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Coffee & Connections

Coffee & Connections

Wednesday, September 28, 2022 (8:00 AM - 9:00 AM) (EDT)


Start your day with a little morning networking at the Chamber of Commerce office! Our popular morning mixers offer the opportunity to hear about some exciting Chamber happenings. It's a great way to not only connect with fellow members, but to also touch base on ways you can benefit from your membership!

Our featured Chamber member for this month is Platinum Paws Pet Services, LLC! Come out to hear from Jen Gardner, to learn more about her journey to owning and operating her pet sitting business!

About Jen:

I went off to Salisbury State College twice; once in my teens after high school, I earned a bachelor's degree in Communication Arts and Business Administration (2000). I worked in the mortgage industry for four years after graduation. I did not feel fulfilled sitting in a cubicle all day crunching numbers. In an attempt to find a career that aligned more with my passion, I decided to return to Salisbury University to earn a second degree in Interdisciplinary Studies concentrating on Archaeology (2007). Upon finishing at Salisbury University, I enrolled in the master's program at Louisiana State University (LSU) to study Anthropology, concentrating on Archaeology after receiving a Research Assistant position.

During graduate school, I started house sitting and pet sitting for fellow graduate students or professors while they went off for summer fieldwork to make extra money. The pay was minimal, but I loved spending time with their animals.

After three years of living in Louisiana, I moved back to Maryland in May 2011. As I was wrapping up my thesis work, I continued to be a pet sitter on the side. In February 2014, I finished the last requirement to finish my Master's Degree and found myself laid off from my archaeological position.

In March of 2014, my then-soon-to-be sister-in-law, Tiffany, approached me to work for and potentially take over her pet sitting business. I was immediately excited and jumped on the opportunity. I started Jennifer's Elite Pet Sitting in July, and away I went. In 2018, I decided to rebrand the company as I wanted to bring on employees and changed the business name to Platinum Paws Pet Services.

Platinum Paws Pet Services is entering into it's 8th year of operation and we have grown to be a team of 8, including myself. We continue to grow so we are able to care for more pets to leave them in their home environment free from stress and sickness. We no longer service Frederick as we did before COVID struck. We cover almost all of Washington County and into Greencastle and Waynesboro PA. We truly believe in giving our clients peace of mind while they are away at work or on vacation. We are the only Professional Pet Sitting Service in the area to use technology to back up that peace of mind we give to our clients.

Our featured artist from the Washington County Arts Council is Susan Shaffer!

About Susan:

As a teacher I hope to share my passion, inspire my students, and mentor them in developing their skills as artists. Most of all, I want my students to enjoy the gratifying and meditative process of creating art.

As an artist I want to portray paintings that stir emotion in the viewer. I continue to explore watercolors as my primary medium however I enjoy exploring new mediums, to satisfy curiosities and create new styles of art.  I also enjoy bending the rules of art to explore if I can make a new form of art doing exactly what I've been told will not work.

Creating art is one of the most gratifying processes of my life. I love to paint high contrasts of lights and darks, creating intense drama with vivid and bold colors. Some of my favorite things to paint are life's simple pleasures. I draw inspiration from my farm nestled in rural south-central Pennsylvania.  I enjoy the challenge of watercolor as a medium, painting birds, chickens, flowers, sunsets, sunrises, pets, and wildlife.

Over the past several years I have found creating art with mediums less easy to control very exciting, such as Batik techniques on Silk and Ginwashi rice paper, Intuitive Expressive art, wet cyanotype, and eco-printing to name a few.

I work in many mediums, watercolors, acrylics, oils, collage, Batik, enjoying them all!  Watercolor has been by far the most challenging medium to work in; I can't control the many factors that affect the drying time, and how the paint reacts with the water and paper. The water sometimes has a mind of its own!  I continue to be drawn to watercolor and find the end results truly rewarding.  I'm thrilled to share my passion with you and hope you enjoy my work.

I am extremely grateful to God for bringing art into my life. I draw fulfillment through teaching and creating art.

Washington County Chamber of Commerce
1 S. Potomac St.
Hagerstown, MD 21740 United States
Event Contact
Maddie Monica
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Wednesday, September 28, 2022 (8:00 AM - 9:00 AM) (EDT)
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