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  • 02 Aug 2017 9:53 PM | BIGA Chair (Administrator)

    Many of us were startled by the sudden closure of  Dog World and ProGroomer Magazine a few weeks ago. BIGA has had the privilege of talking to Natalie Lucas, ProGroomer Magazine's former Editor and, in case you didn't know, also a professional pet groomer.

    Here, in Natalie's own words, a brief history of her time at ProGroomer.

    NATALIE: I was very lucky to train to be a dog groomer at Absolutely Animals under Heidi and Christine Anderton and Colin Taylor. At the time, I had a full-time job editing Running Free magazine, so my entry into the grooming world was a slow and painful one. Heidi was always encouraging me to get out there and start up, but I was a nervous wreck. Eventually, in late 2012, I opened my own grooming studio - a tiny shed in my back garden and named it Dolly Dogs (after my feisty Jack Russell - Dolly).

    With hindsight, I should have worked in a grooming salon for a while to gain confidence. However, I started grooming one or two dogs a week on my own - and not many people returned.

    The following year, the running magazine closed down because of financial problems. I looked around for other editorial work and came across ProGroomer (PG) owned by Dog World.

    I sent in my CV and they called immediately, shocked to find an editor who was also a dog groomer. I wrote a couple of articles for them and by the October I was the Editor.

    Within a few issues I changed the style of the magazine and made it look a lot more modern. Being a groomer, and an editor, I felt I was in a unique position to provide interesting and much-needed content for the mag. I had found my calling working with dogs in two very different capacities. A year later my grooming skills improved as I became more confident and, thankfully, customers started coming back.

    I loved editing PG and was so lucky to meet loads of groomers of all levels at the seminars and competitions I attended with PG - alongside my colleague, and now good friend, Gary Doran, who was the sales manager. Thank you to everyone that took their time to come and say hello on the PG stand and tell us how much they loved the magazine.

    My favourite part of PG was interviewing a groomer and writing up In your Salon. Its fascinating finding out how people got into grooming and how much they love their job and are constantly pushing themselves to achieve more. I know the Grooming Guide was much loved by the readers but this was the hardest part of the mag. Trying to get a groomer free for the day with two particular breeds that were ready to be groomed - and the video man available - was quite a task. Id like to thank everyone that took part in the Grooming Guides. Im sure the videos and picture features have helped many a groomer in their work.

    Dog World mostly used a freelancer to design PG and Id like to remember John Clement, with whom I worked with in the first couple of years. John sadly passed away in 2015. Id also like to thank Caroline Robinson who did a fantastic job of designing PG, bringing her own style and flair to it. Also, thanks go out to writers that include Eileen Geeson, Cat Henstridge, Kristina Johansen, Tanya Stevens and, more recently, Ellie Stanf and anyone that contributed to the magazine.

    Id also like to thank fellow local groomer Sue Angliss. Sue has helped me in many ways to improve my grooming: from helping me groom large breeds but, more importantly, to the small things, like reminding me to keep my blades clean, get customers to re-book every time, charge my worth and repaint my salon regularly.

    My biggest Thank You goes out to Gary Doran who drove with me every year up and down the country to all the amazing competitions and seminars. He always made me laugh and he was so passionate about the magazine and the industry. I was surprised about how much he had learnt about grooming since the start of the magazine in 2010 and Im pleased to let you know he is now becoming a dog groomer and loves it.

    I had absolutely no idea that Dog World was in financial difficulty and it was going into administration. I apologise to anyone we sold a subscription to in the last year and they have not received the latest issue or future issues. It was such a shame for everyone to lose their jobs at Dog World and for a newspaper that has been going since the 1920s to be closed down.

    I have recently moved house and have a brand new and bigger salon next to my house. Due to back problems, I can only groom part-time. However, I continue to enjoy the challenge of dog grooming every day. After five years in the industry I can say I not only love my job but Im finally good at it! I will miss PG and will look for another part-time journalistic/editing role at some point in the future.

  • 03 Jul 2017 6:17 PM | BIGA Chair (Administrator)

    Well situated in a convenient location near Haywards Heath, this established dog grooming salon presents a great opportunity to acquire a profitable, popular business with plenty of scope for growth. 

    Owner-operated for three years, it has a loyal customer base, a great local reputation and high levels of repeat business. Canine patrons enjoy friendly service, top-quality grooming services and clean, warm surroundings. 

    For more information, please visit the eBay listing:


  • 06 Jun 2017 8:30 PM | BIGA Chair (Administrator)

    ProGroomer ran this article on their website recently. Take a look. It explains the spirit of BIGA, our aim to celebrate ALL our achievements as pet grooming professionals, whatever our stripe.

    BIGA: The ‘Inclusive Club’ for Pet Grooming Professionals

    Three Firsts for the British Isles Grooming Association

    “When we set out to create BIGA,” explains Kristian Maris, acting-chair of the British Isles Grooming Association, “we were determined to embrace a modern ethos of inclusiveness for all pet grooming professionals.”


    “We’re all here because we have the passion, talent and skills to ensure the best care for pet cats and dogs. We want to share that knowledge with each other, but also with our customers.”


    For that reason, BIGA – which formed only a year ago - is proud to be the first association within the pet industry to create an interactive membership website,


    “It’s a knowledge-sharing hub for BIGA members,” explains Kristian. “Members can participate in forums, ask questions, answer questions, receive expert advice and recommendations, plus make friends with like-minded professionals by accessing the Directory of other members.”


    Each member gets their own profile page where they can tell others more about themselves, add images, be themselves, learn from others. All with a view to creating a community that supports high standards in professional pet care.


     “Because so many groomers are small one-person businesses, it can be a lonely and isolating profession. Through the membership website and our Facebook community group, you can be a part of something ‘biga’.”


    BIGA is also proud to be the first association to reach out to the public pet owner with a dedicated website featuring image boards of groomed pets, pet owner advice plus a directory of BIGA members that can be easily located by postcode.


    “Whether or not you’re a member of BIGA, the site is open to all,” explains Kristian. “The Pre-Grooming Consultation is critical. Well, now, you can simply consult the website with your customer and refer to the image boards. Together, you can decide on the best style for the dog that has come for grooming. You can manage the customer’s expectations based on the image boards in addition to your own assessment of the condition of the dog’s coat, health check and assessment of its fitness for grooming.”


    A third ‘first’ for BIGA is the creation of its Honorary Members List. The list – which is published on – recognises and acknowledges the generation of groomers and professionals who have contributed, and continue to contribute, to the development of pet grooming as a respected profession and vocation.


    “There are many in this industry,” explains Kristian, “who have given so much. Their efforts have ensured the high standards and professionalism that help each of us to take pride in our vocation and businesses. Most importantly, it has helped to promote the health and welfare of all pets. That’s an honourable thing.”


    Fundamentally, regular grooming is beneficial to a pet’s health and well-being. BIGA is there to promote this message and serve the community of groomers and pet owners who recognise the importance of this non-negotiable principle.


    If you would like to be part of a modern, progressive, grassroots association created by like-minded professionals who share these values, find out more at

  • 05 May 2017 1:59 PM | BIGA Chair (Administrator)

    Heard of Uber? AirBnB? Amazon?

    Of course you have. The advances in technology over recent years have dramatically altered our world.

    From taxis, to accommodation, to buying stuff.

    Those same forces have now radically changed the professional pet industry.

    Because, effective today, you can now join the British Isles Grooming Association (BIGA) for only £50 per year.

    Yes. You read that correctly. £50. This applies whether you are an individual or a pet grooming business.*

    Better yet - your business membership comes as a BIGA Bundle. This means you can have up to five of your staff sign up as members. Use all five, and that's just £10 each per year.

    This isn't a special deal. This is the new normal membership fee.**

    Is BIGA getting desperate?

    Nope. We are simply moving with the times in which we live.

    Technology today has enabled us to do more for less. We don't need premises. We don't need full-time salaried employees. We don't need to spend money on printing and posting.

    And because BIGA is not-for-profit (this is YOUR association), there is no point making more money than we have to. You still get the normal benefits of a dedicated trade association - but we're listening to our members to deliver the concrete features you care about plus increase pet owner awareness about the health and welfare benefits of regular grooming.

    Membership includes:
    * the credibility of belonging to a professional trade association
    * a window sticker for your premises and use of the logo on your website and literature
    * business listing on the public-facing website
    * access to the interactive membership website for support and communication between members
    * strong social media presence and forums dedicated to members
    * access to all business and education resource documents on
    * an annual BIGA conference with seminars, demos, fun competition, and goody bag
    * downloadable member certificate to print off and display in your salon
    * advice and information on all education routes. We recognise ALL your achievements!
    * tailor-made discounts from suppliers

    * plus regular industry updates and feel-good news

    Best of all, you get a voice.

    We keep getting BIGA and better.

    Join the hundreds of others who have already joined BIGA !

    xx The BIGA Team

    Colin Taylor, Pam Gee, Heidi Anderton, Fern Gresty, Sue Oliver, Kristian Maris and all our Volunteers and BIGA Ambassadors

    * does not apply to training centres or suppliers
    ** existing members who paid more than £50 will be credited a pro-rata extension of their membership

  • 22 Apr 2017 6:59 PM | BIGA Chair (Administrator)

    Wendy Payton wins a Treasure-Trove from generous suppliers at MasterGroom 2017

    BIGA congratulations to Wendy Payton, who is the first-ever recipient of ‘The BIGA Box’.

    “The prizes were unbelievably generous of all the stands and suppliers [at MasterGroom 2017], and I would like to say a massive huge Thank You for their contribution to the first BIGA Box! Aesculap also gave me a clipper with blades and combs,” said Wendy. “All in all, it was a day I will never forget.”

    The BIGA Box is a newly-created initiative to support its members with the opportunity of winning door-prizes at competitions and events, such as seminars and workshops, thereby encouraging participation.

    “We really want BIGA to be an interactive experience for all members. Come to the shows. Attend workshops and seminars. Meet other groomers. Be a part of a ‘biga’ community,” says Colin Taylor, one of BIGA’s founder-directors, and the creator of MasterGroom.

    “I urge other groomers to get involved in this wonderful association and its support of its members, for which I’m so proud to be a part of,” said Wendy.

    With a retail value in the hundreds of pounds, the BIGA Box was a treasure-trove of goodies for the professional groomer, provided by the following generous suppliers:

    Aesculap, Hownd Shampoo, Secret Weapon, The Pawfume Shop, Redcape, Kebukai, Purple Paws, Canine Design, Groomers, Colin Taylor Accessories and Precious Shampoos and Fragrances, Mutneys, Total Grooming Magazine and Dogs & Horses.



  • 09 Apr 2017 10:07 PM | BIGA Chair (Administrator)

    BIGA congratulations to BIGA member Bryony Mehigan at opening of your new salon K9DivineGrooming in Framlingham.

    More info:

  • 03 Apr 2017 8:15 PM | BIGA Chair (Administrator)

    BIGA Congratulations to BIGA member, Amy Manser, who took home the coveted prize of Best In Show at MasterGroom 2017.

    For more of the story and all the results, follow this link on the ProGroomer website > click here

  • 24 Mar 2017 2:25 PM | BIGA Chair (Administrator)

    congratulations BIGA members, Bow Wow London, on the opening of your new salon in Central London.

    News of the event was picked up by The Pet Gazette - read all it about it here:

    Pet Gazette article

  • 24 Mar 2017 12:00 AM | BIGA Chair (Administrator)

    Congratulations BIGA members (and future members, ahem)

    You've been nominated Best Non-Profit in this year's Liz Paul Awards (thanks everyone for the nomination - truly an honour for all members)!

    To vote: click here

    But please do so urgently because time is running out. Now, read this to discover the shocking claim about BIGA (don't skip to the bottom right away, you have to read thru this to get it..)

    Why vote for BIGA?

    We could say vote for BIGA because it's the first non-profit pet groomers' association to acknowledge and publicly feature the generation of professionals who have contributed so much to this industry - and continue to do so - with the Honorary Members list.

    That would be plenty of reason for most. High time this sort of thing happened. It's nice to see. It's well earned. And our Honorary Members are, truly, to be honoured and respected.

    But if you need more reasons than that, well, how about the fact that BIGA (which launched just under a year ago), is the first non-profit pet groomers' association to create an interactive membership website for the sharing of knowledge among members and is actively creating a community support network of like-minded professionals?

    All of that is taking place on the members' website - forums, downloadable resources, a searchable member directory so we can do things like communicate with each other. That's kinda cool isn't it? A safe space for asking questions, answering questions without judgement. Just support and good ol' fashioned friendly advice.

    Are those reasons enough yet?

    How about the fact that BIGA is the first non-profit to create a public pet-owners' website featuring image boards of pet styles, a searchable directory of member businesses plus provides pet owner advice to raise awareness and educate the pet owner about everything that goes into regular pet grooming?

    That's radical isn't it? A website for the pet owner! With images of different pet styles!

    Sheesh. Is there more that BIGA could be doing? Of course there is. You're part of it and you're making it happen. But BIGA needs your vote.

    If all this hasn't convinced you though, how about this:

    BIGA is something we can all agree on (whooooa?? what???)

    Because BIGA is all about support and encouragement between all of us in the industry to achieve the highest standards when it comes to the health, welfare, safety, security and well-being of animals in our care.

    If you like what BIGA is doing, please vote for BIGA in the Liz Paul Awards.

    click here

  • 21 Mar 2017 2:41 PM | BIGA Chair (Administrator)

    BIGA is pleased to announce its first official Honorary Members in recognition of their contributions to the professional pet grooming industry in the British Isles.

    Each Honouree is distinguished by their exceptional commitment to, and generosity in, the sharing of  their knowledge and hard-won expertise with other pet grooming professionals.

    To see our list of Honourees, please click here.

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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