Who are we?

“Be so completely yourself that everyone else feels safe to be themselves too. ” -Unknown

The Meditative Groomer’s mission is to make pet grooming more accessible to anyone with a special emphasis on neurodiverse learners.  Whether you are new to grooming or looking to expand your skills as a pet stylist. Using tools such as model dogs, private lessons, teaching, and consulting for groomers and their business. The Meditative Groomer is dedicated to upholding integrity in the industry and providing peach and harmony to its clients. Bottom line, we treat you the way we would want to be treated.

When Stephenie Calhoun was a teenager she had a meeting with her high school counselor where she told him that she would like to become a vet when she graduates. Her counselor told her that she would never make it through the schooling required. He believed this because Stephenie had a tough time with school. She never got homework done and only managed to pass classes due to being a good test taker. What he didn’t know, and what Stephenie only learned after leaving high school was that she was neuro-divergent. She learned differently than others.

It took her quite a while to finally figure out why she learned differently than others but after years of working hard and learning she has learned to not only learn herself but she also learned how she can help others who were in her same position by helping them to excel at one of the most neuro-diverse careers out there.

Stephenie has been grooming for 10 years. She is the Training manager of Calling All Paws, a certified Nash Academy instructor, and Illinois State Grooming Team Captain. Stephenie lives with her husband John in Waukegan with her cockapoo, Nibbler, Irish wolfhound mix, Addison, 3 cats, Chiana, Fry, and Banner, and 3 turtles. Stephenie is obviously passionate about animals and teaching but also enjoys her hobbies of gardening, resin art, and cooking.

John Calhoun is Stephenie’s husband since 2017.  He holds a Bachelors in Business Management from Robert Morris University and is a partner in a small business serving the trucking industry.  Although John is not trained as a groomer he has been with his wife along her career journey since the beginning and is very attuned to the industry.  John may be from the trucking industry but is very passionate about any type of business and is all about offering products and services that truly benefit the customer.  Fed up with corporate structure John has made it his life’s work to be involved with small business where you can still have meaningful relationships with your customers and have the flexibility to treat them with the respect they deserve.  As he always says “it’s gotta be a win, win for both parties otherwise it’s not working”. Outside of work, John is obviously an animal lover and likes spending time with “our little zoo” 2 dogs, 3 cats, 2 turtles, a feral cat colony, and any fosters they may show up at our door. John loves listening to music especially Nine Inch Nails, David Bowie, and Tool. Attending concerts and sporting events being fans of the Chicago Cubs and Dallas Cowboys (I know). Spending time with friends and family, playing board games, Dungeon and Dragons, and traveling are some of his other passions.

When Stephenie and John Calhoun met in 2012 at the local fireworks they couldn’t have been more opposite. John, being a city kid living in his hometown with his bachelors in business and analytical nature, he had only owned one dog in his life even though he enjoyed being around animals. Stephenie on the other hand was a country farm girl displaced to the city still trying to find her path in life was already knee deep in animals with turtles, her dog Nibbler, and a kitten.

They say opposites attract but no one talks about how well opposites can become one which is exactly what the Calhoun’s became. Now we have a family of two dogs, 3 cats, 2 turtles, and foster cats from the local TNR program. We spend our free time volunteering, playing boardgames, gardening, and playing DND with a group of close friends. We love to travel and hike and we love spending time with our families.

After all these years and spending a pandemic together we decided that we wanted to share our love and passions with the world with The Meditative Groomer. John’s business background and Stephenie’s creative mind and our mutual love of helping people and animals blend together to make this business balance. We want to bring high quality products and education to the industry and help people bring balance to their own business with one-on-one consulting.