Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Enchanted Forest Modular Collection - Q&A #1 - What's The Difference Between the Enchanted Tree Stump & the Enchanted Stump Tower?

This is a very good question.  The main difference between the 2 designs is the number of exposed upper levels, and available listed options.  With the "Enchanted Tree Stump," there are options to make it 24" diameter and up to 86" tall (7' 2"), and you can also add the tapered bottom, like the "Enchanted Stump Tower" has by default.  However, with the "Enchanted Tree Stump" the 2 highest levels would have one completely circular floor with the half-level "balcony" just under the hole in the top of the stump shape.  With the "Enchanted Stump Tower"  there would be a longer vertical cut in the tube that allows for one open floor and 2 balconies, the lower of which is larger in size with a shape that is like half of a Yin-Yang.  This shape makes it easier for cats to jump up to the lower larger balcony while providing a large surface to sprawl out on.  But, since the tube is 24" diameter, the width of the top-most balcony will be substantially larger than the standard size for the "Enchanted Tree Stump", which is 16" diameter.

I'm actually thinking about modifying the listing for the "Enchanted Stump Tower" to allow customers to choose how many fully enclosed levels they will have versus the number of exposed balcony levels.  We both know that cats love to climb and jump to high elevations, and some cats prefer not to be in enclosed spaces, while others enjoy the privacy and quietness of enclosed private condos.  Some customers may also prefer to have more exposed balcony levels so they can observe their cats better.  The tubes are 1/4" thick rigid cardboard.  When I make any "Enchanted Stump Tower" the majority of the cut-out will be a half tube, except for the very top where it rounds-out just above the hole.  With the wood for each balcony being attached to the tube with several screws, this will maintain a tremendous amount of strength regardless of how many exposed balcony levels a customer orders.

One more difference between the 2 designs is that the "Enchanted Stump Tower" includes the tapered bottom in the base price, rather than it being an add-on cost to include the taper with the "Enchanted Tree Stump".  The "Enchanted Stump Tower" is only available in the 24" diameter size, whereas the "Enchanted Tree Stump is available in 16", 18", 20" & 24" diameter.

This week, I will be working on making a mold for a 16" diameter tapered trunk bottom.  So, I am now allowing customers to order the taper for 16" & 24" stumps.  Eventually, I will make molds for 18" and 20" diameter tapers, as well.  But, the time and cost to develop these molds is substantial.  So, this has to be done over time.

Lastly, the maximum number of "tree fungus steps" that can be ordered on the "Enchanted Tree Stump" is 5.  With the "Enchanted Stump Tower" the maximum is 7.  If a customer wants to order additional steps on either product design, they can make a request for it.  The cost per step is $40.  Although this may seem pricey, each step added to an order means that I have to cut the carpet on the stump around the profile where the step attaches to the stump.  This is a lot of extra work.  Also, each of the steps is cut from 3 pieces of wood and the parts must be joined together and hardware fitted and installed so that customers can do the assembly themselves.

The good news is that when you order a few modules and include the "Enchanted Forest Canopy Tree" or large "Enchanted Thriving Stump" there is enough room in the shipping crate under tree branches to allow me to ship the either of the stump designs with the tree fungus steps already attached, for the most part.  However, ordering an "Enchanted Forest Canopy Tree" in the 24" diameter size with the taper AND another module with a 24" diameter taper would require a larger pallet.  Each of these large tapered bottoms is about 35" in width.  So, 2 of them side-by-side would be almost 6' wide.

Any way you slice it, the modules are far superior to ordering from the original "Enchanted Forest Kitty Sanctuary" listing.  But, there are options in the sanctuary listing that allow for a single smaller base with whatever elements are desired.  A good example of this is shown in the photos in which a customer ordered a small canopy tree with a small stump next to it on a single smaller base.  This was custom-built to fit a very tight space between a book self and a couch in her apartment.  So, for homes with very limited space, the modules take up too much floor space to be feasible.

To guarantee that all modules will fit together in all 6 rotations and in any order, the modules must all have bases that are completely identical in size and shape.  This can never deviate, or modules would not tile flawlessly together.  I created a stencil for these bases, which was designed in a 3D program and printed out on large paper and transferred to a plastic sheet to make the stencil.  I will always be using this stencil for all modules for as long as I am in business.  So, if you order additional modules 10 years from now, they will fit together perfectly every time with existing modules that you already have.

The wavy hexagon shaped base for any module is about 47" in diameter (point-to-point) - just shy of 4 feet from point-to-point, and about 40" from inner curve to the opposite inner curve.  To place 3 modules in a straight line, as shown in the main photo on the site, the approximate total width is 130", which is 10' 10" (2" shy of 11 feet across, width-wise).  The standard size for a single "static" sanctuary base is about 10' 2".  But, the shipping costs for a huge base of this size would be much higher than a stack of three modular bases vertically placed in the front of the shipping crate.  Also, a "static" sanctuary cannot be broken-up, rearranged, or added to later.

The "Enchanted Forest Modular Collection" is the most versatile cat furniture collection I have ever developed.  As the collection grows with new designs, eventually there will be over 30 available modules in the collection.  Currently, there are 19 of them on the site to choose from.  If you have an idea for a custom module, feel free to go to https://www.hollywoodkittyco.com/for-cats/custom-design-service-cats.html  to have the design created for you in a 3D design program (price includes renders of the 3D design sent to you by email, 2 rounds of revisions to the design, and a free quote to have it built for you).

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Hollywood Kitty Small Animal

Hollywood Kitty Company has been working on creating several designs for hamsters, gerbils, mice, and other rodents.  We are currently developing a unique series called "Hammy-Town".  The concept of the houses is fruits and vegetables and other food items that have been converted into what look like actual houses, with doorways, porches, windows, chimneys, etc.

We are also developing a few different sizes of an interesting hamster exercise climbing tower which are called "Hamster Ribbon Trees".  These designs will probably be the first that we will complete and begin to produce.

Also, we are developing a "Hamster Dollhouse" with 3 interior levels and several cozy rooms for hamsters and other smaller rodents to enjoy.  When completed, the house will disassemble into parts for easy cleaning.  The parts will slide together after cleaning and will require no screws or tools to take apart or put together.  Our aim is to design these products to be very enjoyable for the pets and their pet parents.

To see our "Hammy-Town" designs, please check out https://www.hollywoodkittyco.com/custom

Thanks for reading! 

Friday, May 5, 2017

Back In Los Angeles!

Back in Los Angeles since April of 2017.  We are located in the city of Vernon, near Los Angeles. Thanks for your interest in Hollywood Kitty Company, and we look forward to serving you and your pets!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

The Custom Cat Furniture Revolution!

     Greetings cat lovers! Allow me to introduce myself, and tell you a bit about what I do.  My name is Ken Yuzva, and I am the founder of Hollywood Kitty Company.  For over 14 years, I have been working toward creating what I consider to be "a revolution" in the pet industry.  In 2003, I created a simple, yet profound mission statement: "To design & build the most well-built, unique, and amazing custom cat furniture in the world, and work toward the goal of making these products affordable for almost everyone."
     The last part of this goal is going to be tricky and take a few years to make happen.  So, for now, our products are more costly than most cat furniture out there.  But, more about making our products more affordable later.
     For now, let's get to the things that make Hollywood Kitty Company's hand-made products custom, unique, and well-built.  For starters, we offer the greatest selection of any company in the world, in the category of themed cat furniture products.  All of our products have customizing options on our website, and we offer more carpet colors than any other company.  In addition, if a customer has a special request that is not shown on the order page, they need only ask us for it.  If it is possible to fill the request, we will make every effort to accommodate.
     Now, for the really exciting part.  We offer 100% custom.  And, this is no understatement.  What this means is that if you can imagine it, we will do our best to build it for you.  If you have an idea, sketch, concept, or just a vague notion of wanting something that is unique to you, we can help you to develop the concept or idea into a one-of-a-kind creation that you and your cats will absolutely love, and it will last for years, if not several decades, before needing to be replaced!  The possibilities are almost endless, and we work toward expanding our repertoire of techniques, skills, and equipment to allow for even greater possibilities in the near future.  What's more?  We also build for dogs, and will soon expand to fish, birds, rodents, and reptiles!
     We use only the best materials and craftsmanship to build out products.  We will NEVER use cheap "particle board" (aka "pressed wood") to make platforms, for example.  We use only plywood, and sometimes OSB (oriented strand board), if the budget doesn't allow for the costly plywood.  Our posts are solid pine, rather than hollow cardboard tubes.  And, we use only high-quality plush carpet to cover our products.  To attach carpet, we use a mixture of glue and staples to ensure that our products will last as long as possible.  We don't "cut corners", either.  We go the extra mile to ensure that each and every product we build is a work-of-art that you will want to show off to your guests.  To make our scratch posts, we use thick 3/8" sisal rope. We have developed our own techniques for wrapping and attaching the rope to the wooden posts, making them last for several years without ever coming loose or unraveled.  And, if a part of one of our products needs to be replaced, we can often send you replacement parts that are relatively easy to install.
     Now, regarding making our prices affordable to most pet owners, this will require a lot of time, development, and capital to realize.  I am not a proponent of paying workers minimum wage, as skilled workers deserve far better pay rates.  And, I do not want to outsource to other countries, as "Made in USA" is very important to me.  However, paying employees more money means that the cost of the products must also increase.  So, making the products more affordable will require the use of automation to eliminate much of the labor required to build the products.  This could theoretically allow the products to be built faster, more efficiently, and without flaws.  The goal would be to improve quality, while reducing costs.
     We invite you to see our products for yourself at www.hollywoodkittyco.com.  We guarantee you will be impressed!

More of this post coming soon!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Wrapping Up The Ohio Years

As much as I planned to leave Ohio, and journey back to Los Angeles before the end of March, it seems I may need to push the date back just slightly.  I have 3 projects to complete before I can leave.  And, I haven't even begun to start packing up for the move.  But, come hell or high water, I will be in California within the first week of April!  I keep getting orders from ebay, and I need to keep the customers happy, even though the sales are for small dollar amounts.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Details: #HollywoodKittyAwards #HollywoodKittyOfTheMonth #HollywoodPawsOfFame

Any past or present Hollywood Kitty Customer may enter their cat in our upcoming "Hollywood Kitty Awards" contests.  We are now accepting entries for future contests.  Voting for the "Hollywood Kitty Of The Month" contest goes for the first 28 days of each month, beginning on the 1st of the month at midnight PST, and ending at midnight PST on the 28th day of the month.

The coolest part of the contests is that they will be LIVE on our website for 28 straight days, and voting is open to the entire world!  So, if your cat is in the current contest, all you need to do is to use social media to share a link to the contest page and get your friends to vote for your cat.

Each time a vote is cast, the IP address is recorded, making it impossible to vote a second time that month from the same device.  So, cheating is virtually impossible! With each new vote, the percentages of votes are instantly recalculated and the current polling statistics are displayed on-screen in real time!

Each month, there will be 6 cat "nominees" competing for the title of "Hollywood Kitty Of The Month". The winning cat for that month will automatically be entered in the "Hollywood Kitty Of The Year" contest in January of the following year, in which the 12 "HKOM" winners compete for the grand prize for the "HKOY" contest!

All "nominees" will be commemorated in our upcoming "Hollywood Paws Of Fame" section, along with their awarded honors.  Also, customers may nominate any pet to be featured in our upcoming "Hollywood Paws Of Honor" section.  However, for non-customers, there will be a small fee associated with this online honor.  This fee will cover our time for creating and archiving their pet's "HPOH" entry.

More information about the "Hollywood Kitty Awards" contests coming soon!  If you are a present or past Hollywood Kitty Company customer who is interested in submitting your cat's photos and story for future contests now, please email Ken at hollywood_kitty@msn.com.

In order to have 12 entries for the "HKOY" contest, the 1st "HKOM" contest will officially commence on January 1, 2018, at 12:00 am, PST.

Thank you for your interest, and please check back for information about prizes for the winners and runners-up!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Countdown To California

The date to return to California approaches.  There is much work to do to tie up business in Ohio and make the journey back to Los Angeles.  The goal is to arrive in L.A. by the end of March.  I will write an update if the time needs to be pushed back at all.  But, I will be doing my best not to let that happen.