Li Si’en and Guerrand Lai Jiemin, or En and Rand as they prefer to be called, have always had a passion for cats. Hailing from Singapore, the two met in school. Even as children, their love for felines was apparent and it eventually brought them together. The happily married couple now design home interiors to accommodate the needs and happiness of their furry friends.
The idea came about when they rescued two cats, Dora and Boots. Rand says they want to give cats and cat lovers the best of what they need for a happy home.
“We just want to share our love for cats with other people by doing this… Cats, too, deserve a happy home,” says Rand.
It’s only been three months since they started J.EN & C.RANDdesigns, but En and Rand have already received several orders for custom-made designs for cat-friendly homes.
So, how do they know what the kitties would like or not? Simply through research.
“We choose warm colours; happy tones. But that’s just us. Some customers prefer a more Zen style, some even request glass catwalks. What our customers, want we try to accommodate,” quips the duo.
Rand adds that all their knowledge of cats is based on previous experience, articles, documentaries and the like.
According to En and Rand, their love for cats suits a niche market of customers who are looking to design suitable homes for their cats, and who prefer designers who love and understand them [the pets] as well. Designs are done to suit the characteristics of the cats in the house.
“We had a client whose cat is a sprayer (pees all over). So, we had to take that into consideration, apart from ensuring that the [furniture] lasts long,” explains Rand.
The couple also designs fittings for dogs on request. En recalls a particular client who has a dog with short legs and wanted to custom-make a bed.
“We made a bed for the dog with a platform step so that it would be easy for it to get on and off,” she says.
Currently, En and Rand are focusing on customers in Singapore as both are juggling full-time jobs.
“We would love to expand to other countries and we do get calls from people abroad requesting for designs for them, but it’s rather hard as both of us are working. Distance is also a factor,” En explains.
They do, however, plan to test the waters in Singapore and hope to mass-produce furniture products for cats.
“We are looking into designing some products that can be folded and packed, like an IKEA product but for cats. Who knows, perhaps we will venture into products for dogs and other pets, too,” they say.
En and Rand can be reached at [email protected].
This article first appeared in The Edge Property, the property pullout of The Edge Financial Daily, on May 15, 2015. Read the full pullout here.
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