Katy Perry and Natasha Lyonne’s Pups Star in Plucky New Dog Grooming Book

The Famous Fur Flies In Jess Rona’s Groomed

By Si Si Penaloza

Photo: Groomed (Knock Knock)

Wet, kinky, curly, and frisky! Welcome to Jess Rona’s world of all things floofy. Director and groomer-to-the-stars Jess Rona offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse into her comical career with a newly released book, Groomed (Knock Knock). Her rather rabid followers on Instagram can’t get enough of her dog music videos. If there were a Grammy for best slow-motion music videos of fashionably groomed dogs, Rona would be a shoo in. Bad hair days be doggone!

Photo: Groomed (Knock Knock)

InStyle dubbed Rona “the groomer who gives dogs Beyoncé-level hair” and just like that, a grooming legend was born. The Los Angeles-based groomer lives with her husband, actor Eric Edelstein, and their dogs, Chupie and Meemu. She has attracted the loyalty of celebrity clientele, drawn to her detail oriented brush work. She styles her clients with a monastic discipline typically reserved for Paris Fashion Week. Think Jedi Master trimming a bonsai tree.

Photo: Instagram / @jessronagrooming

She began posting her freshly coiffed four-legged clientele on her feed, @jessronagrooming after launching her own business in 2015. Rona works out of a private home studio in Lake Hollywood by referral only. This lushly illustrated new book debuts her creativity and humor to a much broader audience of dog lovers. Coffee table ready, we can now all drool over Rona’s revealing portraits of dogs in various stages of the grooming process.

Photo: Groomed (Knock Knock)

Rona’s most famous clients that have nabbed a spread in her new book? Katy Perry’s dog Nugget goes from hot mess to haute damn in a New York minute. Natasha Lyonne’s pup Root Beer comes across as a natural beauty and a scene stealer to boot. Instagram sensation Marnie The Dog, in all her perpetual tongue out glory, also appears in the book.

Photo: Groomed (Knock Knock)

This photographic exploration of the absurd side of the grooming game is one part Waiting for Guffman to two parts Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Rona’s talent with scissors and a comb is on fire in these pages; but the book is also a testament to her quirky sensibility, cultivated both behind the camera directing commercials and music videos, and in front of it with guest-starring roles in shows such as New Girl.

Photo: Groomed (Knock Knock)

Rona described her aha moment to InStyle, “One day I was blow-drying a Pekingese named Noodle and her ears flew up in the air. I grabbed my phone and filmed it and posted it. (This was before the slo-mo feature.) I thought it was so funny. A few months later, I got a new phone with slo-mo and started playing around with music and timing. I listen to music all day, so it organically started to take shape when a song I was listening to matched the tone of the dog I was blow-drying. Then, it became my favorite thing to do.”

Photo: Instagram / @jessronagrooming

She has honed her acumen and rapport with canines over nearly two decades. Believe us when we tell you Rona started at the very bottom. You don’t get more street cred in the dog space than starting your first pooch gig at age 18, as a dog bather at a Reseda area PetSmart. Talk about going from entry level to the very top! Following a two-year stint in New York to pursue acting at Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre while waiting tables to make ends meet, Rona returned to Los Angeles in 2009. She continued to follow her career path in film, while gaining momentum as a dog groomer.

Photo: Instagram / @jessronagrooming

With a natural knack for blowing out glossie spaniels and trimming stern schnauzers, Rona furthered her expertise by learning to groom to AKC standards at classes and conventions. A chance encounter with Sara Quin, one half of the twin duo Tegan and Sara, led to the musician promoting the groomer’s Instagram account on her own; that, topped with Rona’s viral videos of her customers, has garnered the groomer a sizeable following.

Photo: Instagram / @jessronagrooming

You may think your Bichon is the second coming of Blondie, but don’t get all haughty with Rona should your pup fail to make the slo-mo cut. These days, you’ll be lucky just to get an appointment. She has heard all the Bonfire of the Vanities level rants before. Rona confided to InStyle, “I had one lady get really mad at me because I didn’t make a video of her dogs. She thought it was included in the grooming. So since she unleashed on me (pun intended), I now have a disclaimer with new clients explaining that videos are things I make for fun, and I don’t guarantee them.”