Married in 2009 in West Virginia, we spent the next decade in comfortable careers (Mark as VP of a construction firm, Melody most recently working on the investment side of BB&T) while volunteering with our local animal shelters in our free time. In 2019, we decided to take a leap of faith and try to make a living of our passion of working with animals. We had already fallen in love with this area having visited here multiple times on vacation. So we quit our jobs, moved to Charleston, and spent the next seven months preparing through training programs, mentoring, and shadowing, while designing a facility with the perfect balance of luxury and fun. In March, 2020, our dream really began, as we opened the doors to The Island Pawplex.
I was born and raised in Charleston. I have three dogs (Blossom, Clover, and Daisy), one kitten (Aster), and a crested gecko. I love animals of all shapes and sizes. I have worked with dogs for over five years and have loved every minute of it! In our free time you can find us at dog-friendly events around Charleston. I am also certified in pet CPR and first aid.
My name is Alicia Barbuto and I am originally from Boston. I have been in the grooming industry for over thirty years. My career started out at my mother's grooming shop in Massachusetts. She owned the first grooming/do-it-yourself dog shop in Massachusetts, and that is where my love for grooming started. From there on out I have taken many classes in Hershey, Pennsylvania, at the grooming expos to keep up to date on new trends, techniques, and products. That is where I got certified in creative grooming as well. After my mother retired, I started my own private grooming business in Massachusetts. I moved to Charleston recently with my husband and family, and we love the dog community here. I can't wait to meet everyone's pups!
Brittany is a sophomore at Huntingdon College in Alabama, where she plays soccer and is studying to become a veterinarian. In addition to having dogs of her own, she has gained experience from working as a pet sitter and volunteering at the Montgomery (AL) Humane Society.
Hannah is a junior at Philip Simmons High School and is a lover of all animals. She previously gained experience as an intern at another local pet care facility last summer, and was selected for an internship at the aquarium this summer before the pandemic occurred and put everything on hold.
I have been blessed to work in the pet industry for more than 20 years. I have gained extensive training and knowledge in pet nutrition, safe animal handling, and pet grooming and styling, and I have the ability to groom a multitude of breeds of all shapes and sizes. I continue to seek out knowledge of the latest grooming trends, safety, and animal care to ensure your pet will not only look awesome, but will be cared for safely, and loved! I gained my certification from the Academy of Professional Pet Styling in Homer Glyn IL with 500 hours of hands-on grooming. Since then I have been blessed to work and groom in South Florida in a high end pet hotel. My son is in the military, and I have fallen in love with the Carolinas and am very excited to meet and care for your pet!
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