A Litte About Me & My Family
I was born in Indianapolis, Indiana on August 2nd, 1972 to Rab and Patty Poling. I have one sibling, an older sister who resides in Kentucky. My parents have both passed over the last two years. I’ve been married to my husband, Mike Vasquez, for 11 years and I have one wonderful Stepson, Michael Jr. age 22, who recently graduated from FGCU in 2019 with his business finance degree and currently serves as the Senior Manager at our business, Bark Life Inc. in Seminole. We live in Treasure Island.
In 1984 we made the move to Treasure Island and my parents purchased a laundromat in the Jungle Prada area and started a mobile pet grooming company as well. My parents made the decision to homeschool me. My Father had his Doctorate in Theology and did most of my teaching. I was homeschooled from 7th grade through graduation in 1991. While being schooled at home, it gave me the opportunity to work in the family businesses. Growing up in a self-employed family allowed me to watch, experience and learn what it takes to be an entrepreneur. Through the 80’s and 90’s I worked in our laundromat and our grooming company, as well as, delivered newspapers and cut lawns. As a family, we did whatever it took to make it. I’d say the most important thing I learned those years is that not everything in life fits in the same box, and common sense has to be applied to everything you do.
In 2002 I decided to start my own company, Mobile Grooming by Tammy, and move away from the family business. I had bigger ideas and was determined to make it happen. My mobile business grew rapidly and by 2005 I was ready to open my first Brick & Mortar Pet Store. The Divine Canine opened in Seminole in the Summer of 2005 and was a huge success! I continued to grow my business up until the winter of 07/08 when the economic crash happened. After that, I re-opened my mobile pet grooming business and once again was at full capacity within 6 months. In the fall of 2008, I met my soul mate, Mike and we fell for each other almost instantly. We married in 2009. Mike graduated from Seminole High in 1985 and followed his dream of serving his country in the Army. He was an Airborne Infantry soldier stationed in Germany and Ft. Benning Georgia. Mike’s Parent’s both work for Pinellas County Schools. His Dad, Frank, retired in 08’ and his Mom still work’s at Seminole High School. Mike was in the corporate world when we met, but he quickly fell in love with the pet business. In the Summer of 2009 he quit his corporate job and we went into business together and grew it into the wonderful business it is today, known as Bark Life Inc. We have one franchise location in St. Pete and our main store is in Seminole.
My family has always been very aware of local and federal politics and were very patriotic. That was definitely handed down to me. I was always told “You can’t complain if you’re not paying attention,“ and I took that to heart. It’s our job as Americans to hold our politicians accountable.
I’m part of a military family that spans generations. My husband served in the Army, my father in the Navy, and my Grandfather served in the Army as well. I will always strongly support our Military, Police, Fireman, all 1st. responders, as well as, our local fisherman. I’m proud to say many of these people make up our circle of friends.
Thank you for taking the time to read a little about me!