The Shop: Wiesje Baskerville of Auto Hound - BodyShop Business

The Shop: Wiesje Baskerville of Auto Hound

Wiesje Baskerville
Owner
Auto Hound, Freeland, Wash.

How did you come up with the name, “Auto Hound?”
Our last name is Baskerville, so it was a play off the Sherlock Holmes story, “The Hound of the Baskervilles.” Some people get it and some people don’t. The people who get it are typically well read and familiar with the story and movie and think it’s really fun. So we like to say we’re the “Sherlock Holmes” of auto body.

So you and your husband are dog lovers?
Yes, we have two of our own that we bring to the office every day, and we also let our employees bring their dogs to work. Dogs are big in the Queen Anne and Magnolia areas of Seattle. Amazon recently moved into the area and they’re also doing similar things to promote dog-friendly environments. A lot of retail outlets in the area have water dishes for dogs. There are two dog daycares nearby because Seattle is really growing and the number of condominiums and apartments is increasing.

Isn’t it dangerous for dogs to be roaming around a body shop?
Every employee is responsible for their own dog. Our techs keep them in their specific area so they’re not roaming about. There are dedicated areas where work tasks get done, and the dogs aren’t in those areas. They typically hang out in their beds, and then our employees can take them for walks on their breaks. We keep our two dogs in our offices so they’re secured behind a gate or half door and they can’t bite anybody or clash with an aggressive dog that comes in. We figure if you really care about your dog, you’ll watch out for it.

Do customers like the fact that you’re a dog-friendly shop?
It’s amazing how they kind of chill when they see the dogs. The kicker is if they’re a dog lover, and I would probably say 95 percent are. We’ve never really had negative comments or responses, maybe one or two in five years because of allergies or something. The dogs are almost like service dogs because you’re trying to bring a different kind of light to the whole negative situation of having an accident or needing repairs on your car. We just try to constantly lighten that up a little bit and have fun.  

So customers bring in their dogs, too?

Yes. We have water dishes for them and dog treats. It’s really fun. We have a very relaxed, family-type atmosphere.

Are all the dogs at your shop buddies?
Yes. All the dogs at the shop get along with each other. We let them run around after hours in our 25,000-square-foot yard before we all go home.

Do you have pictures of your dogs on your business card?

No, but our logo is a paw, so when you become one of our customers, you’ve been branded in a sense for life.

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