We are Mark and Di Gallant a ordinary couple living ordinary lives with a true love for animals and the countryside.
We have a Siamese Seal Point and a Shar Pei and they're both spoilt rotten but thats what pets are for is it not ?
Mark is from Prince Edward Island Canada and I am a true English country girl from Somerset in the UK and we met in 1998 in Barbados while on holiday.
Mark was a big rig driver based in Ontario Canada transporting goods into the USA.
We spent our early days trucking all over the USA and Canada together.
We returned to Barbados and got married in 2000.
Mark has built numerous houses in years past and has also been a property surveyor, he is very handy on the tools.
We have developed various run down properties in the UK and Canada with Mark doing the majority of the renovations himself he is very talented when it comes to construction.
As well as Sophisticated Scratch I work for NHS South Western Ambulance services as an Emergency Care Assisstant ECA
The idea of Sophisticated Scratch came from myself. One day I was looking to buy a nice scratch post for our Siamese but the same boring designs with the same boring MDF cardboard materials kept dominating the market place everywhere I looked.
I thought to myself why are they also ugly and cheap looking when they usually take such a prominent position in the home for all to see, I wanted ours in the lounge.
I did not want the cheap fluffy cardboard structures in our lounge so I started to think about what I could do to avoid the fluffy monstrosities, after all I had brought dozens of these over the years and they never last.
I trawled the internet for hours with no success I had just about given up on the idea and went out for a walk with our dog to get some fresh air. While walking I literally had a eureka moment when I came across a piece of fallen oak. I took it home and started to scrape away at the rotten bits and realised it was solid underneath and I could picture what it could look like all cleaned up with some hard work.
I worked on the oak on and off for about about 5 weeks start to finish with many mistakes, blisters and learning the hard way, I asked Mark to help me when I got stuck or lost hope but I made it and I loved it and so did Scampers the siamese.
People kept saying your so talented and you should start a small business making them, at first I thought people were just being kind and I shrugged it off, but then people started asking me to make them one too.
In 2012 I was diagnosed with ME and Fibromyalgia and in 2017 I decided to go part time with the NHS. With spare time on my hands I thought about what people had said to me previously about making scratch trees for others and in Dec 2017 I launched Sophisticated Scratch with the help of my husband.
So here I am sharing my arty ideas with you, I hope you love them as much as I do