About Sasha Riess
Sasha Riess was born in Novi Sad, Serbia in 1974. Like many young people, he came of age searching for a fulfilling purpose in life. It was in 1990 that he discovered a passion for dog grooming and show-dog handling, giving him a glimpse of his future. He would work hard to develop his skills, improve his knowledge and learn the intricate details of the multi-faceted industry.
Sasha’s formal studies began at the Grooming Academy in Budapest, from which he graduated as the most successful student since the institution’s founding in 1983. Two years later, he became one of the youngest instructors at this prestigious institution. At the same time, he continued to expand his knowledge by attending courses throughout Europe, America, and Japan.
1994 was another big year—when he began to professionally handle show dogs. This experience furthered his passion for the dog world and stretched his limits. As a professional handler, he brought his clients over 530 certified championships across more than 30 different breed categories, worldwide. Around this time he began to shape himself as well, becoming a cosmopolitan with a vision to spread his passion for grooming—and his unique approach to it—around the world.
By 1997, Sasha was ready for the next chapter of his life: owning a business. He began by opening the first pet salon in Serbia, the Sasha Riess Pet Grooming and Styling Studio. This soon transformed into the Sasha Riess Show Dog Care Company, a multi-purpose grooming, boarding and handling organization dedicated to show dogs.
As his work gained international recognition, Sasha was invited to take part in the 2003 World Grooming Invitational Tournament of Champions in New Jersey. He was soon proudly holding the bronze medal in his hands and dreaming of teaching others his methods and techniques.
Drawing on his accumulated knowledge and experience, Sasha organized seminars, grooming presentations, and demonstrations of show-dog handling across all six continents. Teaching and developing other groomers and handlers became a new way to express his vision, tapping into the fervent curiosity and desire to improve that characterize the dog grooming profession and world of dog showing.
In cooperation with the Open University of Novi Sad, Sasha launched the first grooming and dog handling school in Serbia. In 2004, he founded the Sasha Riess Grooming and Handling Academy. Extended his thought leadership to media, he became the founder and editor of the “Show Dog Review” magazine, published in Serbian, English, and Hungarian languages.
In 2008, the Nash Academy in America invited Sasha to become a guest lecturer. Towards the end of the year, together with John and Vivian Nash, Sasha co-founded the Nash Academy Europe, bringing the Nash Academy curriculum to customers across Europe. The following year he served as mentor for the Grooming Association of Australia, as they prepared for their first participation in the World Championship in Germany. Other successes followed, most notably being an active member and judge for the International Judges Association (IJA).
A proud moment for Sasha was in creating the Sasha Riess Foundation, through which a portion of his total earnings is dedicated to raising awareness of the harmoniously shared life of man and dog. The Foundation’s aim is to popularize the adoption of stray dogs, thereby reducing the number of these cases. Sasha is also the owner of the franchise chain of luxury salons for dog care, Puffy Pet.
In March 2010, Sasha toured Japan as a groomer and presenter. While hosting grooming seminars, he was widely praised as the first lecturer in the nation’s history of grooming capable of successfully communicating and holding seminars in that country despite the language barrier.
During this time, he founded the Sasha Riess Academy, which was inspired by his experience with the Nash Academy. Sasha Riess Academy is an institution devoted to promoting a unique approach to education in the field of grooming. The Sasha Riess Online internet platform now offers clients new possibilities to learn and upgrade their grooming skills.
Dedication to his work has seen him show, groom, judge and give workshops and seminars all over the world at the highest levels of competition worldwide, on all six continents.
And he never stops.
The latest challenge for him is the Sasha Riess Group, which holds and cooperates with the following subsidiaries:
Sasha Riess Laboratories – the team of experts who help develop his top-notch formulas for pet care cosmetics production
Sasha Riess Professional – high quality equipment for pet professionals
Sasha Riess Pet Gourmet – production of exclusive organic foods and snacks for pets
Sasha Riess Luxury – personally designed jewelry and clothes for pets
Sasha Riess Pet Care Info – free pet care magazine
Sasha Riess Online – the ultimate educational online tool
Sasha Riess Production – corporate design, web design, photography, and marketing specializing in pet care
Sasha Riess Business Solution – business startup, business recovery projects, specialized business consulting in the pet care industry
Sasha Riess Academy – grooming academy
Puffy Pet – luxury pet boutique and spa centers
Achievements and associations include:
• Groomer of the Year, Grooming Association of Hungary, 2007
• Mentor of the Grooming Association of Australia, 2010 and 2012
• Groomer of the Year, Grooming Association of New Zealand, 2014 and 2015
• Mentor of Groom Team China, 2015
• Member of the International Judges Association (IJA)
• A motivational speaker, lecturer and coach in the grooming industry
• Founder of franchise concepts ‘’Puffy Pet’’ and ‘’Sasha Riess Grooming Planet’’
Sasha Riess is an innovator, a trendsetter and animal rights activist. He is the father of two children.