Champion dog groomer Kelly Davis hopes her triumph in BBC’s Pooch Perfect show will inspire youngsters to succeed.
Kelly left school with no qualifications but now owns KD Grooming in Wincanton, which runs training courses as well as dog and cat grooming. The courses deliver City & Guilds accreditation and covers a range of grooming and animal welfare skills. And Kelly says encouraging kids is one of her main motivations.
“My main aim in going onto the show was to inspire youngsters who haven’t had much of an education or life. I have worked very hard and had some tough times. My main message was not just to prove something to myself but to youngsters who are struggling that it is all right.” Kelly won three rounds as ‘Best in Show’ to reach the final of the show, which required contestants to demonstrate grooming and creative skills as well as knowledge of breeds.”
“The filming of the show near Manchester was spread throughout last August, with 13-hour days on set. It was a very hard journey, such an immensely hard journey to go through,” she said. Back home in Bruton, she said the judges’ praise after each round was especially rewarding and described her fellow finalists as “lovely” – she already knew both from the grooming circuit. “It’s a small world.”
Unsurprisingly, she has had many calls from viewers willing to drive hours to have their dogs cleaned, clipped and trimmed. But Kelly insists her regular customers will always come first.
She said: “Prices will go up in April as they do every year but they are not going to double or treble. I am staying very humble to my regulars.”
But Kelly, whose TV appearance included inclusion on Gogglebox, admits she is toying with the idea of appointing an agent.
“I don’t know whether to pursue that world or not.” The more pressing need is to get her studio ready for re- opening on April 12. Throughout lockdown, she and her staff have only been handling welfare cases.”
Asked how she was coping with her brush with TV fame, she added: “It feels surreal. I’m very humbled. It doesn’t feel real.”
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