This week’s Inside Scoop is with CC and Carol who work together at The Shoe Garden in Brisbane, Australia.
Just under two years ago, Carol decided to open her own women’s shoe shop that specialised in longer sizes and to walk away from her 23 year career in media, communications and fundraising. It was a big move but she says the very best thing about her career change has been that she can now take her darling Maltese, CC, to work with her every day.
CC is a big part of the shop’s success. As the only other staff member at The Shoe Garden and with the esteemed title of Customer Relations Manager, CC has many and varied responsibilities: she sits quietly on Carol’s desk and then stands up to greet every customer as they arrive. She can’t get off the desk by herself, which is good as there’s a busy road outside so she’s safe there and still has an excellent view of the world, especially dogs who dare to walk by who she likes to greet loudly.
She entertains the children of women trying on shoes and graciously accepts their cuddles and pats. She has posed for many photos for the media and is quite a natural in front of the camera, having perfected the cute head-turned-to-the-side look very nicely. Her image is also included in the shop’s logo and she features prominently on The Shoe Garden’s website and Facebook page. In fact, sometimes Carol is not sure if people are “liking” the shoe she has posted on Facebook, or CC who is next to the shoe! Perhaps both!!
In a very short period of time, CC has developed quite a significant fan base. Not only do many customers greet her first by name before they even acknowledge Carol (perfectly acceptable and understandable, says Carol, by the way), she also attracts much attention from people walking by who see her curled up on the desk. At least once a day, Carol hears someone say “Oh my God, it’s real”. CC is especially popular with many of the schoolchildren who walk past and sing out “Hello CC” at the top of their lungs. Many come in for a pat, too.
CC celebrated her 10th birthday last October and part of the proceeds of all sales on the day were donated to the RSPCA, raising $750. She was even lucky enough to receive birthday cards and presents from many regular customers!
We asked CC and Carol our 7 Inside Scoop questions:
WW: What is your favourite food?
CC: Well, I’m a bit of a fussy eater as my liver can’t process protein very well so, rather ironically as my mum is a vegetarian, I can’t eat too much meat but I do eat a lot of veggies and pasta with some chicken. It’s all home cooked too so, yep, I’m spoilt and loving it! But my favourite, favourite, favourite food for which I go rather crazy and I do every trick I know in rapid succession just to make sure I’ve got it is … cheese! Mmmmmmmmmm.
Carol: Tough question. I love Mexican food, but also like most Asian cuisine. My Mum’s vegetarian lasagne is the best ever so that is my absolute favourite.
WW: What is your worst habit?
CC: Barking in the shop when no one is paying any attention to me! I mean, seriously. Just because everyone is trying on gorgeous shoes and Carol is running to and fro to assist everyone should not mean that I don’t remain the focus. But I do love it when a customer then comes over and gives me a cuddle … it works every time!
Carol: I find it hard to say “no” … especially to CC!
WW: What is your biggest dislike?
CC: Without doubt, having my teeth brushed. I know I refuse to chew bones or any of the huge variety of teething toys and products that have been bought for me, but why oh why do my teeth need to be brushed every day??? Oh, and I don’t like the postman or the courier man in the yellow truck who delivers shoes to The Shoe Garden. Even if I just see his truck drive by, I start growling.
Carol: Cruelty of any kind to humans, animals or the environment. It is incomprehensible to me. And I really dislike brushing CC’s teeth as I know she hates it!
WW: What is your favourite walk?
CC: I’m up for a walk anywhere, any time, but I refuse to walk back up our street because I know it means the walk is over.
Carol: I love walking anywhere with CC as she always makes people smile, especially on windy days when she seems to prance and her long coat creates some crazy looks and comb overs!
WW: What is your best quality?
CC: I’m sweet-natured and patient and I adore the people who love me. I have many “best qualities” really!
Carol: I hope it might be that I care about people and want to make a difference, hence my plans to turn The Shoe Garden into a not-just-for-profit where proceeds from every sale will be used to support and empower women in Africa.
WW: What would be your perfect day?
CC: If I’m with Carol, then the day is pretty perfect really. If you add to that, a trip to The Shoe Garden and lots of cuddles from customers; then a visit to see Carol’s Mum and Dad and their German Shepherd, Lady, who worships me; and throw in some cheese, too, well, you couldn’t have a more perfect day!
Carol: A busy day with CC at The Shoe Garden with lots of happy and excited customers finding gorgeous shoes to suit their long feet, followed by dinner and cocktails with darling friends on a warm summer night in Brisbane.
WW: Do you think you look alike?
Carol: I have been stopped on a number of occasions by strangers saying that we do! It’s the pink, I’m sure. I wear a lot of pink and CC has a pink harness, leash and collar so we often, well, match. And the long, blonde/white, hair/coat…. Okay, yep!