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Tuft and Paw – a modern pet furniture brand that focuses on more thoughtful and beautiful designs

Please introduce yourself and your startup Tuft and Paw to our readers!

My name is Jackson and I’m the founder of Tuft and Paw – a modern pet furniture brand that focuses on solving cat (and cat owner) problems through better design. 

How did you get the idea of Tuft and Paw?

My partner and I rescued our cat (“Peppers”) in 2015 and were appalled at the options for cat furniture. We live in a small apartment in an expensive city, so we didn’t want to add junky looking furniture in our home. We love cats and good design so it seemed like a good idea.

Why did you decide to start with Tuft and Paw?

I love cats and I love solving problems that I feel are being neglected. The pet furniture industry has been stagnant for decades and I really felt like we could bring a fresh perspective on the design and engineering side.

What is the vision behind Tuft and Paw?

To solve interesting problems in the pet space. This can be as simple as designing better products, or more complex like how to make the pet shopping experience better (no one likes shopping in big box pet stores).

How difficult was the start and which challenges you had to overcome?

Initially it was very difficult. I was working a full time job for the first 2 years to support myself and working on Tuft and Paw on the side. The biggest challenge is manufacturing new products – there are so many variables and decisions to make, so many stages where things can and do go wrong. But you just have to perservere – it’s like going to the gym, you just need to go every day and expect there will be new problems or “challenges”  to solve.

Who is your target audience?

Anyone who has a cat! So far it has been mostly people who live in cities because they tend to live in smaller spaces and thus more particular about the objects they put into their home.

What is the USP of your startup?

More thoughtful and beautiful designs

Can you describe your typical workday ?

I wake up and go rock climbing first thing in the morning to get some good energy going. Then I come back and hang out with my cat while having a coffee and answering important emails. Then I go into our office/workshop to meet with our marketing and engineering team to go over the week’s work. I have an ongoing Trello board with all the most important tasks and try to prioritize so I get the most important ones done as early as possible. I usually finish my day by answering emails (which I only do once per day unless it’s a very important email). My emails don’t even get delivered to my inbox unless I visit a special website to release them.

Where do you see yourself and your startup Tuft and Paw in five years?

I want Tuft and Paw to be a recognizable brand to majority of pet owners. I’d love to have a handful of iconic pet products (we’re releasing a brand new beautiful litterbox on January 14th). And finally, I’d love to help reduce the number of cats that are euthanized each year in the US (over 1M per year).

What 3 tips would you give to founders?

Just get started – you will never be fully prepared and you will learn the most by doing.

Choose something you find interesting. Lots of new entrepreneurs get caught up in trying to think of a “good idea” despite their interests. But once the highs of starting a new business wear off, it will become a grind to work on something you don’t care about.

Validate your idea before you invest too much – how can you prove it’s a good idea before putting all the work in? For tuft and paw, we tried selling a few items on craigslist and made a sale in the first day. That proved to us it was something people would pay for.

Crowdfunding Kickstarter

More information you will find here

Thank you Jackson for the Interview

Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.

Sabine Elsässer

Sabine Elsässer is founder and chief editor of the StartupValleyNews Magazine. She started her career at several international direct sale companys. Since 2007 she works main time as a journalist. While that time she learned more about the Startup Scene, what made her start her own Startup Magazine the StartupValleyNews.

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