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Working class

We speak to the team at Scout Regalia, the architectural brains behind BlueCollar Working Dog, a one stop shop for dynamic canines.

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Working class

BlueCollar Working Dog is not your average pet store. Here cute collars and kitsch leads make way for weight vests and starter pistols, and on any given day you’re likely to find dogs training for police work or learning to dodge snakes in the Californian desert. So it stands to reason the store itself should reflect its kick-arse offerings.

Enter Makoto Mizutani and Benjamin Luddy of design firm Scout Regalia, who earned their stripes in the industry before setting up their own practice in 2008 to showcase their clean, modern, style. Initially created with the intention of designing spaces and interiors, they turned to furniture and product design during the economic crisis, a practice they continued even after returning to interiors when the market stabilised.

Living in Los Angeles, Mizutani and Luddy often frequented BlueCollar with Penny, their “team mascot, muse, and security detail”, and were the ideal choice when owners Barry Hewitt and Michelle Van Arendonk decided to upsize in a new location.

The fitout was a full-scale operation. Says Mizutani, “Blue Collar Working Dog is a good example of how we can design spaces that are driven by larger spatial moves while including smaller scale custom fixtures and furnishings.” As the store is a facility for active and working animals, integrating canine agility equipment into a retail space was imperative. Decked out in a “clean and airy” wooden display frame, they installed agility tubes for dogs to run through in the display frames, and created A-frame jumps that double as shelves for merchandise among other, practical and functional forms.

Dogs love to have fun too, and there’s plenty of humour peppered throughout. The pegboards were designed to look like dog ears, butcher store decals cover the freezers of raw food, and bright ‘BlueCollar blue’ breaks up the pale plywood on everything from custom gridwall to the dog ‘buffet’ bins.

It seems the layout is a complete success, as the most important clientele can attest. Says Mizutani, “Penny came on site with us throughout construction and got to test out all the equipment. She approves.”


All images courtesy of Scout Regalia
Photography by Laure Joliet
scoutregalia.com
bluecollarworkingdog.com

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