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2 UBC grads launch pawsitively unique business: Dog beds for people

TikTok, Kickstarter helps launch Plufl,a dog bed that alleviates stress and anxiety in people

“Why shouldn’t there be a dog bed for people?”

That’s the question Noah Silverman asked himself while working at a coffee shop at the University of British Columbia campus.

Silverman and his best friend, Yuki Kinoshita, are on the brink of graduating in economics. They are also co-founders of a growing business, inspired by a Great Dane and napping, called Plufl.

Silverman said in a news release Thursday (May 26) that the idea was inspired after seeing his boss’ Great Dane lazing in a custom-made, extra-large dog bed.

“It just looked so comfortable and cozy,” he said.

Both full-time students, juggling work and school, Silverman and Kinoshita described themselves as avid nappers.

“We just felt there had to be a better napping solution,” said Kinoshita. “Even when I’m working at home, I don’t necessarily want to go to bed because that’s where I go for long-term sleep.”

So the pair came up with a solution and invented Plufl, an oval-shaped human-sized dog bed that naturally puts one in a fetal position.

“The ability to tuck your hands and feet under the border actually creates a very soothing experience, similar to that of a weighted blanket,” said Silverman, adding that the name of their product, inspired by a friend, is a combination of the words “plush” and “fluffy.”

Initially, Silverman was a skeptic, questioning if the product would be even remotely successful. But after releasing a promotional video about Plufl on TikTok, the faux fur bed garnered millions of views and additionally raised $400,000 with a Kickstarter campaign.

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“We get messages every day from people reaching out saying they’ve been searching forever to find a product like this,” said Silverman. “A mother from the U.K. emailed us last night saying ‘I need this for my nursery.’ It literally has been an outpouring of necessity for a human dog bed, which is kind of funny.”

Silverman and Kinoshita are currently working on manufacturing the first batch of 800 Plufl orders for shipment. They have also enlisted the help of a designer to create an even plusher, fluffier version of the Plufl with orthopedic and memory foam.

Additional napping products, such as pillows and blankets are also in the works.

“We believe the napping industry is really unexplored and completely untapped,” said Silverman. “You’ll be really hard-pressed to find companies that market and design products solely for napping, despite the fact that, I’ve read a figure that one-third of all Americans enjoy napping.”

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