Enhancing Animal Care
Holly Gibson, manager of marketing and innovation for Shor-Line, discusses the company’s dedication to helping groomers work safely and efficiently by providing high-quality equipment that stands the test of time.
Grooming Business: What trends is Shor-Line following?
Holly Gibson: The recovering economy presents great opportunities for groomers, as well as challenges in managing growth. We see more and more groomers upgrading their equipment and salons to reflect the high quality pet parents are looking to see. They also are finding that durable, adjustable equipment increases efficiency.
At Shor-Line, we manufacture high-quality grooming tubs, tables, cages and dryers that will stand the test of time. We also take great care in designing ergonomically efficient products that allow groomers to make dozens of adjustments to fit their style and clientele.
Groomers are artists, and we see it as our job to help them do their beautiful work as comfortably as possible for as long as possible.
GB: What new grooming products are you offering?
Gibson: Our Elite Grooming table has become a high-end favorite of groomers. Its high-quality electric unit lifts as much as 200 pounds from 20 inches to 41 inches high. Last fall, we added a Shor-Line Blue to the color choices, which include Plum Perfect, Screamin’ Green, Burnt Orange, Electric Pink and Silver Vein.
We also added the Big Top Grooming Table last fall. It features the same dependable lift as the Elite Grooming Table, but with a larger tabletop area—48 inches long by 26 inches wide. Our customers told us they needed a larger area for larger dogs, and we responded.
GB: What dryers do you offer?
Gibson: The industry is trending toward heat-free drying for pet safety. Best practices still recommend proper pet supervision while drying.
Shor-Line’s patented heat-free dryer cages reduce the worry about drying while still providing a speedy drying time. Two high-volume fans sit on either side of the cage, creating an airflow that lifts the coat for drying while aiding in the removal of loose undercoat.
All of the fans are UL listed and feature OSHA-compliant guards. You set the fan speed depending on the pet needs. Rounded corners throughout the high-density polyethylene cage makes clean up easy, and raised floors come standard, allowing for air circulation under the pet to accelerate drying time.
GB: How important are safety features?
Gibson: As a third-generation animal care company, Shor-Line takes its responsibility to animals and customers seriously. Our electric grooming tables meet UL/CSA certification standards, denoting a high level of user and pet safety and manufacturing quality.
Our grooming products showcase the results of our attention to detail with radiused corners in tubs to help prevent debris accumulation, rounded corners on tops and tables to protect groomers and pets, adjustable grooming arms, lead rings in tubs and proprietary polyurethane-coated grooming table tops to prevent slipping.
GB: What makes a product premium?
Gibson: Some of our original tubs are still in service, so Shor-Line takes durability and stainless steel quality seriously because our customers expect their products to last. For example, the grooming tubs all have square tube frames to support the stainless steel panels. The robust frame stands up to decades of use.
The grooming tables have thick, durable tube frames with class-A powder coating—one of the most durable finishes. Adjustable feet allow the table to be level, even when used on a floor with a standard slope to a drain.
We know groomers work hard, and investing in high-quality equipment that will work hard for them saves money in the long run and prevents frustration in the short run.
GB: What is the role of proper ergonomics in keeping groomers healthy and productive? How does Shor-Line address this important equipment consideration?
Gibson: We hear from groomers who love what they do, and they need their equipment to take some of the load off the manual side of the job. That is why Shor-Line has designed the grooming tubs and tables with multiple adjustments to height, tie-downs and positioning.
Groomers all have their own styles, but we have found the common denominator is they “read” the dogs they groom. This knowledge helps them position the animal properly to keep the pet calm and get the grooming work done quickly, artistically and efficiently. The multiple position options on our tables allow this to happen.
Shor-Line also has rounded corners on the grooming tables so you aren’t bruising your hips as you work around the pet. And the lightly textured table surface provides just the right amount of traction to relax the pet.
GB: Aside from providing high-quality equipment, what kind of support can groomers expect to get from Shor-Line?
Gibson: Shor-Line has been in business since 1927, so the company stands behind its products. Durability and reliability are the two adjectives most associated with Shor-Line equipment. For small businesses that need their equipment working day in and day out, this is critical.
Shor-Line goes the extra mile of working with groomers from the time they are considering a purchase through the life of the product. The sales team really is made up of experienced consultants who have helped equip thousands of grooming businesses. If a groomer has an idea, chances are the salesperson has seen it before and knows what works well and what modifications to suggest. The average salesperson at Shor-Line has 10 years of experience.
Our technical service team is on hand to answer anything from the simple questions to highly technical problems. They have a great reputation for solving problems in a friendly, accessible manner. Because our grooming tables are so durable, it is not unusual for it to last for decades and may only need the replacement of the electric actuator. Our team knows how important the grooming table is to a groomer, so they go the extra mile to get the groomer back up and running.
GB: What are some of the biggest complaints that groomers have in the various equipment categories you deal in? How does Shor-Line proactively address these?
Gibson: The biggest complaint or question is regarding the price of quality equipment. For equipment to be safe for the handler and pet, along with limited maintenance needs and an unparalleled life expectancy, you must have a fine eye for detail, use superior materials and manufacture with quality craftsmen.
We realize there are times when people feel they must compromise for lesser quality, but we usually see them in the future. We welcome and recommend that our customers compare our quality. We would rather explain the price than manufacture with inferior quality and explain poor quality.
GB: How important are proper maintenance and cleaning protocols in the grooming salon? How does partnering with a high-quality equipment manufacturer like Shor-Line help in this regard?
Gibson: Our goal is to let groomers be groomers, not mechanics. Our tables are designed to be virtually maintenance free. We take the extra step in manufacturing durable, closed systems so that groomers can just use the equipment.
Keeping the fur and debris cleaned off will keep it looking its best and prevent the switches from becoming clogged with fine fur. Following a regular cleaning routine will keep all your equipment running properly for years.