By Robert Gebelhoff
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Blueberry facial cream, pink hair dye and a whole lot of dogs, these are just a few things that could be found at Cori Bliesner’s pet grooming boutique, Vanity Fur.
The Milwaukee-area shop offers jobs for its four professional groomers with rarely a dull moment since it opened in 2008.
Bliesner’s 18-year career satisfies her passion for working with animals and also gives her the chance to be creative.
What does she do?
“The biggest thing we do is bathing, blow-drying, brushing, hair cuts, we make dogs look and feel their best. Nail-trimming and cleaning their ears, it’s pet styling. People love their dogs and cats, so we try to keep them looking their best.
“We haven’t pushed it a lot, but we do have a variety of hair dyes, nail polishing and a variety of colors. It’s not like what you’ll see in the dog shows with rainbow colors and where they make them into different animals, but just some fun accents.”
How did she get this job?
“I started working at a pet store when I was 16. They had a grooming department, and honestly I had never owned a dog, but I was looking to pick up a few hours and they offered me a position as an assistant. I didn’t really know what else to do after high school and decided to go to grooming school.
“I went to a school in Arlington Heights, Ill., with a certification program. At the time that I went, it was around 500 hours of instruction over four or five months. You certainly come out still needing somebody to mentor you because you can’t learn it all in that short amount of time.”
What were the challenges starting up your own pet grooming business in Milwaukee?