturley

The British Isles Grooming Association (BIGA)

A Not-for-Profit Trade Association and Community Support Network

 Registered at St. George’s House, 14 George Street, Huntingdon, Cambs. PE29 3GH. Reg. No. 10085801

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