Having a cat is tons of fun, but having to put up with clunky cat beds is not. So we’re kind of obsessed with the designs from Meyou Paris. The people behind this company have created a line of cat beds that are making us all purr with contentment, and we got to interview them!
Meyou Paris’ current collection is on Kickstarter, so we had a few questions about why they chose to crowdfund their idea, as well as a few other questions about cats. Because… cats.
We’ve seen a lot of cat beds but nothing that garnered so much attention as the Meyou cat bed. Are you surprised by how popular your design is with cat lovers?
We were confident we were onto something, but founding the project in 9 days was not really something we expected.
To crowdfund was a very strategic choice. Since the beginning, we knew that we wanted to do a Kickstarter campaign (even if Kickstarter didn’t allow French projects at that time). We wanted to have a feedback from cat lovers. We always said that if we didn’t get the necessary funding we would give up because it would mean that people are not interested in the concept. This feedback really means a lot to us and we are glad that it is so positive.
What led up to you creating this cocoon cat bed? Was there a lot of research involved?
The idea came from a TV report I watched about dictators. Some designers had created scratching pads with effigies of Putin or Kim Jong-Un. They had succeeded in mocking the political regime and creating a rather successful buzz. This documentary triggered awareness about the fact that cat accessories have never been considered on a design level.
Before starting to design our products, we did 3 months of research to understand a cat’s behavior, but also to find out what other companies were doing or what cat lovers were expecting. We identified a benchmark, did a mood-board and when we finally had Meyou’s DNA, then we started designing our cat beds.
Do you have cats of your own who could test out the beds as you designed them?
We only have one, Lee, a Chartreux female. She’s our mascot, she tries all our products. And as she’s still a kitten, she’s really testing them without any reserve!
But as we didn’t have her when we started this adventure, I worked with a French association called “Prête-moi ton chat” and hosted several cats at my home to make them test our products. Therefore, I received all kinds of cats, some very shy, some others very curious, and we had the opportunity to understand what was working and what we had to improve.
Can you tell us a little bit about Meyou’s social ethos?
I was really committed to include a social ethos in our project. I had heard about establishments dedicated to rehabilitate people with disabilities through work and I went to meet them.
Igor Jamin, the manager of one of those establishments, understood our needs and constraints right away. He allowed me to meet with his team of disabled workers, as well as to do a few work sessions in their workshop. Working with such establishments require more availability and more explaining, but in the end, it’s a real pleasure. They are very enthusiastic and very curious too. We are delighted to have them craft our products.
Your designer cat beds are currently on Kickstarter — can you tell us about the perks you’ve offering if people pledge to your campaign?
By pledging on Kickstarter, people can benefit from big discounts (up to 46% off). It is our way to thank them to their support!! By pre-ordering our products, they give us a chance to launch our company. So we thought we would offer our best prices!
Does Meyou have other designed in the works?
We do have other projects, and in fact people keep asking us to work on other cat products. It is very exciting to see that people are responsive to our projects and designs and that they keep asking for more. They have asked us to work on litter boxes, cat trees and scratchers. We already have 2 concepts ready for a litter box and a cat tree, but we were missing the funds we needed to develop them. As we already reached our first goal, we are adding stretch goals to potentially be able to develop these new products.
Exciting stuff! The Meyou cat furniture Kickstarter campaign is ending November 5th so get in quick to have your own classy cat furniture at home! And be sure to follow all the latest from Meyou on Facebook, here.