We Love: The Lounging Hound
If living a dog’s life turned out to be lounging on a sofa with a soft, plush Sofa Topper from The Lounging Hound, then Storytellhers wouldn’t complain. Natalie Mohacs has put hounds’ comfort at the centre of her business, designing high quality Beds, Throws, Sofa Toppers, Travel Rolls and Boot Toppers for our four-legged friends. She spoke to us about her products, how she came up with her niche business idea and why she has to remind herself to enjoy its success.
We always had dogs growing up. My mum has two rescue greyhounds that - despite their breed - are total couch potatoes and are most often found sleeping with their legs in the air! Throws to protect the sofa were slung off the side and one day I thought there had to be something better – the idea for a Sofa Topper was born.
The Toppers are unique in the pet marketplace and are our best selling product. The beauty of them is that they stay looking and feeling great despite muddy paws and grubby fur. The fabrics are stain and water-resistant (any marks can be easily wiped off with a damp cloth) and fur can be removed with a quick shake or brush. We offer 20 different colours in three different fabrics, and they look and feel good enough for guests to sit on.
You could be matchy-matchy with your sofa, but I think it looks best when you contrast. In my own home, I have a grey sofa with a turmeric topper and it looks amazing. They come in wool, plush velvet and lustre velvet with a slight sheen. Velvet is a really practical fabric; it doesn’t show the dirt because it has a slight pile to it and it’s really easy to clean.
Our Boot Toppers are like interior design for the back of your car: wools and velvets with a waterproof reverse and soft filling, so that your dog has a comfortable ride and you have something nice to look at when you open your boot!
Our Beds are made using wool from Abraham Moon & Sons – established in 1837 it’s one of the most traditional mills in the UK (all our products are made in the UK as well as many of our fabrics). Because the wool fabric is completely made in-house - all the way from the yarn to the finished product – the quality is incredible. The Beds are distinctive and traditional but also look great in a contemporary setting. People might be horrified by the price tag, but this is a luxury fabric that’s so durable you’ll only need to buy once.
Our velvet beds are created using a gorgeous fabric called Animalia by the artist Emma J Shipley. The designs feature magical and mystical creatures all delicately hand-drawn in vibrant colours. These Beds aren’t for big dogs with muddy paws – these are for lap dogs sitting in beautiful homes.
Our Travel Rolls are portable beds that tie up with a ribbon. You can take them to the pub, to a friend’s house or a holiday cottage. They look very pretty rolled up in the corner of a home and can be thrown in the washing machine, so are super practical too.
I started my business in 2015 from the kitchen table and if I knew the pitfalls and struggles ahead I might never have dipped a toe in the water! I find that as a female entrepreneur and mum of two (Oscar, 9 and Lily, 12) that to complete a task and not be interrupted is a real challenge that women face. We want to be productive in our work, but we are still the go-to person at home.
I’ve come to realise that I have to enjoy the journey rather than focus on the destination. Our online business is growing and we’re about to launch with a major UK retailer. I’ve achieved a lot in just three years and I have lots of ideas for the future – after all, we can sell to every other country that has dogs! When you work for yourself you don’t get the positive reinforcements you might get beside the water cooler and it’s easy to forget to congratulate yourself. The fact that I have a growing business gives me a great sense of pride – it’s important to reflect on what we’ve achieved so far!
To see the full range – or order something bespoke – visit www.thelounginghound.com