BREED: Chocolate Labrador
Describe your dog.
Poncho is a 2 year old chocolate Labrador who loves nothing more than food and chasing his frisbee at the beach. He is the most cuddly and intuitive dog we have ever had. He has an on/off switch where he can lay around all day snoring like a little piglet, but once you give him the play signal he comes to life in an instant.
Describe your studio.
Our studio and showroom is in Byron Bay’s Arts & Industry Estate. It has an open floor plan where the showroom is on the ground level, and our studio is on the mezzanine.
Floors and walls are all painted an off white and the shelving, counter and tables are constructed from solid plywood. We wanted to have a simple showroom fit out, to let our products pop and do the talking. It’s full with cactus and terracotta pots inspired in our South American roots.
How did you choose your dog’s name?
The name Poncho came from our need to stay connected with Latin America, and our love for woven goods such as Ponchos. It is also a word that is pronounced the same in English and Spanish. The name is prefect for our cozy bear! Sometimes in the studio we call him Mr Ponchi-P.
What sort of energy does your dog bring to your studio?
He definitely takes the seriousness out of stressful moments. If it’s all getting a little too much we just play with him for 5 minutes and the day instantly brightens up. Now he is a little older he just takes it easy all day, but in the early days he was a real handful and we couldn’t take our eyes off him.
What is your dog’s favourite lounging spot, furniture, or room?
Underneath the desk near our feet. We genuinely think he loves coming to work with us - it’s part of his routine.
If dogs and their owners are supposed to look the same, does this reflect in the design of your business or studio?
I guess it does a little, the colour palette of the woven products in our showroom are mostly natural in tones. The brown wool used in our rugs is almost a perfect match with Poncho’s chocolate brown fur, he almost gets lost in those rugs.
How do you think the presence of a dog alters the studio atmosphere?
It is a definite ice breaker, people usually are much more relaxed and up for a chat as soon as Poncho shows his face. Byron Bay being a holiday town means we get a lot of people pop in who are missing their dogs at home, so Poncho gets plenty of affection from others and not just us.
Any other fun stories to share?
One day, we left him at home while we went to work (he was around 6 months old) and when we arrived home at the end of the day, he had destroyed a big basket full of toilet paper. The chewed up paper rolls were all over the house. He gave us a look of, I know this is bad, but what are you going to do about it. I remember laughing instead of getting angry because it was obvious that he didn’t like staying at home by himself.
Since then we take him to work almost every day, although he has thankfully grown out of this habit now.