Built to Last
Holly Gibson, marketing and innovation manager for Shor-Line, discusses the company’s approach of combining durability and ergonomics when designing equipment for the grooming salon.
Grooming Business: What is the history of Shor-Line?
Holly Gibson: Shor-Line was founded in Kansas City, Kan., by two brothers—Karl and Gary Schroer—in 1927. They quickly developed a reputation for fabricating high-quality parts. In the 1940s, the brothers started working with stainless steel, which was the start of the durable animal care products that Shor-Line still makes today. At every show Shor-Line attends, we hear from customers about cages or surgery tables that have been passed down through generations because they are still serving the animals.
GB: What is Shor-Line’s philosophy?
Gibson: Shor-Line has made our name on high-quality, durable products, so that is what we bring to the grooming market. We design ergonomically smart equipment that takes some of the work off the groomer and lets the equipment do the job. From our long-lasting actuator that lifts pets to grooming tubs that let you chose how the pet enters, we build flexibility into our product offerings. Groomers know what works best for them and their clients, so we make sure the equipment provides options.
GB: What products does Shor-Line offer groomers?
Gibson: Shor-Line has a long-standing commitment to the grooming business. As entrepreneurs themselves, the Shor-Line family knows how hard grooming businesses work each day to take care of animals and run a business. In addition to our line of cages, here are some of our most popular grooming products:
Elite Grooming Table
• The only CSA/UL certified grooming table on the market.
• Colorful powder-coated, heavy-gauge steel construction makes it a table that will last.
• Actuator lifts up to 200 lbs. from 20 to 41 in. high.
• Super-sized grooming table is 40 in. long by 26 in. wide.
• Pivoting grooming arm travels 180 degrees around the end of the table, locking into five positions horizontally and any position between 22 and 39 in. vertically. The loop has six position choices.
Elite Grooming Tub
• Thick tub frame creates a durable stainless steel tub that will last for decades.
• One-piece backsplash keeps water in the tub.
• Radiused corners makes clean up easy and effective.
• Exclusive STAMP (STeprAMP) system can be either steps or ramp.
• PVC-coated floors sit on the tub bottom, or you can raise one to bathe at counter height.
• Our exclusive drying system provides heat-free drying to eliminate burns and dehydration.
• Pets dry in about 20 minutes.
• Several options available.
GB: What new products has Shor-Line developed for groomers?
Gibson: Continuous improvement is the mantra at Shor-Line. We attend 50 to 60 shows and conferences each year, where we talk with our customers about their changing needs. Our Elite Grooming Table is the result of the need for a durable table that can adjust on the fly to the groomer’s needs, but also looks stylish to give a good impression about the salon. Some of our brightest colors are on the grooming tables.
The small animal bathing tub is a smaller tub that has the same durability as our larger tubs but will fit into smaller spaces and costs less, allowing the groomer flexibility. It also provides a high-sided choice for groomers getting into the feline market.
GB: What trends does Shor-Line see for groomers?
Gibson: Ergonomics is one of the largest challenges in our industry. Groomers are doing well with the improved economy, but grooming is hard work. Years of grooming take a toll on the groomer’s body. The more we can offer products that take some of the back-breaking work out of grooming, the more groomers can focus on their artistic vision for pets.
We see more pet parents looking for grooming services. As there is more expendable income, pet parents are splurging more on their “fur babies,” and we see that as a good omen for grooming businesses. Beyond the breeds that require regular grooming, we see an increase in pets being given a “spa day” to trim them up.