Co-owner Gia Trapani has always loved animals, so it is only natural that she devotes her life to working with them. In fact, she has worked with pets since childhood, first helping her parents run their licensed in Kansas no kill animal shelter, to then cleaning the shop of her family’s dog groomer (where incidentally she met a young Barb Hoover who was herself just learning to groom!), to managing a local pet sitting company and training to groom, to the finally fully realized dream of co-owning a pet care company and co-owning a dog and cat grooming salon. She holds an associates degree in arts and a Bachelors of Arts degree in Journalism and creative writing (she did not declare a minor but lacked only a couple credit hours from one in Sociology). As a pet care professional, she is driven and passionate and takes her career very very seriously. She is pet CPR certified (and has been twice) and is all about continuing education classes and learning continuously about the beings she works with everyday. Particular areas of interest she reads/studies up on and attends conferences on are animal communicating, the safe proper use of essential oils around animals, canine massage, canine nutrition, and proper skin and coat care. When she isn’t working, Gia enjoys odd films (David Lynch, John Waters, and Almodovar are some of her favorite directors and she loves really bad lesbian and really bad horror films), binge watching The Walking Dead and American Horror Story (especially season 3), and re watching X Files episodes. She is a writer (of poetry mainly and some short stories) and is also a voracious reader of both fiction and non fiction and her personal library of books is one of her most cherished things. Most of all though, she enjoys spending time with her wife, co-owner Jennifer Orton, a small trusted circle of friends whom they regularly brunch with on Sundays (they love to find new local places to get their eat on at) and playing with and snuggling with and just being with the biggest delights of her life, her pack of dogs.
Co-owner, Jennifer Orton, grew up in Arkansas before moving to Kansas City. An avid equestrienne, she considered studying veterinary medicine before realizing that foreign language was her niche. She holds a B.A. in Spanish Language and Literature, and an M.A. in French Language Literature. Jennifer regularly attends continuing education and specialty classes for groomers and is a member of ISCC (International Society of Canine Cosmetologists) through which she will be pursuing certification. She is AKC certified in Safety and Poodles, certified in Creative grooming, and enjoys hand stripping wire-coated breeds. A lifelong dog owner, Jennifer considers her dogs her children, and prefers to spend her spare time with them. She and Albus enjoy traveling to conformation dog shows, and training and competing in AKC Rally. She and Cécile enjoy swimming together in Lake Michigan on summer vacations, and catching movies at the drive-in. Jennifer enjoys attending arts events in Kansas City, traveling, reading, painting, and gardening.
New to our staff as of May 2013 is part time groomer Barb Hoover. Barb has been grooming professionally since 1985 and is certified through the National Dog Groomers Association of America in the Non Sporting and Terrier groups. She is very active in the industry and finds it is important to stay up to date with grooming trends, equipment and safety. She owns a large industry website for pet groomers, attends as well as teaches continuing education classes all over the country throughout the year, has done speaking, and has written for professional trade magazines. Barb won the prestigious David G. Salzberg Cardinal Crystal Grooming Achievement Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Grooming Industry in 2007 and has been nominated for 4 Barkleigh Honor Awards. Her love of dogs extends to helping the community through her involvement with the Leavenworth Animal Welfare Society, as the former Co Director and Secretary, as well as many years of fostering,volunteering and rehab work. She shares her home with 3 Standard Poodles, a Toy Poodle, an African Grey Parrot and a Lesser Sulphur Crested Parrot.
Fun side note: At around 15 years old Gia helped clean the shop where a very young Barb worked and the two reconnected through Facebook many years later.