For the Love of Grooming
Gordon’s Grooming Holds Rare Distinction
Writer / Mary Lowry
Photographer / Jubilee Edgell
Lara Latshaw, owner of Gordon’s Grooming in Plymouth, never expected to work as a pet groomer when she was in college, earning a degree in criminology. Her grandparents were the original owners of Gordon’s Grooming, back in the 1980s, and Latshaw spent her summers there working and helping out. After college, she realized that her heart was with the animals. Later on, after living in Florida for a number of years, she decided to come back to Indiana and reopen the salon.
“My grandparents were groomers, and I grew up helping in their salon in the summer. When I was ready to move back to Indiana from Florida, it just made sense to move to Plymouth,” Latshaw says. “I actually started grooming in college, when I was working on a degree in criminology. I finished my degree and realized that I wanted to work with cats and dogs. It was a great job that I’d had during school, and so I wanted to stick with it.”
She continued her education, becoming a National Certified Master Groomer. This distinction is rare to find — Latshaw is one of six groomers in the state of Indiana. The other groomers that work in the salon are currently in the process of earning their certifications.
Their education doesn’t stop with just the Master Groomer certifications, though: Gordon’s Grooming is the only salon in Northern Indiana that has earned the recognition of the S.A.F.E. certification, awarded by the American Kennel Club. Latshaw has also been certified in Pet Tech CPR and First Aid. They also groom cats without sedation, which normally occurs when you take a cat to get groomed.
“There is no regulation or licensing required to be a groomer. To ensure we can provide the best possible care for every pet, we focus heavily on continuing education. These goals are one of the reasons we took the AKC Safe Salon certification course. One example of something we learned from taking this course is that it’s important to have a disaster plan in place. There aren’t many salons owners who could tell you exactly what they would do if a fire broke out in the building they operate in or if there were a tornado warning. But at Gordon’s, we have the answer to that in writing in our Operations Manual.” Latshaw says.
Since education is one of its biggest goals, Latshaw and her team host multiple grooming seminars at the salon throughout the year, bringing in groomers from out of town. She also has competed and won awards in pet grooming competitions all across the country.
All that education and training has certainly paid off. The salon was recognized in the Best of Marshall County for 2019, and Latshaw was nominated for the Barkleigh Up and Coming Speaker of the Year in 2015.
Even with the awards, recognition, and education, Latshaw’s favorite part of the business is still working with the pets and giving back to the community.
“As a business owner, it’s great to be able to provide jobs for other people … As for being a groomer, working with dogs that require special care is very rewarding,” she says.
Giving back doesn’t come just from being able to provide jobs, though. Latshaw makes sure to contribute substantially to the community through volunteering with the animal shelter, making the pets that come in clean and ready to adopt; donating to local fundraisers; and providing things like gift certificates for local events.
“We’re the only salon in town that helps with the shelter,” she explains. “I like trying to support the community. We provide a lot of gift certificates for the car show in town. We try to help with local fundraisers and things like that, too.”
You can contact Gordon’s Grooming on their website, gordonspetgrooming.com or you can call them at 574-612-3524. During the week, you need to have a scheduled appointment. They take drop-offs on Saturdays. They groom all sizes of dogs, as well as cats. They are located at 2159 N. Oak Drive, Suite One.