Inside YouTube’s Dog-Friendly LA Office

TV Host / Producer Aliya Jasmine Gets Access Inside The Most Coveted Dog-Friendly Workspace In Today’s Job Market

By Aliya Jasmine
Photos by: Aliya Jasmine & Alexandra Petruck

When Sari (pronounced say-ree) opened the front door of YouTube’s Playa Vista office, she was wearing a vibrant knit sweater and cheetah print boots. If you passed her on Sunset Boulevard you’d bet money she just walked off the set of Riverdale. Despite her easygoing Betty Cooper vibe, Sari is one of Silicone Beach’s notable movers and shakers: courting Hollywood’s most famous celebrities into the digital space, and then making YouTubers out of them. On a quintessential sunny California weekday, Sari and her co-worker Lucy, guide me through their what-dreams-are-made-of office space. Talkative and friendly two and four-legged employees instantly surround us to say hello.

Aliya Jasmine: Sari and Lucy, tell me about what you do here at YouTube, and of course, I want to hear all about your tail-wagging assistants!

Sari: my title is YouTube Partner Manager. I act as the main point of contact for YouTube’s biggest talent. That means I support them on a day-to-day basis from the basics of troubleshooting their issues to supporting their biggest projects, on and off platform. My dog’s name is Mia and she’s a Schnauzer-Poodle Mix, a Schnoodle.

Lucy: My dog’s name is Penny Lane. My title is YouTube Creator Development. I work with our internal marketing teams to bring amazing opportunities to YouTube creators; whether that’s an onstage performance, paid branded content deal or invites to global events.  My job is essentially to help make creators happy, how awesome is that?!

AJ: Name drop!

Sari: I work with Lilly Singh, Liza Koshy, Rudy Mancuso and Lauren Riihimaki! One of my newest partners is the one and only Will Smith!

Lucy: I work with Rhett & Link, Matt Steffanina Blogilates, Rosanna Pansino, Anna Akana.

AJ: You both work in a really exciting field, what has been your coolest work-related memory?

Sari: Bumping into James Lafferty during lunch one day, I was, and still am, a HUGE One Tree Hill fan.

Lucy: We invited RevRun from RunDMC to a creator summit in Washington.  I loved seeing him fanboy about one of our coolest creators ‘Jay Versace‘.

AJ: What work achievement are you most proud of?

Sari: I recently launched a dinner series to support our female creator community with my awesome partners at Doyenne Dinners. We recently ran a dinner co-hosted by Sophia Bush and Eva Gutowski.

Lucy: I was part of the team that worked on YouTube’s new program Creators For Change.  It’s a fabulous initiative that supports creators tackling difficult social issues.

AJ: What is a typical day like at the office?

Sari:On any regular day there can be 3-5 dogs in the office. We sit in an area dubbed “doggy day care” because we have a little play pen encircling our desks.

Lucy: When I get ready to leave to go to work, Penny gives me her ‘begging eyes.’ When she (realizes that she’s coming with me) her whole persona changes! It’s a super-cute way to leave for the office.  Once at work we get breakfast together, I answer a few emails, then the meetings & video conferences kick-in.  Penny just sleeps by my desk, accosting the odd occasional bystander for a belly rub….it’s a hard life….

AJ: Sounds like there is a really positive dog culture at the YouTube office.

Sari: Yes, this past Halloween we even had a dog costume contest.

Lucy: One particular year the company brought in a dog psychic who told my friend her dog didn’t like her name (Lola), and that she would rather be called ‘Bianca’.  You can’t make that up!!

AJ: I’m not going to lie, this sounds like a dream come true as far as workplace-satisfaction is concerned!

Sari: Bringing Mia to work is absolutely one of the biggest perks of my job. Every google office has a “micro-kitchen” outside the actual human-kitchen, ours is for the pups and has 3 jars of treats and some kibble.

Lucy: It is my number one love of working for YouTube (Google).  The office just feels friendlier and more relaxed.  I’ve made so many more friends through just having Penny snuggle up to strangers.

AJ: How did your dogs come into your lives?

Sari: Mia is a rescue and I got her the second I graduated from college. Mia was in a pretty bad situation and I couldn’t not take her in. 9 years later, no regrets!

Lucy: I was going to get groceries one weekend and (like they do in LA) the grocery store had a little dog rescue pop-up on the sidewalk.  I saw Penny, and it was love at first sight.  The rescue allowed me to take her home there and then!  I walked through my front door and my husband was like, “who the devil is this???!?!!”  (Spoiler: He loved her in the end)

AJ: Has your dog ever peed inside your office? (We won’t tell!)

Sari: Nope! She did however vomit a few times…oops.

Lucy: Penny Lane also got sick once, which wasn’t good.  We have amazing office cleaners, so…

AJ: In an effort to divert attention away from the dog vomit residue that may or may not be lingering in your office carpeting, let’s switch gears: how would you describe your personal style?

Sari: Casual but fun – I live for a good Gucci mule.

Lucy: Art school teacher meets business professional.

AJ: LA is generally, a pretty dog-friendly city. What do you do with your dogs outside of work?

Sari: Strolls along Santa Monica, Venice beach or Abbott Kinney on the weekends.
Lucy: We go up to Ventura so Penny can run on the beaches & I often take her for hikes in Malibu at the weekends.  But she’s an Angeleno at heart, shopping in Bloomingdales is one of her favs.

AJ: In a city that bleeds creativity, what inspires you?

Sari:  The creators I work with. They’ve created careers on YouTube and continue to come up with new and incredible ideas and videos every week.

Lucy: Travel, I’m most happy when I’m visiting new places & learning about new cultures.

AJ: Finally, can you each leave us with a funny story about your pet?

Sari: Mia once puked on a guy I was dating…needless to say, that didn’t last long. But Mia’s got good judgement, I trust her.

Lucy: Our local supermarket gives out free biscuits – once, Penny escaped and walked around the corner to get herself a biscuit!  The supermarket called us and said Penny had been there for an hour!

AJ: Where can people find you on Instagram?

@sarimkatz and @lucymtate