Ever see someone who’s really happy doing what they do?
Not creepy happy.
I mean truly, authentically… happy.
Just in time, on the heels of learning how you can’t learn your purpose until you learn to be authentic, I spotted Lawrence LeVoir grooming a really cute dog in his store window on Queen Street, and when he caught me smiling at him he smiled back with the most authentic smile as he clipped away.
“Wow! That guy’s sooo happy!” I thought. Good god it’s contagious. The material I’ve been reading lately encouraged me to notice when I see someone undeniably congruent like that. So I couldn’t shake it. I loved it. It turned into a sparkly magic in my heart and on my way back down the street I popped in and met someone new.
Where did his passion for dog grooming start?
His mom was an English teacher, his dad was a barber, and together they opened the first academy of dog grooming in Minnesota where Lawrence grew up learning how to groom and show dogs.
The family bred standard poodles, and I can tell it left a soft spot in Lawrence’s heart. As we’re talking, this most gorgeously coiffured standard poodle walks in and I swear he’s swinging his hip poofs and looking at me coyly from under his bouffant. It’s Joker, the prize-winning poodle.
Lawrence shows me the ribbons he just won and photos of him meeting Rick Mercer.
If I were that dog, I’d sashay like that too.
In his past life, Lawrence was in the salon biz. Not clipping away at human clients like I first pictured in my head when he told me, but the corporate, directing, training, managing, and number crunching side of things. It was only recently that he followed his heart (literally) up to Canada to marry his partner and return to working with dogs.
After impressing clients as a groomer at Timmie’s Doggie Outfitters for a while, he decided to strike out on his own and open his own dog grooming business in the windows at 215 Queen Street East.
It’s no surprise when he says he doesn’t need advertising.
What makes him so happy doing this?
“There’s a combination of things. It’s nice to do things that I identify with, which is to take really good care of the families and clients I work for, to work with dogs (which are pure love), and to work with my hands.”
Was he scared when he decided to open shop?
“No, it was great! It was perfect. I like grooming in the window with people walking by. That’s the best piece of it. A lot of other people groom in the back of a store, and I have all these people walk by giving me thumbs up… And the dogs are happy to watch the squirrels.”
Seriously, walk by any time during the day and you’ll see Lawrence, his apprentice, and two happy dogs looking right back at you.
Right now he’s expertly grooming Jack and his apprentice is working on Bella, a Doodle who paws at my leg when I’m not noticing her enough. Lawrence sees these dogs as his friends. Like clients of his that he’s known for years.
And who wouldn’t want a creative job with fluffy clients?
On the topic of authenticity, Lawrence tells me he’s so glad I caught that vibe from him when I walked by. He was just watching Stedman, “Oprah’s… bitch”, he laughs. His new book is apparently about how your happiness in life hinges on knowing your identity. He couldn’t agree with it more. Maybe I should read Stedman’s book.
For those who are on the path to finding and following their passion, Lawrence’s biggest piece of advice is to take a risk:
“If there’s something you want to do, try it. Chances are you’re going to be good at it. Chances are you’re going to do it better than other people who are doing it because you’re doing what you love to do, and you’re going to be happy doing it. And if you’re happy doing something, no matter what — people will notice because they want to be around people who are happy with what they’re doing. So take a risk.”
It seems so simple, doesn’t it. So, what makes you happiest?
Check out Grooming By Lawrence!