Pet Inspirations: Kristina Di Chiacchio Robertson of The Pet Spa at Barkley Square
Please introduce yourself and tell us about your company.
Hello, I am Kristina Di Chiacchio Robertson and I am so happy to be on this blog with Remy. I am a very proud mom of twin girls, who rock my world and are ready to take the pet care world by storm at age 9. I am owned by 4 Chihuahuas, a cat and 2 birds. My husband is my grounding force. Without his backing and behind the scenes shoulder to vent on, well, who knows where I would be. My companies, The Pet Spa at Barkley Square and Barkley Square Professional Pet care are both based on providing superior service both to our client and
their humans. Offering the best in each area of service we provide, which is Grooming dogs and cats, pet sits, daily dog walks, overnight stays and our Bed and Barkfast.
When did you get into this line of work or how long have you been in this position? I started the pet sitting and dog walking in 1991 and the grooming in 2014.
What is unique or special about your brand? I truly believe what makes my company unique are my clients. As strange as that sounds, they make my company what it is, a service that finds what the client
needs and fills it.
Did you have a pet that inspired you to start your business/product/service? Oh yes I sure did. I was in an abusive marriage years ago. Unfortunately it was both verbal and physical. On one particular evening, things got so bad that my two rescue dogs, Ariel and Sheba turned on my attacker and allowed me to run to safety. They followed behind after making sure he was not able to go anywhere, several bites to the groin will do that. As I sat on a neighbors stoop realizing what they had just done for me, I promised them that I would dedicate my life to making the lives of pets be the best they could be. It started with realizing that every pet matters. Without my two shelter dogs, I would not be writing to you today.
How does your product or service help pets and pet parents? My pet sitting and dog walking company help my clients on a daily basis. I allow my clients to go to work worry free. They get daily journals with cute photos of their pets, they get a text when we have arrived and when we leave. We help them to take a break from their busy day, to smile. Many clients have gone years without a vacation, or going to friends or families because they don't want to leave their pets in a kennel. When they learn there are loving, loyal, pet First Aid and CPR trained people out there just waiting to step in and treat their furry family like their own, their world changes.
What challenges have you faced in running your company or growing your brand? How did you overcome them? I think one of the biggest challenges is keeping up with the changing of the times. As an older women, I have to put on my young gals hat and think like the client that is out their now and how they want to be treated, what makes their lives easier and then adjust. Social media is where folks go now for pretty much any thing. Keeping that up in itself is a full time job. I finally had to hire a millennial that was versed in social media and grasped the concept of animals are not pets, they are
furry, feathery and scaly family members
What are the top 3 pieces of advice/recommendations concerning your field of expertise that could benefit a pet’s and/or pet parent’s life? From the pet sitting side of my business, I would advise all pet parents to do their research on the pet company they plan on using. Read the reviews, go on to Nextdoor and ask neighbors, meet the pet sitter that is actually coming into their home, not just a manager or owner. For the grooming side, I will always advise a client to make sure the groomers will take them through their spa, meet the groomers. I ask the clients to ask some of our clients while there how they feel about our spa, just stranger to stranger. They get honest answers. When a pet parent is talking to the groomer about what they want, make sure the groomer is really listening and ask them to repeat what they asked for. Again, it is their furry family member, thus their right to ask questions and seek out the right answers.
Where can someone get information or access the products or services discussed?They can find us on the web at www.barkleysquare.com or on instagram at #spabarkley #barkleysquare on Facebook The Pet Spa at Barkley Square and Barkley Square Professional Pet Services
Any parting words or thoughts in general? I would like to let your readers know that The Pet Spa at Barkley Square will be starting a grooming academy that will be raising a new breed of groomers. We will be teaching groomers so that they will be ready for the new regulations that will begin in 2020. My academy is partnered with The Whole Pet Academy where we teach more than grooming, our students will be able to learn How to add Pet Sitting and or Dog walking
to their salons, Cosmetology, Nutrition, Pet First Aid and CPR, How to start a day care and add that to their salons. They will be able to leave my academy ready to start their empire. With one on one training, they leave with confidence and truly are able to either start their own company or get hired immediately at a high pay scale, because they will know how to groom and vroom.