Wondering what souvenirs to buy on your next holiday to Spain? Are you bored of the standard t-shirts and ornaments? Well, a former fashion designer has set up a new business in Marbella producing and selling luxury items for pets.
In her premises on La Ermita industrial estate in Marbella, the final touches are being made to the areas that will be used for painting, drying, fabrics and displays. Katalin zu Windischgraetz, an Austrian princess who has lived in Marbella for more than a decade, is very excited about her new project, ‘Pet Interior’, a factory that creates luxury furniture for dogs.
With experience in haute couture in Europe and after a successful career as a fashion designer in New York, this businesswoman has now taken her career in a different direction and combined two of her greatest passions: dogs and design.
“My love of dogs and of interior design led me to create my first pieces a few years ago. It wasn’t long before pet owners in my social circle asked me to design furniture for their animals, to match the decor of their homes. Demand grew, and as a result I developed the most exclusive and luxurious collection of furniture for pets, for those owners of exclusive houses who appreciate quality above all, combining a high standard of hygiene with absolute comfort for their pet,” she explains.
The business opened its doors with a first catalogue – officially presented on 8 May – that includes beds, sofas, mattresses and toy boxes, all in different styles and characteristics which are adapted for up to 67 different breeds of dog.
“A chihuahua does not have the same needs as a German shepherd,” says the designer. That is why her collection is based on a working study of animal anatomy “backed by vets and ethologists”, from which she has configured a decalogue of materials and designs that are adapted to the wellbeing of the dog. So, the first recommendation she makes to her clients is that they take into account not only the design that goes best with the furniture they have in their home, but also the characteristics of their pet.
“We recommend they choose the size of the furniture by measuring its inside part. It should be at least as long as their dog, measured from the forehead to the base of the tail when viewed in profile,” she says.
Katalin zu Windischgraetz takes care of even the smallest detail. “The dogs must be able to lean back properly to be comfortable and avoid injury through bad posture,” she explains. On that basis, her creations take into account the size of the animal and the backs and sides of the beds are accordingly higher or lower accordingly. The loungers for the living room, whose backs and sides are not upholstered, are high enough to give the dog a good view and prevent dust particles reaching it from the floor.
The princess has no hesitation in confirming that Marbella is the best place to set up a factory such as hers. “The product is aimed at people with high purchasing power and Marbella is a hallmark for luxury throughout the world,” she says. The furniture for pets, patented and designed by her, will go all over the world although she says that the “most interesting markets” will be the USA, Russia, the UK, France and Germany, and of course Spain. However her catalogue will not be found in veterinary clinics and pet shops, only in top quality interior design establishments and with prices that range from 1,500 to 3,000 euros.
Katalin zu Windischgraetz is proud of the fact that her product is ‘made in Spain’. Her creations are designed in her factory in Marbella. Three Andalusian carpenters are responsible for giving shape to her ideas, and once this is done the furniture returns to the Costa del Sol for the painting and sewing phases of the process.