Simplicity Key To Pinellas Designer's Chic Pet Furniture

For the many cat and dog owners out there who either want to keep their pets in line with their own sense of style, or simply don't want to have to hide the doggie bed in the closet when guests come over, designer Courtney Landry of Seminole has some solutions. Also an entrepreneur, she is ramping up her Lay-Z-Dog business.

With a degree in furniture design from Savannah College of Art and Design and experience designing furniture for St. Pete College, Courtney Landry is making her dream come true, combining two of her favorite things. "I am passionate about furniture, and I am passionate about animals!'' she says.

Landry's spin on dog-and-kitty decor is sophisticated and sleek, yet evidently comfortable as memorialized in photos of her test subjects contentedly snoozing or eating. Her clean, contemporary designs feature colored and clear acrylic frames and a variety of weather-resistant cushion patterns.

Like any self-respecting start-up, her workshop is her garage. There, she masters her set of tools from a butane blowtorch to the radial arm saw for making perfect circles for the food and water bowls to her acrylics-molding line-bender "at least that's what I call it,'' she explains.

Keeping It Simple

Landry is keeping her Lay-Z-Dog business model simple for the time being, offering just four products, plus pet paintings ready-made or custom. She is committed to durability and aesthetic and took her time researching and measuring to get her products just right.  Her business-sense has ensured she has crossed all her t's and dotted her i's in regard to patenting.

Partly inspired by her own special-needs dog, the feeders are elevated, a necessity for some animals. She has feeders and platform beds and a feeder-bed combination, the "Bo Bed,'' named after one of her dogs. The latter, she notes, can benefit animals that have a hard time getting around. Her current designs are suitable for extra small-sized pets (5-15 lbs.) up to small/medium (25-45 lbs.) and she is currently working on a sturdy but fashionable adaptation for large dogs (45-70 lbs.), with plans for extra large, too.

Thus far she has had some success marketing her wares at pet shows and expos such as The Art of Dog at the Morean Arts Center in June, but realizes she needs to promote her web presence and get her products into shops.

"That's the next step,'' she says enthusiastically. "Next week I am visiting the boutiques.''

Kendra Langlie is a freelance writer, communications consultant and cultural enthusiast, based in Tampa. Comments? Contact 83 Degrees.

Read more articles by Kendra Langlie.

Kendra Langlie is a feature writer at 83 Degrees Media in the Tampa Bay region of Florida.
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