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To think of time.. To think through the retrospection,
To think of today .. and the ages continued henceforward.

- Walt Whitman

We are neighbors, friends and furry kid owners. We understand how fast life flies by, especially for our furry kids. We live by what we believe in and bring to you our knowledge and experience working within the animal industry. Wigglyville began as a series of life changing events that culminated into the idea of opening not just a business but providing a positive lifestyle for furry kids within a team setting. Welcome to Wigglyville and let us introduce to you our core team:

Hollus Gessler

The founder, Hollus, is a born and bred Midwesterner that has always loved animals. In fact, she drove her mother crazy as she attempted to bring home pet rats, bats, snakes and frogs at the ripe age of three.

Hollus began pursing a career in medicine at Lafayette College in Easton PA, but, an undiagnosed illness (Lyme Disease) began wreaking havoc on her body and rigorous schedule. It became a great battle for her to continue her pre-med coursework, and she was forced to re-evaluate her goals. As a result, she transferred to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to be closer to home.

After graduating, Hollus began her career at one of the most prestigious advertising firms, Grey Advertising. It was during this time that a New York City doctor discovered the disease by accident. For the next three years she was treated for the disease with western medicine. After moving back to Chicago, an epiphany occurred after starting traditional Chinese Medical treatment for the disease which included acupuncture, acupressure message and herbs. Her personal health issues combined with years of misdiagnosis furthered her decision to transform her life back towards the medical profession.

As Hollus pursued this previous dream she volunteered at the Lincoln Park Homeless Shelter, was a docent at the Lincoln Park Zoo and eventually became the Operations Assistant for the Chicago Veterinary Emergency Services clinic working directly under Dr. Pehta. In addition, she worked directly helping and coordinating veterinarian specialists including behavior consultant, Dr. Ciribassi and Dermatologist, Dr. Cecilia Friberg. It was in that role at the clinic that Hollus learned first hand knowledge about pet health and education.

Through her experiences at CVES and working with specialists, Hollus realized the need for companion animal owners to have greater access to accurate information, education and quality products which proved to be the catalyst for her to open Wigglyville. In the near future, she still hopes to specialize in veterinary sciences where voices are barks and meows.

Travis Thomas

 

Travis grew up surrounded by nature and enjoys hiking and camping. Born in a small mountain town in Maine, he since has lived in Colorado, Arizona and Hawaii. He spent many summers on his grandfather's small ranch in Grand Junction, CO learning about horses and about his grandfather's experience as a professional Texas cowboy.

Also a long-time animal lover and owner, Travis Thomas began his career in the U.S. Navy, serving during 9/11. After his service ended, he decided to pursue a dream of owning his own business. He not only married, but combined forces with Hollus to open Wigglyville.

James Emery

 

James Emery grew up on a large cattle ranch in southern Texas. He has been exposed to and has first hand experience with large animal husbandry. After high school, he attended Ohio State University majoring in Human Resource Management with an emphasis with Public Relations Management.

After graduating James began his career in retail working as a manager in several high-end retail businesses. He missed working with animals and chose to learn more about the animal industry. As a result, he began working in customer service gaining experience at the Animal Medical Center in Chicago and Integrative Pet Care in Chicago.

Once gaining more knowledge of small animal practices, James decided to pursue his dream of combining his animal industry knowledge with his retail/Public Relations career. Thus, James joined the Wigglyville team.