Taiwan pet groomers show off trimming skills
An unusual pet salon in southern Taiwan attracts customers by providing fur grooming services that range from cute to bizarre. Those include trimming the back fur of pets into the shape of Hello Kitty, a teddy bear and something the salon calls "Stegosaurus spine".
Most of pet salon "Igogo" designs are co-designed by Lee Mei-chen and salon owner Ou Shih-jou. Thirty year-old Lee already has six years of experiences as a pet groomer, although she started out with trimming human hair.
Lee said the designs on different pets are planned according to the natural assets the pets bring to the grooming table.
"Because we don't provide the service of dying fur into different colours, we try to find a style that matches the appearance of (the pet) and then come up with a design. Of course everyone thinks that Hello Kitty is white and that a lion is dark brown. We try to come up with designs based on that concept," she said.
Owner Ou said the idea for the "stegosaurus design" came from their customers, who wanted something different to the usual full-body trim.
"If a cat needs to have its fur trimmed in the summer, the most common style is almost naked. Pet owners thought that there were no other styles, so they wanted to be more creative and asked us to come up with a design for them. When a cat gets angry, the fur on its back erects, that made us come up with a style called "Stegosaurus design". It (makes the cat) look like a small dinosaur. The owners were happy after they came back to see it, thinking it was quite creative," she said.
Although the pet salon only opened its doors for the first time in September last year, it has already built a loyal customer base. One of them has to take a 30-minute-drive to the shop every time she visits from her home in Kaohsiung.
"I think their technique is great. I haven't seen anything like this before, so I think they are really amazing. When walking (the pets) outside, people think it's amazing and magical. Everyone wants to take a photograph and see what kind of styles they (the pets) came up with. First people thought there was something on their (pets') bodies so they came closer to see what it was, trying to identify the patterns on their bodies." pet owner Kuo Yu-lan said.
The shop charges at least 20 USD for one trim, depending on pet size and the level of difficulty. The teddy bear style, which can take Lee up to three hours to complete on one furry back, is the most difficult.