Meet Michelle | CEL, Store #2385, East Fairfax, Washington D.C.
Before joining PetSmart, I was a Visual Display and designer of interiors. In 2011 the market crashed, and few people were looking to renovate their spaces. My company went bankrupt, and I was compelled to find a new career. Researching which companies were surviving those hard days, I found the pet industry was not only surviving but thriving.
PetSmart was a natural choice, as I have had a passion for pets since childhood. Looking back, it’s been an amazing decision. I find PetSmart to be innovative and attentive to the needs of the pets and the large family of associates who make it happen. I am thankful to work for a company that prioritizes belonging and exemplifies the virtues of inclusion. The diversity of this holiday season perfectly illustrates how we can show respect for differences and rejoice in the ideals we share.
There are many special dates on the calendar for December. Hanukkah, Los Posadas, Winter Solstice, Yule, Christmastide, Soyal, Christmas, and Kwanzaa, to name a few. I'm excited to decorate our family room with a presentation that honors many religious and secular celebrations. It’s always a labor of love to refresh the space where our team gathers to rest, relax, and recharge during their breaks.
By nature, visual arts are my outlet. As a person with dyslexia, I'm always having to be creative in my thinking and problem-solving! The cultural calendar is a great resource. Usually, I will research a monthly topic or holiday and create a storyboard around that theme. Sometimes the whole room becomes the story immersing my teammates in the vibe, especially during Halloween and this time of year. I have received very positive feedback from the associates early on when I began doing this, so I just keep going. I like to get inspiration from the buzz around the store. Having the team take part in the displays and the conversation that it creates among us is the ultimate goal.
The Belonging Program’s “I Belong” Series harnesses the power of empathy through storytelling. This series is intended to give associates a greater sense of understanding, a bridge to gain new perspective, and a way to build connection to each other.