Today I'm introducing one of my favorite dog-loving artist small business owners (that's a mouthfull....we're a rare breed). Her name is Sara Bacon, and with a loyal 5yr old Rat Terier named Sushi at her side (all dogs should have food names, obviously), she has been wowing New York with her web development, branding, and incredible design skillz via Command C Design. On top of that, she recently opened GreenPoint CoWorking- one of the newest coworking spaces to hit the East Coast. GPCW is catching a lot of buzz, so I invited Sara and Sushi to talk a bit about their creative workspace and how dogs are essential to it:
Dogs in The Workspace?
For the past six years I’ve worked from home running my design firm COMMAND Cfor the sole purpose of spending all day everyday with my dog. Okay no, not solely, but it is a major perk. But, working alone all day with no face-to-face human interaction started to take its toll on my mental state. I began to feel extremely isolated and like maybe I was getting left behind. I missed feeling like I had a professional community.
Last month I opened Greenpoint Coworking, a beautifully designed communal workspace for the independent worker aka freelancer. Every aspect of the space and how we conduct business here has been intricately planned out, down to the notion of having a dog in the space. Coworking is all about redefining the notion of how we work. It’s about breaking traditional standards of office politics, it’s about creating environments that are open and transparent and friendly, where sharing is encouraged, not perceived as a threat. As an entrepreneur I want to continuously be able to grow without sacrificing the things that are important to me: working in a beautiful environment with loads of natural light, being immersed in a thriving community, and spending days with my pup. But how would this factor in to this new, communal workplace?
Turns out, pretty nicely. Sushi contributes a few different things to the atmosphere of the space:
- She serves as an icebreaker.
Let’s face it, meeting new people can be awkward. No. Matter. What. With Sushi here, the awkwardness is eased a bit–she makes everyone a little more relaxed. She’s cute, she does funny things, she gives people a reason to stop and laugh together. Dogs are known to deepen the human bond, so she acts as a social catalyst in a space whose mission is to be a platform for community building.
- She gives members an excuse to take a short break.
If you’re anything like me, you work–you work all of the time. Most of us entrepreneur-types are like that. Even stopping for a minute or two can sometimes be a challenge. But with Sushi around, we’re all a little more likely to shift our gaze from our monitors and interact with some natural goodness from time to time.
- Having her here reduces my stress.
I don’t have to worry about her being left alone all day or getting a dog walker or sending her to doggie daycare. I’m now running two businesses and balance is an ongoing struggle for me. With Sushi here, I have one less thing to worry about.
- She encourages communication.
Good communication is key in being a successful business person, but good communication is learned not inherited. With Sushi here, we’re all encouraged to speak up a bit more about our own personal needs and desires in the space.
What are your thoughts about bringing dogs to work?