I have stated my carrier in fashion working as a designer for international fashion brands, when my own dog John, a black lab brought me to designing dog accessories. There were hardy any products on the market that I could relate to in terms of design and quality that I got inspired designing my own products.
Cloud7 was founded in Berlin and has now moved office to the country side just outside the city. We now employ 8 people who luckily all share their love for design with their love for dogs. Meanwhile we have seven dogs appearing at work every day who, next to enjoying themselves, are also running our the product testing department.
Designs always follows a purpose. The shapes usually just come naturally from the demands that are applied to them. In our case we just want to give the dogs the best possible product he needs and also try to respond to the taste of the sophisticated dog owner.
In the end it's a feeling of relief seeing that all elements have come together. The initial design idea comes mostly pretty quick, but the entire finishing process can be quite complex and challenging.
When we started we were focussing on the interior market, showcasing at international interior fairs in Frankfurt and Paris. We never really saw our brand as a pet brand but recently we went to the biggest pet fair in Nuremberg to showcase our work. Although it went really well for us, we still felt a bit like an outsider, because the culture of most designs in the pet world still seems to be stuck in with the old idea of the pampered pet.
I don't really sit down designing. Most designs just come naturally when you are not really pushing for them. They can come anywhere, but it needs the office and the team to make them work out in the end.
Just very simple and beautiful things I collected when I have been travelling. A beautiful stone I found at the beach at the baltic sea, a lovely handmade vase from Brasil, a touching drawing from a painter in upstate New York, two wonderful lamps from some local designers from Mallorca, a huge wooden board with stencils from the artists Faile that I found in the streets of Amsterdam and a few products from genius Braun designer Dieter Rams.
Taking the dogs out into the woods three times a day, in between team meetings, sitting with the design and production team, chats withs retailers and manufacturers finishing it with a shared bottle of wine.
Mostly the initial design idea is coming from me. We then involve our design and production team to research materials and manufacturers and work on all the details that will make a design unique and special.
We are working on about 20 new designs for basically all categories, new dog beds, collars & leads, bowls, dog coats. They are all in the finishing process and we hope to be able to bring them to the market very soon.
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