Where eco-friendly materials and high-end design meet.
By Sherri L. Collins
Pet beds have come a long way since the days when the only choices were old blankets on the floor or non-descript, stuffed ticking.
Today’s offerings run the gamut from well-styled pads to scaled-down versions of living room furniture to far-out modern designs. For furniture and product designer Corey Drew, however, something was still missing from the industry lineup.
“For all the innovation out there, there didn’t seem to be anything specifically designed for pets,” Drew explained. “They were either shrunken-down sofas or beds, or the standard pad. I wanted to create something unique for pets; something designed just for them.”
Out of that desire, Drew founded Pet Lounge Studios, a modern-design luxury pet-furniture and –accessories manufacturer.
Incorporated in 2006, the Palm Beach, Fla.-based company was really “just a thought” in the beginning. It wasn’t until halfway through 2008 that Drew’s thought became tangible with the launch of the Bambu Collection.
The collection currently includes the Bambu Lounger, an elevated pet bed, and the Bambu Diner, a raised, double-bowl pet feeder.
Both feature eco-friendly solid bamboo and are handmade in overseas factories, which Drew frequently visits to ensure the company’s high-quality standards are always in effect.
“All of our products incorporate bamboo; it is our wood of choice for environmental and design reasons—it’s sustainable and beautiful,” Drew noted. “However, that doesn’t mean future products and designs won’t use different eco-friendly materials.”
Speaking of content variations, the Lounger is one of the first pet beds to use memory foam. Sourced from recycled human bed mattress remnants, the foam is more than a “green” substance, it offers design and pet-health benefits, too.
“I chose memory foam as filler for three reasons: One, it reinforces the luxury level of our products; two, it provides orthopedic benefits; and three, it is easy to design around. Standard polyester cushions are too overstuffed and the solid foam makes for extreme edges.
We shred the memory foam to ensure the bed’s mattress corners aren’t too sharp, allowing for a softer, more organic look, but not overstuffed.”
Pet Lounge Studios
At a Glance
Owner: Corey Drew
Location: Palm Beach, Fla.
No. of Employees: 6 + Zoey
No. of Years in Business: 3
The removable microsuede covering reinforces the Lounger’s organic look. The soft fabric is not only inherently stain resistant and hypoallergenic; it adheres to the company’s “green” philosophy by being completely recyclable due to its 100-percent polyester composition.
Designed for small dogs (25 lb and under) the Lounger was thoroughly tested before it came to market by Drew’s beloved four-legged companion, Zoey. The miniature Pinscher is the company’s no.-1 product tester, Drew reported. A gift from his parents, Zoey went to college with him and was the primary reason Drew turned down a lucrative design position in China, opting instead to stay with her in the U.S.
“I just couldn’t do that Zoey,” he explained. “She’s family.”
As a graduate of the Savannah College of Art & Design, and as a former designer of high-end hospitality furniture and bamboo housewares, Drew finds his inspiration in modern furniture designs. In fact, the Bambu Lounger’s design comes from Drew’s desk chair, in particular, its canvas seat bottom.
Pet Lounge Studios Product Line
Diner and Lounger
Additional product is in the offing this year
“I like to take an established look and change it here and there to create an entirely new design without abandoning the original concept,” he said. “I also look to Scandinavian design with its clean, simplistic lines that let the natural beauty of the wood come through.”
While Pet Lounge Studio’s current product line obviously reflects Northern European design sensibilities, Drew isn’t limiting himself or the company to one set look. Future product, while not a dramatic departure from the Bambu Collection, will certainly stand apart.
“The new pieces are more transitional in nature, inspired by every-day furniture,” he explained. “We also are bringing a hammock to market that is very tropical in look, yet with a modern theme.”
Currently, high-end boutiques are the primary sellers of Pet Lounge Studio products. The company ensures its eco-chic message stays on target by offering its retailers product training as well as a benefits-explanation display. In the near future, the Bambu Collection will also be available from G.W. Little, the catalog company for all things small-dog related.
There are more products planned, however, even though the company is doing very well, it makes sense to take things slowly given the current economic climate.
“I have a lot of designs in the pipeline, but we’ve been hesitant to introduce too many too soon in this economy,” Drew said. “We’re taking longer to get product out than we normally would.”
When that product finally arrives, you can rest assured it will be the epitome of eco-chic style: green and beautifully designed. <HOME>
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