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A shop that’s gone to the dogs

See Spot sleep in his custom bed. See Spot eat at his mahogany feeder. See Spot banished to his raised-panel crate.

Brenda and Randy Malm cater to canines and other pampered pets.

Randy and Brenda Malm have created a woodworking business, Classic Pet Beds in Woodstock, Maine, that caters to pampered pets. And it all started after Randy made a couple of extra bed posts.

“I started Malm Woodturnings in the early ’80s while working for a high-end furniture company, which eventually evolved into Classic Pet Beds in 2005,” Malm says. “I had some extra posts leftover from a trundle bed project, so I built a bed for the two cats I had at the time. That was around 1993. A friend of mine suggested I get into selling them because people are crazy enough with their animals and he knew I’d do well.

“In the fall of ’98, I got my cat bed on the market. It was months before Christmas and I had put an ad in a couple of cat magazines (“Cat Fancy” and “Cats and Kittens”) and it basically took off. I had about 250 orders for the beds after the ad ran for about two or three months. But the ads were very costly and demand went way down after the holidays. Still, every now and then I’d get an order from a little old lady who’d kept the magazine and finally called.”

Top-selling products include pet dish stands and crates.
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In 2005, Brenda suggested he get back into the business because of how people dote over their animals. Before long, he was busy filling orders for crates, feeders, memorial items and other custom requests.

“We ship everywhere. We work with 38 different companies, including e-stores, big corporations such as Orvis and Amazon. We also serve a good number of mom-and-pop pet shops around the country,” Malm says.

Randy and Brenda do most of the woodworking, with help from an Intorex CNC lathe. Pieces are finished with polyurethane or a water-based stain. A local seamstress hand-stiches the bedding and other upholstered items. Prices vary, but a dog crate will generally fetch about $600.

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This article originally appeared in the August 2015 issue.

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