Behind the Brand
Behind the Brand: CLOUD 7
Copy: Serena Faber Nelson
Photography: Hanna Skoog
Pet lifestyle expert Serena Faber-Nelson is the founder of Pretty Fluffy. A contributor to Everyday with Rachael Ray, Modern Dog Magazine, Cesars Way and more; her modern, stylized take on DIY dog treats has seen her recipes viewed millions of times over.
Serena is the author of the go-to dog mom bible, Dog Mama, and the popular dog treat recipe book, Healthy Homemade Dog Treats.
To say today’s feature is amazing is an complete understatement.
Here at Pretty Fluffy, our aim is for you and your dogs to live your best possible lives. To live freely, enjoying each and every day. We’re always about quality, not quantity; design not dazzle.
That’s why, when we come across a brand such as Cloud 7, we want to know everything. How they started, where they came from, and what led them to being such an iconic brand for modern pet owners.
In just 3 short years, Cloud 7 has become a brand to watch – known for their luxe designs, thoughtful details and inspired product lines.
Join me as we take a sneak peek behind their doors.
BEHIND THE BRAND
Name: Petra Jungebluth
Title & Company: Founder, Designer of Cloud 7
Age: Between young and old.
For many top pet brands, the road to success leads down a number of avenues before the final destination. What was your first job?
Before I began studying Fashion Design, I was doing all kind of funny things to be able to pay my rent. Next to being a waitress in various restaurants and bars, the job I really liked the most was my year working at a small independent gas station. I was wearing a funky and shiny red dungaree and was filling up gas, checking oil and stuff. I got quite popular there especially with the truck drivers.
Cloud 7 burst onto the scene in 2011. Tell us about the evolution of the company.
I kind of stumbled into it by coincidence. After many years working abroad in fashion, I returned to Germany, moving to Berlin and felt it was time to start something new. Next to planning on my own fashion line, I began to design some dog products for my own dog.
I wanted something that looks simple, straightforward and with a nice home interior look, instead of the mostly very decorative and “cute” style that has been around on the market.
Having a small collection of prototypes together after a while, we took the step to exhibit at an international Interior Fair. We got the smallest booth on the fair, just next to the loo, but in the end we had nice list of first clients together. And that gave us the confidence to move on and get serious.
With your attention to detail and quality Cloud 7 is a breath of fresh air to the pet accessories market! What inspired the brand?
Dogs and Fashion have always been central parts of my life. Being able to combine the two has just become a perfect match for me. On one hand the necessary functional side of offering the dog a perfect product that suits his needs and physics in combination with the pure yet twisted aesthetic and look I always admired in fashion brands like Jil Sander, Martin Margiela or Veronique Branquinho, to name a few.
Nearly all pet brands have a ‘dog muse’ behind them. Who is the canine influence behind Cloud 7?
His name is Johan, a black Labrador. My “black shadow” for the past twelve years now and pre-tester of all Cloud 7 products. The only thing he doesn’t agree on is the sizes of our bowls. He thinks we should do an extra XXL-size.
Running a business involves fast decisions and a lot of ‘plugged in’ time. Where do you go for inspiration?
Well, we have our office in the center of Berlin, which as a city itself is a great inspiration for all cultural things, and we are living in the countryside just outside Berlin, surrounded by the most beautiful nature, woods, lakes and animals. I think it is this combination of the buzz and the calmness that gets me going.
Cloud 7’s philosophy is based on the core principles of eco-friendliness and fair trade. How do you incorporate these values?
Every brand also has a responsibility. To its consumers as to the people producing the products. So our company rules simply are: fair production, fair payments, untreated pesticide free fabrics. All our production partners are based nearby and we know the handshake of everyone involved.
Your range is known for its luxury and innovation. Who is the Cloud 7 customer?
Luxury is quite an ambivalent word and especially in combination with dogs it quickly gets an uncomfortable tone. Many people automatically think of the typical Paris Hilton kind of spoiled lapdog style. I think our customers mainly credit the quality of the products and that we are actually cutting out anything that refers to “cheesy” or kitsch in the design.
Do you have a pet friendly workplace?
Everyone who works at the office actually has a dog and brings them to work. Apart from them constantly stealing toys from the shelves and scaring every courier ringing the doorbell with a euphoric polyphonic bark things are go quite smoothly.
What’s the best thing about your job?
Dogs are such nice and wonderful topic. Coming from a sometimes little bitchy fashion background this is just filled with positive vibes and leads to very warm and friendly relations to our customers and retail partners.
What has been the highlight for Cloud 7 to date?
Right now we are very proud of our new collaboration with cool luxury travel accessories brand TUMI, who had asked us to exclusively design a Dog Travel Collection for them. It is a range of special products for the global traveller, who wants to travel with his dog. The CLOUD 7 for TUMI collection contains a high class Flight Carrier, a Travel Bed and a portable bowl for being en route and has just launched globally.
For so many people considering starting a pet related business, the first steps can be the hardest. What is the biggest lesson you’ve learnt in running a business and developing a brand?
You start building up a lot of responsibility for many people, who directly or indirectly become part of what you do and what decisions you make.
What do you look for in a good pet brand or product?
That it has its own design language and doesn’t compromise in quality.
There’s so much to choose from in terms of dog products available in store and online these days. What advice would you give dog owners look for in a good pet brand or product?
First ask your dog then ask yourself.
How do you see the pet industry evolving in the coming years?
The dog’s role in people’s life has been changing. With the changing standards in traditional family structures in modern societies the dog is evolving to a social partner seen with respect and responsibility. This finds its expression in a demand for better products, in food and accessories.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to create their own pet brand?
Find your own style.
What does the future hold for Cloud 7?
Moving on with new designs and categories and hopefully finding great new retail partners in locations where are not yet available.
There are so many beautiful pieces in your current range. What are your top picks from the latest CLOUD 7 collection?
FOLLOW CLOUD 7
Copy: Serena Faber Nelson
Photography: Hanna Skoog