Transplant has new life, outlook and business on Bainbridge

New BI Barkery is just one part of Kim Coletti’s "whirlwind" story.

After graduating from college in Washington, D.C., Kim Coletti spent years becoming firmly established in Virginia.

With a house, a marketing career and a dog, she was doing pretty well by many standards.

But 10 days in Seattle changed all that; 10 days that set Coletti on a path leading across the country and straight to Winslow.

“This story is kind of a whirlwind,” she said. “When I told my friends and family I was moving to Seattle after being there for 10 days, they thought I was crazy.”

While Coletti worked in marketing, she had long held a dream of opening her own dog shop with specialty pup products.

“I grew up with dogs,” she said. “Even when I didn’t have a dog, I fostered and volunteered with a rescue group.”

“I really enjoy dogs. They are fun and they really are part of your family.”

She traveled to Seattle in 2010 to take an Alaskan cruise. Something about the Puget Sound took a hold of Coletti and didn’t let go.

“I was floored at how beautiful the area was,” she said.

Her life would never be the same. When she got home, she put her house on the market. It sold within a week, and Coletti figured it was a sign that she was headed in the right direction.

She landed a contract marketing gig in Seattle pretty quick. Coletti then packed up her car, and with her black lab Charlotte as her co-pilot, she headed out west.

“The timing just ended up being the perfect equation to do this,” Coletti said. “It was one of those times when you just had to do it. I didn’t want to regret not doing it.”

From there, Coletti began working on her dream of opening a shop for dogs and the people who love them. The dream led to Bainbridge Island.

“I saw how dog friendly this whole area is,” she said. “I did a lot of research and found out there are quite a few dogs on Bainbridge Island.”

And if the string of life changes wasn’t enough already — selling her home, moving across the country, and making a career change — Coletti also picked up a husband along the way.

“We met in March of 2011, and I moved in April 2012 before opening the shop in May,” Coletti recalled. “We got engaged in May and married in October.”

BI Barkery was opened in May 2012 in the Winslow Mall. It’s a little more than the average pet store, offering baked treats, specialty items and everything a dog could need or want.

But it’s not just for the dogs.

“The tag line is, ‘A shop for dogs and the people who love them,’” Coletti said. “There are things for dog walkers or for people who have grand-dogs.”

BI Barkery is more than just a store, it’s a place for dog enthusiasts.

Recently, the store held a holiday portrait fundraiser for two dog-friendly charities; the Kitsap Human Society and Lick. Slobber. Drool., a charity that assists dogs with cancer.

One-by-one dogs lined up to get their holiday portrait taken by Issaquah-based photographer Julie Clegg.