My everyday amazement takes the form of a fan club... let me share. The latest fixation is the Instagram account JESS RONA GROOMING. Have you not seen her slow motion dog grooming videos? If you have not, you are certainly in for a surprise. When I initially discovered these, I thought that Mickalene Thomas had gone and set up shop in LA. But she hasn't...and what a joy it has been to meet Jess on line. Here the comedian/actress/groomer shares how she got started in this biz, and we share some of her brilliant work with you. Keep an eye on this gem - more fun to come!!!
Tell me about how you got started in the grooming business?
I needed a job when I was 18 and my mom mentioned that PetSmart was hiring. So when I went to apply, they had several job options: Cashier, aquatics, Reptiles, Dog Bather... So I checked "Dog Bather" on a whim because it seemed fun. I didn't have dogs growing up and I knew nothing about dogs. Then after a year or two of bathing dogs (at PetSmart and other shops), I slowly started to learn to groom.
How long have you been doing it?
On and off for about 17 years. I'm also an actress/comedian, so I also waited tables in NYC and LA for about 6 years. Working at a grooming shop for 5 years, I kept having to leave for auditions. I finally realized that I needed to work from home. So I converted my garage into a grooming studio, which allowed more time for acting. I had no idea that it would become so popular!
When did you start your Instagram account?
About a year and a half ago.
How did you come up with the idea of producing artful videos?
It just kinda happened. I was blow drying a dog and her ears flew up and I grabbed my phone to take a video. Then I got a new iPhone and started doing slo-mo videos. Then a friend told me about an app that puts music to the videos. I got so inspired and it was so much fun!
Are many of your clients dogs celebrities' dogs?
All my clients are celebrities!
Do you see yourself making a TV show out of the screen videos?
I got some funny friends together and shot a web series about being a groomer in LA that's totally improvised. It's in the editing phase, so stay tuned! I also write funny songs, and recently I shamelessly plugged my new music video on my Instagram."
Tell me what's next in your life?
A book, a product line and an at-home bathing kit to sell to the masses! Also, maybe I'll make a funny show!
How many dogs do you have and what are their names and breeds?
I have two incredible beasts. Chupie is a "Sato" (a Puerto Rican street dog) that my husband brought home from Puerto Rico. I think she's a Boston Terrier/Shepherd/Pitt mix, and Meemu is another street mutt (who is a poodle mix) from San Bernardino.