Monday, November 29, 2021

Proud New Dog Spa Owners Fulfill A Dream

Photos by Steve Stefanides


Both men and women often chase their dreams through various career choices. Some even spend tens of thousands of dollars throughout their lives to obtain the necessary educational credentials before finding what they feel is their calling.” 

Then there are those who find that serving under the tutelage of others who are accomplished in specialty fields may better serve them, as they struggle with finding that perfect career path. Almost a third of the U.S. workforce sees their jobs as just that – a job to provide them with the means to survive. In our interview with two new entrepreneurs on Marco Island last week, we found just the opposite when we met two gals who love what they do. 

Deciding to go out on your own can be one of the most frightening choices that an individual makes in their lives. So, when Paula Sorrenti and Ashlee Anderson-Rivera started discussing the potential of going out on their own, it would be a profoundly serious conversation. 

Both of them had been employed by the same company on the island where they first met. Although they loved working there, it was time to spread their wings and go out on their own. 

Sorrenti is a local girl who grew up on Marco Island, and had a successful career in the hotel/food service business prior to leaving to assist her parents in their business, Shipmates Embroidery, until they chose to retire. 

Sorrenti began working part-time in a local pet grooming and boarding facility on the island 14 years ago before taking on fulltime employment there. During the last eight years, she focused on the grooming of canines at that facility, where she learned the skills. 

Ashlee Anderson-Rivera honed her skills as a pet groomer during 20 years in Connecticut, prior to her and her husband moving south five years ago with their family and meeting Sorrenti.



“You have to love what you’re doing and love the animals. Ashlee and I share that kinship and it was something that just clicked between us when we first met. We love what we are doing,” said Sorrenti. 

Pet grooming and dog boarding are a $7.5 billion business in the United States, and expected to rise in the future as more and more older adults seek the companionship of furry four-legged family members to provide company and fill the voids in their lives. 

When visiting Just Paws Grooming, the new pet facility, you first notice the bright, clean and airy atmosphere these women created prior to opening for business on January 5, right after the New Year. “You should have seen it before we rolled up our sleeves and cleaned it up,” said Rivera. “We wanted to make it feel bright and comfortable,” added Sorrenti 

Both women feel proud of what they accomplished over the last 45 days or so. Finding a location that was affordable, renovating it to meet their high standards and equipping it without the necessity for going into debt were all top priorities for both of the women.  

Local resident Steve Janik was picking up his dog Zoee, who had recently had a “spa day” at Just Paws Grooming and stopped for a moment to compliment the new owners regarding their services and attention to Zoee. 

Just Paws Grooming Salon will concentrate their efforts on providing grooming services and some light retail of assorted grooming and pet supplies for now. 

They are open five days a week at their location at 20 Marco Lake Drive. You may call them for an appointment for your pet at 239-970-0537 or visit their Facebook page at Just Paws Grooming Salon to obtain more information regarding their services. 



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