In our second ‘Meet the Team’ post, we would like to introduce you to the gorgeous Gina, our delightful company Cockapoo. Today (18 July) is her birthday and, as you can see, we are making a big fuss. After all, a girl is only one once!
Gina was named by our Italian Design Director, Micaela Rossi. Gina is a term of affection in Italian, meaning someone who is fabulous without even trying and without knowing it. This describes Gina to a tee. Just look at that little face and her beautiful blonde locks. Some of us here at Juliettes are very envious indeed.
Why a Dog?
You may think that the world of luxury furniture and interior design is not somewhere you would expect to see a dog. Well, think again. Here in the centre of London’s Design District, more and more companies such as ours are taking the plunge and discovering the benefits of having a dog in the workplace.
How did Gina become part of the team?
She was an incentive, then a reward to Design Director Micaela for achieving her targets. We don’t work on monetary incentives here at Juliettes. We prefer to find something that people really want. Money can so often be swallowed up by everyday life, or frittered away on unimportant things. A dog (or a motorbike, or a luxury bed) is so much more tangible and exciting to work towards.
Miki had always wanted to have a dog but, with the long hours, site visits and frequent trips abroad, she didn’t like the idea of leaving a puppy on its own for so long. Having a company dog was the ideal solution. We all help to look after Gina but her heart belongs to Miki.
How does Gina benefit the team?
If you’re having a stressful day, just a few minutes spent stroking Gina or playing with her calms you down and cheers you up. When someone has lost concentration, they take Gina for a walk and come back refreshed and re-focused. We all love stroking her (except for Karen who thinks she doesn’t like dogs but we’re working on that). I’ve been surprised at just how Gina brings the team together. She has had such a positive effect on morale. What started out as a staff incentive has reaped rewards that we couldn’t possibly have imagined.
Isn’t Gina a distraction?
She is a welcome distraction to give us all a little break during the day. She actually seems to increase everyone’s productivity. Puppy training was a bit tough as she did have a couple of accidents on some very expensive furniture, chewed the phone and router cables and turned the bins over every chance she got. Eight months on and she’s settled in nicely. We couldn’t wish for a more friendly or gentle office pet.
Who is in charge of walking, feeding and cleaning up?
All the staff are. Anyone who has a few minutes spare, or needs a break themselves, will take her for a walk and she has become a well-known sight here in Chelsea. Luckily, there isn’t much in the way of cleaning up any more.
What is it like having a dog around the place?
It’s fun and really calming. Children love her which makes our job easier. Fractious children become calm and happy and are in no rush to leave, giving their parents more quality time to browse and talk to us. Adults love Gina too. She sits quietly with us during consultations and is always a topic of conversation, creating a nice, natural connection with our customers.
What would you tell other people who are thinking of an office pet?
Go for it! Obviously, the pet will need to acclimatise so you’ll need to be patient for a while. But a pet brings everyone together. No matter how different their jobs or other interests, a pet provides common ground and it makes the workplace more like being at home whilst working. A nice sunny day and everyone wants to take Gina out for a walk, and that makes them happier and more focused when they come back.
One last question; is she allowed on the Luxury Furniture?
Certainly not (birthdays and photo shoots excepted, of course). Gina may have a face full of mischief but now that she is a grown up one-year-old, she is very well behaved indeed. She has her own little bed and would never dream of jumping up on any of our fabulous designer furniture. She’s also a very inquisitive little soul who spends a lot of time watching the world go by outside on the Kings Road. She really is our little doggy in the window.
Happy 1st Birthday Gina!