An Interview with the Founders of Dog Grooming Brand Pride & Groom · The Wildest

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Behind the Brand: Pride & Groom

A new line of essential oil-infused dog shampoos are tailored to your pup’s unique fur. Wet dog never smelled so good.

by Jinnie Lee
August 20, 2021
Dog sitting on a rug against a dark gray background
Courtesy of Pride & Groom

When we shop for a luxury shampoo, we read reviews, scrutinize ingredients, and peep celebrity #shelfies — all before we dare take a new formula to our own scalps. We also steer clear of products laden with toxic chemicals we can’t pronounce, so why not take the same mindful approach when it comes to picking premium grooming products for our pets? 

Enter Pride+Groom. The year-old, women-owned brand by Regina Haymes, Jane Wagman, Heather Perlman, and Patricia Machado consists of shampoos and conditioners formulated specifically for your dog’s sensitive-skinned, heavy-shedding, or non-shedding needs. The moisturizing products smell divine, thanks to all-natural ingredients like calendula extract for soothing itchy skin, marshmallow root for healing hot spots, and jojoba seed oil for unclogging hair follicles. And the chic, sustainable packaging means that Pride+Groom bottles can be displayed alongside your own beauty products. (No need to take our word for it — Oprah and her dog Sadie have also given their stamps of approval.)

What’s more, Pride+Groom pays it forward, donating a portion of the proceeds to animal welfare groups — Villalobos Rescue, Animal Haven, Love Leo Rescue, The Pixie Project Rescue, Lucky Dog Animal Rescue, ARF, to name a few — and distributing their One Fur All conditioning shampoo to various shelters across the country.

Pride+Groom very much feels like it was built upon a collective love of dogs and friendship. How did this group get together? 

Regina Hymes: Jane and I met at Vogue over 20 years ago — Jane worked in the art department and I was in fashion. I introduced Jane to my longtime friends Heather and Patricia because I believed our similar backgrounds and shared love of animals would make the perfect team of partners (Heather came from advertising, Patricia was a chemical engineer, and Jane’s side hustle was being on the board of Animal Haven).

What would you say sets Pride+Groom apart from other dog grooming brands? 

Patricia Machado: We developed our formulas as a clean beauty brand while sourcing essential oils that are specifically beneficial to the different types of coats and skin of dogs — just like humans. Our scent, which is less of a recognizable specific scent and more of “fresh and clean” in a bottle, was developed by us in a fragrance house.  

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What do pet parents find after they groom their pups with your products? 

RH: We get so many wonderful reviews and letters from our customers thanking us for how amazing their dogs smell and feel after washing with Pride+Groom. Our bestselling The Shedder formula has customers consistently reporting that they take the vacuum out less frequently. Our The Sensitive One formula has great results with flaky and irritated skin. 

PM: My dog Leo is our test dog (poor Leo) but he seems to love all the extra attention he gets from me. I can tell immediately if a new product is up to snuff to add to our line because I know first-hand exactly how different our product truly is.

Do you have any tips for giving your pup a good wash at home?

Jane Wagman: Be prepared with all of your essentials before putting your pup in the tub. Try to give dogs with longer hair and fur a good brushing before the bath to eliminate tangles and loose fur. Place a towel or rubber mat in the tub to prevent slipping. For dogs with matted fur, leave The Final Coat conditioner for 10 minutes to loosen knots. Have treats, plenty of towels, and a hair dryer on hand.

For more unruly bathers, try wiping peanut butter on the side of the tub to keep them occupied. This all said, Pride+Groom was designed specifically to make bathing your pooch easier with a one-handed wash (thanks to a twist-flow control applicator). Our formula is thinner than most while actually containing less water. This allows you to squeeze the bottle easily with one hand, direct the flow with the applicator while holding/massaging/calming your furry friend with the other.

What products would you recommend to a new pet parent?

PM: The core of our brand is our coat-specific shampoos. They are the real game changer in your dog's hair/fur care. I would recommend starting with a coat-specific shampoo (depending on your dog) and The Final Coat conditioner. 

JW: I have four dogs — two shedders and two non-shedders. I use The Shedder shampoo on all of them because it’s super moisturizing and smells like heaven.

Tell us about the pet rescue donation program and how The One Fur All Conditioning Shampoo was developed.

JW: The One For All is a two-for-one: Shampoo + Conditioner in one bottle developed exclusively for rescues — as we knew they don’t have the time for any extra steps. We don’t sell this formula; we only donate it. A rescue dog’s first bath is often the first act of care they have ever received and we are extremely proud to have a hand in their path to finding a forever home.

Jinnie Lee

Jinnie Lee is a Brooklyn-based culture writer who has written for Vogue, Refinery29, Vice, W, Elle, New York Magazine, and others.