Jonathan Adler's Non-Shocking Confession: I Wish My Office Had More Dogs Than People

“The real question is why do I have a people-friendly environment?" - Jonathan Adler

Photo by Mandi Illuzzi

A few weeks ago, we highlighted some of the mind-blowingly adorable pups that inhabit the immaculately decorated offices of Jonathan Adler in downtown Manhattan. From Franklin the bulldog who has been coming into the workplace every day since he was three months old, to Amy Sedaris (The Dog) who has developed an office “treat trail,” the pups of Jonathan Adler are almost as fabulous as the designer’s décor.

But these canine co-workers aren’t simply there for the aesthetic. Jonathan Adler prides himself on having an animal-friendly environment because he deeply believes dogs are good for the soul—not to mention morale and productivity.

When asked why he has a dog-friendly environment, Adler tells Unleashed, “The real question is why do I have a people-friendly environment? We currently have 80 people and 20 dogs—I'd like to see that ratio flip: 80 dogs to 20 people. We would get just as much done and we would have just as fulfilled lives. That’s my goal,” he says with a laugh.

Photo by Mandi Illuzzi

On an average day, about six of 20-odd dogs roam the office, although some are regulars: Franklin (a 9-month-old English bulldog whose human is Senior Account Executive Laura Dana), Bodie (a 9-month-old border collie-Boxer-lab rescue from Muddy Paws, whose human is Senior Account Executive Aly Dailey), Max (an 11-year-old Chihuahua whose human is head potter Eddie Vera), and Cooper (an 11-year-old Shih Tzu who commutes in from New Jersey every day and consistently sleeps on his human’s desk—Director of Sales Amy Bubbs).

Photo by Mandi Illuzzi

But napping on the job is only one perk. The offices are filled to the hilt with dog amenities—from Jonathan Adler-designed acrylic dog beds, to toys strewn all over the loft, to treats in every desk—and the employees say it’s something of a free-for-all. “For the most part, just roam all over the place and do their own thing,” says Kim Moreau Jacobs, Senior Copywriter. “It’s like a commune and we are all their parents."

In fact, the environment is so welcoming that some former employees' dogs still come to play—despite their humans having new jobs. "There are a lot of dogs who worked here at one time and still come," adds Moreau Jacobs. "Their owners will come by and just leave them here like it's summer camp."

Photo by Mandi Illuzzi

Despite the fact that Jonathan Adler HQ almost feels like a dog park in a showroom of porcelain, the offices don't suffer from any destruction. “Yes, there have been some poops and pees,” says Ryan Dziadul, Director of Public Relations. “But Jonathan is such a dog lover that when Amy poops, he’ll just say, ‘Amy made something!’” Adds Adler, "Nothing is too precious around here." (But will a puppy poop inspire his next great ceramics collection? Only time will tell!)

And what's good for the dogs is good for the humans: Jonathan Adler's pro-dog office policy has been a boon to the work lives of the company's 80 employees. “It’s hard to take life too seriously when you have a dog in all of your meetings,” says Micah Grossman, Vice President of Wholesale and human to four-year-old miniature Pinscher Rocco (adopted from Long Island Min Pin Rescue). “It really is a fun place to work. My most important interview question is, ‘Do you get along with dogs?’”

Photo by Mandi Illuzzi

And, in turn, the office's welcoming philosophy has inspired adoption awareness and animal advocacy among its employees. “I work with Muddy Paws [the same rescue where Dailey adopted Brody],” says Brielle DeLaFuente, Senior Account Executive, International. “I’ve personally been fostering with them for a little over a year. Then I started bringing the fosters into the office and everyone fell in love. One was even recently adopted by our Director of Retail Operations (Linet Martin)!”

Photo by Mandi Illuzzi

And obviously, with dogs everywhere, the company finds ways to include the pups in their infrastructure. Some of the office pooches have featured prominently in Jonathan Adler marketing campaigns ("They've been in email blasts, and in our catalog, and on our social media," says Dziadul), and one even became a full-time employee (“A dog named Boogie Peter was actually our first HR person when we didn't have anyone in the department," adds Dziadul. "He was a great HR rep because he was a great listener, although he didn't cotnribute much to the conversation.")

The positivity brought forth by the four-legged friends of Jonathan Adler have even extended beyond the employees. "My husband said that Amy Sedaris has taught him how to love unconditionally," said Dziadul. Proof positive that the effects of a pro-puppy environment reverberate far and wide.

Unleashed is Bravo's celebration of pamper-worthy pets and how to spoil them. Want more? Then Like us on Facebook to stay connected to our daily updates.

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