She has tried many things in her life but nothing made her quite as happy as this: Bibibau, a design store for pets, in the heart of Taranto. Animal friendliness all over! Her rescue Lagotto Mia, 5, even though a bit anxious to be testimonial, is part of the concept. And so are the three cats that belong to the family. In her interview with Amazingdogstales Bianca Bino, 51, is talking about how she is planning to take her pet boutique to the next level. One thing’s for sure: She has got some more very interesting ideas in the closet
Where did you and Mia meet?
I was looking for an adult dog to adopt after 7 years of having no more dogs. To tell you the truth I wanted a Galgo rescued from the Spanish perreiras, but having three cats at home, that could have turned out too complicated. So I chose to adopt a Lagotto. Mia fit in easily from the beginning, she had no problems with the fact that there were three cats already.
What’s so amazing about Mia?
Her enormous fragility and sensitivity. I had many dogs before, but she is unique.
How would you describe your relationship?
Symbiosis: We saved each other because we recognized one another at first sight.
How do you “understand” each other? Do you have a secret code?
I am very physical with her. I feel she needs that to be able to connect and trust.
Do you have a “trick” that makes her listen and behave no matter what?
Unfortunately Mia is quite a phobic dog so there are very few opportunities for recreation and play, she basically just does what she wants all day. When we go to Milan where I can take her to the park or the pool she becomes a different dog! Playing joyfully, swimming without ever getting tired. In fact, that’s something I might add to the Bibibau portfolio one day.
If your dog were a person – who would she be?
She would be me! We are very similar.
Why do you love her?
For her fragility. Because I feel I need to protect her and she seems to appreciate that.
Where do you leave her when you have to go away for a couple of days?
She always comes with me and if I can’t take her, I won’t leave either.
Is there anything that annoys you about her?
Sometimes her fears can get quite frustrating. But then again: That part belongs to her just like the cheerful, puppy part.
What are your favourite things to do with her?
I love taking her out into nature, sea or mountain. Far away from everything else she tends to loosen up, to put her fears apart and start to behave like a “normal” dog.
Is your dog part of the family and part of the household?
200%! Unfortunately Mia does not participate much though. She has found her own comfort zone in the house which is under a bookcase, and she never gets out of there for a long time.
Let’s talk about your pet boutique in Taranto. How did that come about?
I used to work in other fields. Theater was is one of them. Then there was a period when I travelled the south of Italy as a sales representative for animal food. At a certain point I wanted to settle down, doing the only thing I like: taking care of cats and dogs in a pleasant environment. I wanted a place where a consumer with my same passions could find something unique and different. There are thousands of pet shops all over the world, many even in Puglia. Mine is diffent though: warm, intimate and homely. A cosy place where dogs and their owners can enjoy a moment of peace, meeting Mia and me. Bibibau is not just a shop, it’s the essence of me.
Luxury and design accessoires for dogs seem to be an important trend.
They certainly are. Even though for me personally there is a certain limit: I do sell accessories of any kind but I’m always putting the dog’s dignity first. No dresses, sequins and rhinestones. I like sober and functional accessories to improve a dog’s and his master’s life. And I like handmade things with a twist. I could pass hours on the internet doing research for new items!
Any plans for the future?
You bet! I always dream, wanna move forward, never stop. I’d like to bring Bibibau to Milan where the market is far ahead and where there is greater attention also to non-breed dogs.
Is there anything for dogs and/or their owners that you personally would be happy about?
What I would appreciate a lot is a community among customers and dog lovers, generally. To go beyond a seller/consumer relationship that already exists and to strengthen fidelity and loyalty through other actions, helping each other out, suggesting stuff.
Talking about suggestions: Any dog friendy places in Puglia that you can recommend?
What is definitely missing is a proper beach for dogs and their owners. Santos in Torre Canne is an exception. We have miles and miles of beaches where we could create wonderful and unique structures like those in the Veneto area. Shops? In Bari there is Bauhaus179; Piero and Luciano are ex-clients of mine. Two gorgeous guys with a one-of-a-kind shop and a dog toilet. Many have tried to copy them. But it’s the heart, the passion that makes the difference.
Any advice for someone who wants to get a dog but can’t decide?
Honestly, those are decisions that should never be forced. Like the kids question basically. Everyone knows when it’s time.
PS: You want to know more about Bibibau and her owner Bianca Bini? Check out her Instagram @bibibau_