As promised, here’s more detail on one of the dog show vendors I interviewed last week, Whitman Sharpening. They have been the sharpening vendor of choice for my all breed club, the Progressive Dog Club of Wayne County, for as long as I can remember. Their mobile repair shop can sharpen and repair scissors and clippers for exhibitors on-site and keeps their staff busy throughout the show weekend. The business started out sharpening drill bits, then they learned about the opportunity to work at horse shows. Show horses, like show dogs, need a lot of grooming and horse shows also need on-site sharpening vendors. The horse people told them about dog shows, and eventually the business evolved to primarily service dog groomers. Their business is based in Coleman, Michigan, pretty much in the heart of mid-Michigan between Midland and Clare. They repair equipment from dog grooming salons throughout the state as well as dog and horse show exhibitors that ship equipment in. The only horse show they attend regularly is the Quarter Horse Congress, a three-week long event in Columbus, Ohio. They’ve also expanded their business to carry some grooming supplies, focusing on products that grant exclusive territories to distributors, like Chris Christensen. Their primary means of promotion is word of mouth among groomers; their website lists the products and services available and also allows customers to download a work order to send with items being shipped in for repair.
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