Jazz Fitzgerald, Pup Cup

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Jazz Fitzgerald is a local, born in Coffs Harbour, as well as a passionate and enthusiastic dog groomer. Having participated in previous dog grooming events and attended pet expos, she had the inspiration to hold one in her beautiful home town. With help and suggestions from other passionate groomers, the Pup Cup was born! 

Hi Jazz. Can you briefly describe the event?

The Pup Cup Dog Grooming Competition and Expo is the first of its kind.

The event will feature a dog grooming competition, with nine categories for professional dog groomers. Categories displaying poodles, terriers, gundogs, purebreds and mix breed styling, model dogs (using fake dogs) Asian Fusion styling and creative grooming (using pet friendly dyes, accessories etc.).

There will be an expo presenting pet related items and services, as well as food stalls and gorgeous handmade keepsakes. There will be giveaways, sponsor presentations and live demonstrations across the weekend.

The Coffs Harbour District Kennel Club Show will be held at the back of the showground, making it an overall pawfect event!

The Pup Cup is free entry for the public to attend, shop, adore and admire the skills of professional pet groomers.

With keen interest from local and interstate groomers and stall holders, the Pup Cup will not be an event to miss!

Where did the idea for the event come from?

I love competing in dog grooming competitions and attending anything pet related.

Since the Mid North Coast had never had a competition nor expo dedicated to canine grooming and care, I thought I would host one here in Coffs Harbour. With the help of many lovely groomers, plenty of research and planning – the Pup Cup was born!

Bringing this event to Coffs Harbour has many benefits.

I want to show the public that dog grooming isn’t just a hobby turned job, It’s a true skill.

I feel that when one can sit back and watch a live art form, there will be more admiration for our trade and with sponsor presentations and demonstrations, pet owners can improve their home grooming too.

Sadly in our salons, vans and trailers, we see neglect daily. The sights of parasite infestation, overgrown nails and matted coats is unfortunately still happening.

I want pet owners to see the wonderful possibilities that can come from regular grooming visits and taking the extra time out for their dogs at home. After all – a cute, clean, comfortable and healthy dog is the best one to come home to.

Along with stressing the importance of dog grooming to the public, I want groomers to network. Often groomers work alone or in tight knit salons, making it hard to communicate beyond their walls.

Coming together to not only compete and improve our skills, but to form friendships is the key to strengthening our industry. I have made some fantastic friendships through competing, and I want that for other groomers.   

In any industry I feel that it is very important to network with those around you and attend ongoing professional development. The Australian pet industry is growing every year and to keep up with the latest trends, products and skill based learning, involvement is paramount.

Being faced with a competition which may seem all but impossible, then tackling it head-on and finding you can indeed do something you never thought you could – there’s nothing more exhilarating, inspiring or empowering.

Who are some of the exhibitors and dog groomers we can look forward to seeing?

In collaboration with the Made with Love Markets, we have a fantastic range of local and interstate businesses from as far as Western Australia, Northern Queensland and Southern New South Wales specialising in pet related and non pet related handmade products.

Companies such as Woofer Wares, Oster, Petway Petcare, Bows-Ties-Accessorize, Frankie & Emmett, Heiniger and The International Grooming Company will be here!

If you need scissors or blades sharpened, B&R Clipper Blade Sharpening from QLD will be on site to help. From doggie treats, grooming products, home decor, art and fashion; we will have it all.

Groomers with expertise ranging from novice to master travelling from all over Australia and our three highly respected judges: Sharon Hall (NSW), Vanessa Parsons (QLD) and Tamara James (TAS) will be in attendance.

These three inspiring judges have a keen eye for detail, provide our competitors with fantastic feedback for their future grooms and continually strive to raise the bar in Australian grooming. All three have represented Australia at the World Grooming Championships and have placed alongside some of the best groomers in the world.

What advice would you offer to people who are looking to get into pet grooming?

The only regret I have for pet grooming is not doing it sooner. If you are looking at working with dogs, are fit, have a creative flair and passion for the health and wellbeing of animals, then this is the career for you.

What are the most important characteristics of a good pet groomer?

In Australia, the pet grooming industry is unregulated – meaning anyone can pick up a pair of clippers and start grooming tomorrow. Whilst it might sound like a piece of cake, grooming animals is no walk in the park.

Every animal that awaits a pamper is completely different, from breed standard, structure, temperament, skin type, coat condition, and meeting the owners’ requests can sometimes prove difficult.

A groomer who is experienced, well trained, confident in handling, patient, gentle and loves dogs are the most important characteristics of a good pet groomer.

The difference between a good haircut and a bad haircut is a driven groomer!

What are the latest trends in pet grooming?

With the growing trend of poodle and poodle mix breed ownership, we are seeing so many cute styles out there. Asian Fusion styling is on the rise, displaying funky techniques of flared fluffy legs and gorgeous round muzzles that truly capture those “puppy dog eyes”.

Many owners are now requesting pet friendly dye on top of their grooming services. Rainbow tails, animal print patterns and hot pink ears are in!

Where can we find out more about the Pup Cup?

The Pup Cup has a dedicated Facebook page and website www.coffspupcup.com with all information displayed about this wonderful event. We hope to see you there!

Thanks Jazz.

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