Margie Hennessy is the CEO and owner of luxury dog company, DOGUE.
The brand, which originally comprised of one single store in Woollahra, Sydney, has since extended to 11 boutiques and grooming salons across New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland, as well as the DOGUE Country Retreat, a boutique hotel for dogs in the Southern Highlands.
In this week’s episode of the Lady Startup podcast, Margie sits down with Mia Freedman to discuss how a luxury pet company and boarding facility managed to keep afloat through not only one crisis but two.
LISTEN: Margie Hennessy talks to Mia Freedman about her luxury dog company, DOGUE. Post continues after audio…
Margie began by discussing the 2019-2020 bushfires and how they impacted their DOGUE Country Retreat. Not only was the facility at peak capacity over summer, but they were also facing extreme fire danger.
“Being in the country you’re aware of bushfires. Since 2013 we always knew there was an issue. We always had plans in place,” she began.
“The Green Wattle Creek Fire, which started around late November, was just to the north of us and at times came within 10km of us. In December, we went into lockdown and never left the retreat for about a month and a half really. From that point on, there was constant fire danger.
“Then in late December, there was a catastrophic fire day. But the day we were most worried about was January 4th. And for us, it was our peak period. We had 50 odd dogs and no water in the dams because of a relentless drought.