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Karla Addington-Smith

At the young age of 19, Karla opened her first Bow Wow Boutique in 1978 after completing a two year program in Animal Science at the Great Oaks Career Center. The business quickly grew to a chain of three locations. The business model was an immediate success as pet owners and the media alike discovered the upscale services and unusual products available at Karla’s establishment.

Enjoying a successful career that spans 40 years in the professional dog grooming industry, Karla Addington-Smith is an award winning National Certified Master Groomer from Cincinnati, Ohio. She is an IJA sanctioned contest judge, noted speaker and writer.

Karla entered her first professional grooming competition in 1983 and took the first place prize in the Poodle class with a Toy Poodle named Chrissy. Bitten by the competition bug, the rest is history! Compiling numerous wins over the years, her most prestigious were the 1987 First Place in the Creative Grooming Competition with her beloved Standard Poodle Annie, and the 1988 Best American Groomer title at Intergroom with a Bedlington Terrier named Derrick. As a member of the original 1988 and 1989 GroomTeam USA, Karla represented the U.S. in International Competition in Windsor England.

She has received four of the grooming industry’s most prestigious Cardinal Crystal Achievement Awards, being honored with the 1988 American Groomer of the Year, 1990 Congeniality Award, 1991 and 1996 Grooming Journalist of the Year.

Karla is well versed in business relations too, being named the 1988 Outstanding Young Entrepreneur in America by the United States Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurship. Her case history appeared in college textbooks used in small business and entrepreneurship classes throughout the United States.

She has contributed to three books on grooming and business and after serving on the committee for curriculum development of the Animal Sciences Program used by the State of Ohio, Karla wrote her 2010 Dog Writer’s Best Book Award nominee; Introduction to The Foundations of Dog Grooming. Karla’s feature articles on grooming and business related topics have appeared in many of the leading industry and pet owner publications including Groom-O-Gram, Pets Supplies Marketing, Today’s Breeder, Groomer to Groomer, Groom and Board, Veterinarian Product News, Pet Product News,

Cats USA, Tabbies and Cat Fancy. Her three year role as the Editor of Pet Boutique and Spa Magazine was especially rewarding and the motivation for opening her currant dog grooming salon and spa, A Fortunate Dog Spa in Cincinnati, Ohio.

In 1996 Karla received the prestigious Dog Writer’s Association of America’s Scratchex Award for Journalistic Excellence in Dog Grooming and Skin Care for her extensive article on grooming entitled Putting His Best Paw Forward for the Dogs in Canada Annual publication.

Karla served as the Educational Director for the Professional Products Division of Sunbeam Oster from 1995 through 1997 developing the 1-2-3 Clipper System, writing and appearing in two video productions and conducting sales and training sessions both nationally and abroad. She has appeared on numerous local and national television programs promoting pet care and education.

In 2012 Karla was nominated for a Barkleigh Honors Award as Judge of the Year, and most recently she won First Place in the The Intergroom Celebrity Rescue Makeover Invitational Tournament in April 2014, beating out ten of the industry’s top competitors from the 80’s.

Today, Karla is very active in the professional grooming industry, managing her salon as she continues to judge, write and speak. She is a partner with her husband Craig, in  selling professional grooming tools, equipment and supplies to professionals and pet owners all over the world.

Cats USA, Tabbies and Cat Fancy. Her three year role as the Editor of Pet Boutique and Spa Magazine was especially rewarding and the motivation for opening her currant dog grooming salon and spa, A Fortunate Dog Spa in Cincinnati, Ohio.

In 1996 Karla received the prestigious Dog Writer’s Association of America’s Scratchex Award for Journalistic Excellence in Dog Grooming and Skin Care for her extensive article on grooming entitled Putting His Best Paw Forwardfor the Dogs in Canada Annual publication.

Karla served as the Educational Director for the Professional Products Division of Sunbeam Oster from 1995 through 1997 developing the 1-2-3 Clipper System, writing and appearing in two video productions and conducting sales and training sessions both nationally and abroad. She has appeared on numerous local and national television programs promoting pet care and education.

In 2012 Karla was nominated for a Barkleigh Honors Award as Judge of the Year, and most recently she won First Place in the The Intergroom Celebrity Rescue Makeover Invitational Tournament in April 2014, beating out ten of the industry’s top competitors from the 80’s.

Today, Karla is very active in the professional grooming industry, managing her salon as she continues to judge, write and speak. She is a partner with her husband Craig, in  selling professional grooming tools, equipment and supplies to professionals and pet owners all over the world.