Made in Maryland: Kuranda Beds take off
Hard times for Mike Harding led to dogs around the world resting comfortably.
Harding got laid off from his Wall Street firm in 1987, and it was that setback that led him to start his own company — Kuranda Dog Beds in Glen Burnie, The Capital in Annapolis reported yesterday.
Quickly becoming an industry standard, and a fixture at kennels and shelters, the chew resistant, elevated cots are sold out of small office near BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport — about 30,000 of them a year.
Harding says he never expected the dog bed to make a profit. Instead, he had higher hopes for another product — a roller that absorbs water from tennis courts and ball fields, called the Super Sopper. It never took off.
But Kurunda beds have since 1993 when Harding’s friend and investor, Paul Connolly, took the bed to a local kennel to gauge interest. The interest was there but the bed — the prototype was round — took up to much space.
That sent Harding back to the drawing board, where he came up with a new rectangular model.
“We immediately started making sales to boarding kennels, breeders, and hunters,” Harding said.
Since then, the bed has continued to evolve, and draw praise from kennels and shelters who need durable beds that stand up to high pressure washing.
All of the beds come out of the Glen Burnie building, where employees assemble the kits that are shipped to customers from Texas to Hong Kong.
In 2005, Connolly came up with the company’s “Donate a Bed” program, which allows anyone to use Kurunda’s website to buy a bed at wholesale and then donate it to a shelter. Forty of the donated beds recently went to Iraq for the dogs used by the military to sniff out explosives.
Posted by John Woestendiek February 17th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bed, breeders, dog beds, dogs, donate a bed, glen burnie, iraq, kennels, kurunda, kurunda beds, kurunda dog beds, maryland, mike harding, pets, shelters