Tell us a bit about Off Grid and the inspiration behind the company?
Off Grid is a creative brand and digital design studio with bases in Llangollen and Macclesfield, run by two friends, designers (and dog obsessives), Kim & Sally. We started the agency just over 5 years ago with aspirations to build a business around what we love in a way that would support how we know we work best. We love the outdoors, it is our inspiration, our therapy, our playground - and as designers we knew that to feel happy and fulfilled in our working life, we needed to not feel tied to a desk all day. With that ethos at our core, we have attracted some incredible clients who love our outlook, and we have created some of our best work. That freedom to walk, think, problem solve and plan outside has meant that when we come back to our desks our minds are sharper and the work we create reflects that.
What’s your first memory of dogs being in your life?
I (Kim) have always grown up with dogs. Apparently my first word was the name of the family dog - a Boxer called Hiedi, who was never more than 2ft away..
Sally’s first memory is of a lovely free roaming Golden Retriever that lived in her village which would potter over to the wall at their back garden for strokes. As both her parents were teachers, and didn’t have time for a dog, her Nan also got a rescue called Cindy - who was secretly for Sally as she knew how much she wanted a dog.
Tell us about your dog and how they came into your life?
I have Betsy and Fenton - both of which were rehomed from owners who realised they couldn’t give them the care they needed. Betsy, a Weimaraner x Springer, was 18month old and had been living in a flat with few walks or stimulations before being rehomed. To say she was a live wire would be an understatement. When I first went to see her she was literally bouncing off the walls, and I remember saying I’d happily rehome her whilst Betsy was tugging on the sleeve of my jumper. She is still an absolute handful, demanding walks, demanding food, demanding blankets - but a loveable handful. Fenton, a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon x Labrador, was 4 months old - rehomed because his owners had a small baby and realised a baby and a puppy was maybe a little too much. He’s a very sweet natured boy who is scared of his own shadow. Whenever you meet him, he likes to bring you a gift - a stinky sock, smelly dog blanket and a soggy bit of old toy. He’s very generous.
Sally has Ruby, a sassy Labrador she’s had since a puppy. A few months after losing her first dog, Charlie, she was in the pub with friends when one blurted out that a family friend's dog was having puppies. From that moment Sally’s partner knew his life was changed forever. Ruby has a lot to say for herself. Loves her ball.. too much. Loves people. Normally found snoring on the sofa with her head on several pillows.
How do the dogs fit into your general working day?
The dogs are an integral part of our working day. When first starting out and were adjusting to working from home and largely working alone - the routine of walking the dogs 2 - 3 times broke up the day. They don’t allow you to sit at your desk for too long, no working late into the night.
If you could be a breed of dog for the day which breed would you be and why?
Both Betsy and Ruby seem to have it right. Working breeds that demand lovely long walks and runs in the day, surrounded by lots of sofa snoozing, cuddles and treats in between. Plus, they’re women who know what they want in life.