This week we chat to top jewellery designer, Tessa Packard
, about life with her adorable Miniature wire-haired Dachshund, Smartie, and why she makes work such a happy place.
Tessa creates gorgeous original pieces inspired by her travels to far-flung parts, with storytelling at its heart. We love her new explorer pendants as well as her animal-inspired pieces like her kangeroo cufflinks or her creature themed bee photo frames.
What breed/ age is your dog and where is your office?
How long have you had Smartie?
Smartie is nine and I’ve had her since she was ten weeks old. I remember very clearly the day I drove to Blackpool to collect her. I had always wanted a dog as a child, but for various reasons, I wasn’t allowed one. It felt like a (much overdue) dream come true when we met for the first time. She was this tiny fluff ball with little dumpy legs and I fell in love with her immediately.
Source: Harper’s Bazaar
Does Smartie have a best friend?
Peanut, Weasel and Bear (all Dachshunds)
Does she come to work with you?
Yes, she comes to work with me every day unless I am travelling. We are essentially inseparable and I try and take her everywhere with me if I can.
How important is it to you to be able to bring your dog to work?
From a practical point of view, it makes life a lot easier if you are able to bring your dog to work. But pragmatism aside, I adore my dog and cherish her company, so from an emotional and friendship perspective it is wonderful to be able to have her by my side as much as possible. I have always loved the author Philip Pullman’s concept of the daemon – an inseparable animal companion that belonged to each human, capable of speech and essentially man’s best friend. I think of Smartie as my ‘daemon’, as I’m sure many other dog-owners do of their own.
What impact does your dog have on the atmosphere of the office?
I really like to think that Smartie brings a sense of calm and homeliness to the office. Not only does she break the ice in meetings but she really helps put more nervous clients at ease, especially those who have come into the showroom to discuss engagement rings.
Does she get on with your colleagues?
Yes, perfectly. I genuinely think my team appreciate having a four-legged friend around.
Does she inspire any of your jewellery?
She doesn’t inspire any of my jewellery directly but she helps me be inspired. Having a dog forces you to leave your desk and walk. It’s often on these little adventures together that I’ll see something or think of something that leads to a light bulb going on in my head.
What difference does she make to your life?
To me, she makes the world a very very happy place. I never feel alone with her and I think it is a real privilege in life to be able to say that.
How do you keep Smartie amused?
Smartie is intrinsically lazy when indoors, so most of her time in the showroom or at home is spent napping on a sofa (ideally in the sun) whilst I’m at my desk or pottering around. That aside, bone-shaped chews, mice and people are her best source of amusement.
Any pet-friendly restaurants/pubs/cafes you visit together?
5 Hertford Street
is a favourite because Smartie gets a plate of roast chicken every time.
Battersea Park and Richmond Park. I particularly like walking her around the ponds in both park.
Do you take her on holiday with you and if so where?
We are going to Tuscany together in July. Italy is made for dogs – you can sleep, eat, drink anywhere with your canine companion. It’s so refreshing.
Source: Style Stalker
- Smartie purposefully goes to the loo inside if I tell her off;
- She pretends I don’t exist for at least 2 hours after I get back from holiday;
- She will not leave the house/ showroom to go for a walk if it is raining;
- I genuinely think she is more human than dog most of the time.
Do you have any advice for people thinking of creating a dog-friendly office?
Be prepared for a couple of accidents….
Any special views about animal welfare?
I detest owners that don’t clean up after their dogs.
We’d love your suggestions on who to interview for Me & My Pet – leave your comments on our Facebook page @petspyjamas