Introducing Aneka Johnson, TableCrowd Ambassador for Pets industry
We’re introducing Ambassadors to TableCrowd, who are passionate about their sector or industry.
This means there will be someone with their ear to the ground on the most interesting speakers, as well as a face you’ll recognise at every dinner for that industry. Find out more about Ambassadors here. Our Pets Industry Ambassador is Aneka Johnson, who not only runs her own amazing business but is also one of our fantastic hosts, with over 50 TableCrowd dinners hosted in the last 2 years! We interviewed her to find out a bit more about her and her business:
Explain your business in one sentence?
Doggy Cafe creates Events, Workshops and Unique Experiences that dogs, dog owners and dog lovers can attend and enjoy together.
What were you doing before you launched your business?
Well, I’m still doing it! I produce events and book known celebrity talent and champion emerging talent for private events.
If you have business partners, where did you meet them?
My business partner is my Frenchie Chubb’s who is the inspiration behind Doggy Cafe. We have a fantastic working relationship – I do all the work and he sleeps most of the day. When he’s awake he stares at me looking incredibly cute and always hungry!
What’s your biggest ‘hindsight’ moment?
When I launched Doggy Cafe I was very set with what Doggy Cafe was, but I quickly realised that I needed to let go and give the idea room to breathe and shape into what it is now. Hardly any business actually remains the same as the idea it launches with. I know now I have to give things the space to evolve. Usually, the best outcomes come then!
What will 2018 bring?
The plan is to really focus on the Doggy Wellness in the Workplace which is the ‘experience’ that I decided to launch Doggy Cafe with. Taking doggy therapy to forward-thinking companies in London and beyond. We provide Doggy Day Care, Workshops, Day Retreats and Cuddle sessions. Doggy therapy is a great way for companies to offer something unique to their employees; dogs are an instant mood booster!
Also, we are currently planning events for the end of the year that will take the dog world by storm! We are working with a collective of other dog businesses in London who share the same vision.
1 piece of advice for someone starting a business in your sector?
Put self-care at the forefront of your life. Starting a business is challenging so you need to be in a good place both physically and emotionally. Making sure that you have enough downtime to actually reflect on things, making sure you have a good network of people to connect with as the entrepreneur life can be a lonely one. Get out in nature, go to events and go and meet quality people! This is great for your mental well-being but also for building your business network.
Convince someone to use your product/service in under 50 words
Stress and depression account for 40% of all work-related ill health cases, with an estimated 12.5 million sick days taken off per year due to stress-related illnesses. It has been proven that dogs reduce stress, lower blood pressure and heart rate. If dogs can help with your workplace well-being, then engaging in doggy therapy would be a wonderful decision.
What’s your favourite business in your sector (not including your own)?
There are so many businesses that are really making leaps and bounds in the pet industry. I really like Rover.com, they have such amazing success in the USA and have recently launched in Europe, with the UK being the first market. The whole dog carer ecosystem is brilliant as it allows dog lovers a way to earn money, gives dogs a home-from-home care and dog owners fast and effective way to find dog-care – it’s a win-win! Rover.com also take time during their vetting process, which as a dog owner, I really appreciate.
What’s your favourite London restaurant?
I champion dog-friendly restaurants and I love Vinoteca as they do great seasonal food and your dog can dine with you into the late hours (which I often do). Can I sneak in a second one? For absolutely dog loving staff I love Mildred’s who are exceptionally dog-friendly and Chubb’s gets so many hugs and kisses from everyone and I meet interesting people through my dog – we love going there too!
You can follow Aneka & Chubbs on Instagram @doggycafe
Our next Pets Industry dinner is coming up! Get the details here: