Though China’s birth rate is declining, the rate of pet ownership continues to climb. According to Statista, China’s pets market is expected to hit $37.8 billion by 2022. That surge has enticed many young Chinese entrepreneurs to capitalize on the uptrend, including two young Taobao merchants who blend couture and comfort in their products for man’s furry friends. Their products will be featured at this year’s Taobao Maker Festival.
When you ask Furry Tail how many staffers there are at the company, the answer is 19–six humans and 13 cats. With an average age of 30, the team of this high-end maker of cat furniture (see photo above) fully understands what young Chinese pet owners like and how to create pieces that celebrate cats and home décor at the same time.
“Our cat furniture is intricately made, both in function and in artistic value,” said Candice Xia, one of Furry Tail’s cofounders, which has been selling on Taobao since July last year. Based in Hangzhou, Furry Tail’s monochrome and minimalist designs have also sparked a following overseas.
Xia said the product concepts are mostly inspired by the team members’ daily interactions with their own feline family members. By observing their cats, the designers get ideas on how to craft products that can maximize the comfort level for cats and make the owner’s home more aesthetically pleasing.
This is Furry Tail’s first time participating in the Taobao Maker Festival. In June, Furry Tail also exhibited at Interzoo, the world’s leading fair for pet supplies, held in Nuremberg.
ANA & LUCKY
They say dogs are man’s best friend, but for Ana Wang, 25, her four-and-half year old golden retriever, Lucky, is her family, muse and model for her dog clothing and fashion store. Hailing from Nanjing, the human-dog duo has been a hit on Taobao since its namesake store opened in December 2017. Ana said all of her designs and choices of fabric for her outfits centered on one thing only: how to ensure the comfort of the dog.
“I’ve always liked wearing the same clothes as my dog, but when I got Lucky, I realized the fashion selection for big dogs is quite scarce, and that motivated me to start my own brand,” she said.
Her priority is to not only make sure her doggy customers look good, but feel great, too. On her online shop on Taobao, customers can buy for-dogs-only clothes or matching outfits with their paw pals.
For Lucky, being with Ana has been a quite a journey, both literally and figuratively. The pair has traveled all around China, and he was her study buddy when she studied Spanish for a year in Mexico. His next stop: the Taobao Maker Festival in Hangzhou.