Purrniture: Furniture For Your Feline

Photo courtesy of Randy Stern
Photo courtesy of Randy Stern

When your cat rules the roost, you have to find ways to not only make them comfortable and let them be themselves. However, you have to protect what you have at your home. The scratches on your couch, the hair on the upholstery…you get the idea.

For years, the solution to keeping your cat happy at home is to give them their own furniture. They range from a simple item that they can play and relax in, something of its own ecosystem that stretches their physical fitness and provides a territory towering over your living space.

Photo courtesy of Randy Stern

Since 1991, Purrniture in Saint Paul established themselves as a purveyor of solid, sturdy, and well thought out, designed, and built furniture for your felines. 

The idea came from Darryl Michaelson’s experience with his own kittens. “In June of 1990,” explained Michaeleson, “I had two kittens (Rufus and Dimitrious) and was looking at cat furniture for them. I realized the market had really cheaply made furniture so thought I would make my own.”

Then, Michaelson got to work. “My approach though was scrounging up a pile of wood and trying to think like a cat in creating something,” explained Michaelson. “The process took the entire weekend, but my cats loved it, and, to me, it felt like I had made it for free.” 

Photo courtesy of Randy Stern

Thirty-two years later, Michaelson turned this creative weekend project out of repurposed wood and carpet remnants into a business. “When I made it a business,” Michaelson explained, “I saw that not all people want a big jungle gym. It was then I made a “line” of Purrniture. From the Basic Pedestal to the Castle Royale with 20 designs in between. Our line of cat furniture should be able to fulfill any of your cat family needs.”

During the first few years of Purrniture, Michaelson was working with his customers to create unique designs. By 1994, Purrniture’s sales brochures began identifying certain pieces with specific names. Michaelson also pointed out that the choice of carpet finishes came from repurposing remnants and “end of rolls” pieces. The carpet is new,” Michaelson further explains, “and in today’s latest fashions but are too small to cover a room. The industry would have to pay to recycle their remnants.”

Photo courtesy of Randy Stern

How are these pieces of furniture made? Michaelson explains that making a piece of Purrniture is “a three step process. First is to build the frame. The frame is only partially put together to allow upholstering. Second is cutting out the carpet pieces. Purrniture’s signature design is the Orbitor.  It takes a 12′ x 5′ piece of carpet to upholster it. That piece of carpet is cut into 17 specifically cut pieces. Then it is upholstered with approximately 1000 staples to bring it into a one piece of carpet appearance again.”

While you can go purchase these pieces of Purrniture directly from their Saint Paul store on University Avenue, you can also get them from Chuck & Don’s stores. “Chuck and Don’s has been a great business to work with,” said Michaelson. “They too started out family owned. C&D buys at a volume discount so they can profit as well but the prices are the same between us.” 

However, there are some challenges for Purrniture. “Distribution is the challenge for this type of product,” explained Michaelson, “which is why I knew from the beginning to open a location of my own.”

Photo courtesy of Randy Stern

When you do buy direct from Purrnuture there are some extra perks that you can enjoy. “I started a Catisfaction Guarantee,” said Michaelson. “It asks that you let 4 weeks pass before it can be returned. Some cats just need more time. Placement is also important – the main room of the house.” The results were beyond phenomenal. As Michaelson pointed out: “In 32 years of business less than 20 pieces have been returned.”

Proven quality furniture that keeps your cat happy and active. You can’t go wrong with Purrniture and their solutions for a cat-happy household. 

Purrniture

2242 University Ave. W., St. Paul, MN
651-642-1946
Showroom open Tuesday through Saturday 9:00 AM-5:00 PM
www.purrniture.com

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