Tuft and Paw's Jackson Cunningham on developing thoughtful furniture for cats

May 13, 2024
Emmy Liederman
Share this article
Sponsored

Jackson Cunningham has always likes animals, but he never really considered himself a cat person.

But his partner is cat obsessed. And when they moved into their new apartment in Vancouver they found that options for cat furniture outside of the typical litter box or scratching post were fairly limited.

"It just felt really janky having this ugly plush .. scratching posts.," said Cunningham. "And it just seemed really surprising that there was no other options out there. That was kind of the starting point to say 'hey, let's start this little small business.' And it was kind of almost a joke when people would ask about it. Like, you're doing cat furniture. Like, that's funny. That's so niche."

While it may be niche, it's also desirable, and Cunninghan's company, Tuft and Paw, is seeing great success.

Cunningham spends more budget on product development and cat behaviorists than he does marketing, and it's paying off.

"If somebody wants a Tuft and Paw product, they can't find that product anywhere else. It's not anywhere else and it would be a big investment for another company to start offering that product," said Cunningham. "That's where we've leaned into from the beginning, is having our own distinct stuff, and I think that investment is starting to pay off."

And Cunningham is already starting to pivot from say an $800 cat tree that looks like it belongs in a museum, to offering more affordable items, and even getting into the cat litter market.

"We started with the approach of really high end beautiful stuff for people who could afford to pay more, but we're definitely shifting to more attainable products for the masses,"  he said.

Listen to the full interview with Cunningham above and learn more about Tuft and Paw.

This week
Creator Mya Pol on what real accessibility looks like
June 20, 2024
Emmy Liederman
Filling in for product wait time, here's how this gaming brand maintains fan engagement
June 13, 2024
Emmy Liederman
Keith Lee makes restaurants go viral—now Microsoft is helping him address what comes next
June 10, 2024
Emmy Liederman
Want more insights?

Join thousands of brands who already subscribe to the BANKNOTES newsletter

Thank you! You've been added.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

related articles

January 10, 2023
How Nibble and its AI-powered chat is impacting eCommerce
It is uncommon to find an AI-powered chat experience that is willing to negotiate with customers, and do so with ... well ... with some personality. That's exactly what Nibble provides. Rosier Bailey, Nibble's president and CEO, chatted with the DTC Growth Show about Nibble and its potential uses across eCommerce.
November 21, 2022
Erica Werber, CEO of Literie Candles, on the explosion of the candle industry
Literie was originally launched as a pandemic hobby and love letter to NYC. With help sampling scent profiles with her kids as they were learning remotely and with an order of 2000 candles, founder Erica Werber thought she would just sell the candles mostly to friends, and then return to her normal career.
November 7, 2022
FlavorCloud's Mike Sanchez on the business of leading
As the Chief Revenue Officer at FlavorCloud, Mike Sanchez has had 17 years of experience driving partner, sales, and customer success.