Pet Groomer Artist Knox Heads for Greener Pastures in Animal Planet’s ‘Beverly Hills Groomer’

I don’t have pets.  The care and feeding of me takes up of most of my time.  So when I stumbled upon Animal Planet’s first season of Groomer Has It, a competition reality show in which groomers vie for grand prizes including a mobile groomer truck and the title of Groomer of the Year, I was stunned by my level of interest.

I guess it had to do with one of the contestants, Artist Knox, an earnest guy who said that dog grooming saved his life.  Artist, a native of South Central LA, plied his craft grooming shelter dogs while the other competitors made their living grooming the finest furry creatures money can to buy.  After getting off to a rough start, Artist went on to win Groomer Has It. His humility and willingness to learn from his mistakes made him a fan favorite.

Today, he has his own animal grooming business and show on Animal Planet, Beverly Hills Groomer (Premiere, Saturday, May 16, 10 p.m. Eastern/Pacific). Artist talked to The Ride about the show, his new business, working in challenging economic times and catering to the tough crowd that is Beverly Hills.

Artist Knox of Animal Planet's "Beverly Hills Groomer" (photo: Animal Planet)
Artist Knox of Animal Planet's "Beverly Hills Groomer" (photo: Animal Planet)

The Ride: First of all congratulations on your new show!  I was such a fan of yours during the first season of Groomer Has It and was too happy that you won. Was the new show, Beverly Hills Groomer, something that was in the works for a while?

Artist: Thank you for the love and support. Beverly Hills Groomer basically began production right after the final airing of GHI1. The day I got my money and truck I headed out to Beverly Hills. [smiles]

The Ride: Why Beverly Hills, it seems like such a tough crowd?

Artist: Beverly Hills is the ultimate symbol of wealth and success. Yeah, it was a tough crowd but I’ve experienced more severe circumstances in my life, and I didn’t plan on allowing people’s attitudes to effect my Altitude. In order for me to be respected on an international level I had to start at the top of the Doggy Pile…So, Beverly Hills, here comes Artist Knox!

The Ride: I read that you are grooming everything from “housecats” to “baby yaki”.  When I first read it, I thought, Artist is now doing weaves? Sounds good to me because some weaves need to be groomed.  Then I realized it was yaki, like in the animal (a.k.a. yak), not yaki like in the hair extensions.  What was it like to groom yaki?  And who in the world would have yak/yaki as pets?

Artist Knox of "Beverly Hills Groomer" with one of his clients (photo: Animal Planet)
Artist Knox of "Beverly Hills Groomer" with one of his clients (photo: Animal Planet)

Artist: I don’t discriminate. As long as the money folds then Artist’s Premium Grooming will roll. If somebody wants their weave touched up I don’t have a problem with picking them up in my truck [laughs]. Grooming the yak was intense. I thought I would end up like those people who run with the bulls in Spain… I thought the yak would try and take my temperature…I groomed the yak for a company that rents out animals for television and film.

The Ride: And speaking of housecats and yaki, what made you decide to expand your services beyond dog grooming?

Artist: In order for me to be a competitor, I have to ensure that I isolate the game. I have to offer services on multiple levels so that my business is seen in a more diverse market. I need to cater to as many pet-centered services and products as possible. So if I have to groom a cat or a lion, I’m ready and willing. I didn’t come this far to fall short by a few inches. I’m going all the way, and, in the process, facilitate as many departments as possible.

The Ride: I understand some members of your family work with you in your business. I can’t even imagine (*crosses self*).  How do you do it?  Why did you do it?

Artist: Yes. I have recruited my brother, Desmond, and sister, Arveneto, to help me put my plans in motion. Even though working with family can be extremely challenging, it was important to me that I bring them along with me. If I’m going to make it in life then so are they. We come from the same place, we struggled and suffered together. It’s only natural, to me, that we reap the benefits of success together. I’ll never leave my family behind. KnoxTribe 4 Life!

The Ride: Oh, I forgot to ask: What is the name of your grooming business? How did you come up with the name?

Artist: I have two divisions of my business. The first is my grooming shop called “Artist’s Pet Salon, which has its physical location, at 1616 Cahuenga Blvd in the heart of Hollywood, Cali. The second division of my business is the mobile truck called Artist’s Premium Grooming. Even though it’s basically the same business, they have separate applications. The shop and mobile are separate experiences with the same level of quality and superior customer service.

The Ride: Thinking back, you were an underdog during the Groomer Has It competition, which obviously worked out well for you. And now you seem to be taking on the role of the underdog again as you begin your business in tough economic times.  It is a role that you relish? If so, why and how does it inspire you?  And if not, why?

Artist: I don’t necessarily relish the role of being the underdog. It’s just what I am at the time being. I come from the ghetto, born and raised in poverty, with very little access to the tools that most people take for granted. I’m the underdog because the situations I have been encountering are totally new  to me and I have to learn how to swim without a lifeguard. I’m starting a business barely knowing where to start. On top of that, I’m starting a business in a recession. This situation, to most, would seem impossible. I don’t accept that mentality. I can do anything I put my mind to. I’m an autodidact, and I learn through observation. I refuse to be denied, even if it costs me my life. I’ll push until I break through the surface. I’m only an underdog because I’m starting from the bottom. The bottom is the most important place to start. That’s where the foundation is, and the foundation will determine how much pressure can be applied.

The Ride: What do you hope people get from watching your new show?

Artist: When people watch my show, I want them to see that any goal or dream they have for their lives is absolutely attainable. I want them to realize that there is no limit to this life, no matter how big the dream may be, if broken down into steps and if you dedicate yourself to each phase of learning. Success is 100% within reach. Success is the side-effect of applied knowledge.

The Ride:  What is your favorite breed of cat?  And what is your favorite breed of dog?

Artist: My favorite breed of cat are the ones who don’t scratch me. My favorite breed of dog are the ones who love me. [smiles]

The Ride:  In an ideal world, animals would be…?

Artist: In an ideal world, animals would be elected to Congress. This way they could have a say in whether or not they agree with their natural habitats being eradicated because of eco- irresponsibility.

The Ride: Last question: I’ve wondered this from the first time I saw you and maybe you said this before but who named you Artist and why?

Artist: My father’s dad named me after him. At first, my older brothers were set to receive the name but my dad kept telling my granddad, ” You can name the next one.” After the first two attempts, my granddad finally got what he wanted: me. [smiles]

The Ride: That’s it. Thank you so very much and best of luck with your new show.

Artist: You’re welcome.


9 thoughts on “Pet Groomer Artist Knox Heads for Greener Pastures in Animal Planet’s ‘Beverly Hills Groomer’

  1. dearest Mr Knox:

    CONGRATS! i knew u would win!!!!! ur show premiered on my dad’s 80th b-day, so i had 2 view the tape.

    i’ve got a little something 2 share as a mother figure. re: ur continued desire 2 GIVE BACK, pls don’t give that up. perhaps consider picking ONE TIME PER WK or EVERY 2 WKS, that hasn’t already been given 2 a ‘client,’ i.e., 5pm every tues., & use that as “CHURCH TIME.” u could have a rotating list on the calendar w/ shelters & other organizations noted, so they’d know when u were coming & stick 2 that schedule. hand out/email the schedules all around, & there u go, NO PROBLEM. u know CHURCH TIME. we give that time 2 know one but GOD & as u know, GOD spells DOG backward. also, don’t tell the advisor. PLEASE. u could perhaps arrange 2 take u precious son on these trips, if possible.

    you’re an OUTSTANDING FATHER. physically, i was basically a single parent who worked, & every minute we were together was GOLDEN. pls remember, if u don’t work, the baby can’t eat. if u don’t work, he sleeps outdoors. if u don’t wk, he runs around naked. my baby, now 30, graduated from USC, is a banker n SF & wks as a physical trainer, cause she loves it. I/we’ve raised a terrific, giving, loving, smart little girl, & with all the love around ur son, he will no doubt grow into a wonderful man like his dad. my baby got her first pup @ 9 & we were blessed w/ his antics until his passing @ 15, oct 31, 2003. my baby had secretly asked him 2 hang on until she graduated college & believe it our not, Mauii, the Madman Poodle, did just that. my daughter had moved away 2 begin her career 2 mos. prior. what a GREAT dog! we miss him.

    re pets w/ problems; i.e. WEIGHT ISSUES. perhaps u could write up a short list (hand-out) of how important it is 2 keep pet’s wt within normal limits & suggestions on how easily it can b done by cutting back on food/snacks & more exercise, 2 make his life happy, healthy & as long as possible. overweight pets get bullied by other pets, & sometimes even laughed @ by cold-hearted humans, & as u know, have health issues & it’s just not good. u could chat w/ dr. karen re this. i don’t feed my baby Lucy, an adopted mutt, any HUMAN FOOD & only the best like Rachael Ray’s, cause i think those others contain other animals. YUCK!

    we love u & ur show & all u do & wish u all the best. i’d love 2 volunteer my heart/time 2 ur plan, as we feel u r the best.

    p.s. re the lady @ ‘the paws’ pls, if possible, try 2 wishhold letting her have it, even though she deserved a good dressing-down. she’s not an animal person & her bosses need 2 know it & i’m sure after they view ur show, she might b getting a PANK, if mean Pink Slip. :0) if time was such a concern, she should have tried 2 notify u earlier. ur right, animals can’t tell time!!!! NORMAL good humans didn’t appreciate her sitting on u, as the pet is what’s important. she hasn’t learned that yet, but she will watch that show & might bad mouth u, so pls b careful. some humans like 2 undercut u when ur trying so hard 2 suceed.

    also, if u make it 2 the Obama’s, i used 2 live in D.C., & could b a great guide :0) grew up n compton, b4 the crash of ’73.

    donna

    p.s.s. pls give my regards 2 u beautiful mom. i, too, have had 2 deal w/ a wheelchair. i was wking @ UCLA when i was diagnosed w/ multiple sclerosis. had 2 move out of l.a., just 2 get a little peace. now i’m out of the wheelchair & caring 4 my Lucy & all is well.

    if u/staff ever need 2 chat, pls don’t hesitate 2 eamil. i had a difficult time finding a place 2 write u & pray u receive this in good spirit. God bless ya’ll

  2. Aloha Artist, I just finished watching the show where you and your brother groomed several dogs for PAWS. It angered me that the lady from PAWS was absolutely rude, pushy and outright nasty to the both of you. I use to like PAWS but now will never again acknowledge that business. I could imagine how many other people watched that show and feel the same as me. I guess business for them might taper off some. You are a true professional with a huge caring heart. You groom for perfection and do it with love and this is what makes you who you are. Please don’t ever change your ways. You will suceed, I have no doubt. I don’t make it a habit of staying up late, but since your show airs at 2:00 a.m. Hawaii time, I keep myself up just to watch your show and how things are going for you and your family. God bless you,stay strong and keep on beleiving in yourself because I beleive in you. I’m hoping that sometime in the near future, a DVD of your show will be in the stores for sale. I look forward to the next show, just wished it was on for a longer time. Me Ke Aloha Hawaii loves you.

  3. dearest Mr. Artist,

    i stole this from someone. ENJOY!

    ‘do something u love and you’ll never work a day in ur life!’

    ‘HAPPINESS is when what u think, what u say, and what u do are in HARMONY’ Mahatma Gandhi

  4. Hi artist, Iam a groomer from the land down under and i think your grooming skills are great and love the way you are about the animals comfort first keep up the good work ,sarah

  5. Arist— you are the best role model the world has ever had. you inspire others to never give up… keep swimming. I hope to see you at your next grooming competition!!!!

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