Looking at the dozens of stuffed animals around his young daughter’s bedroom years ago made a Burbank man start thinking that there ought to be some way to store and display them other than just tossing them on the floor.
Frank McDonald’s idea has finally been turned into a product. The “Cuddle on Inn” has hit the market, just in time for the Christmas season. It is an attractive and practical solution for managing children’s stuffed animals. The road from idea to actual product, however, has taken a few years.
He built the very first Cuddle on Inn five years ago for his daughter, Kaelin, who is now a freshman at John Burroughs High School. It was basically a doll house that held her stuff animals. McDonald incorporated his love of Victorian houses into the design. When friends would come over and see it in his daughter’s room, they would always ask, “Where can we get one?”
It was no easy task to find a way to manufacture and market the product. “There were a lot of obstacles to overcome,” said McDonald, “But the biggest was finding someone who believed in it like I did.” Fortunately, he found someone looking for an opportunity like this. They did market research, and found that there was nothing like the Cuddle on Inn available. So the product was on its way to being manufactured.
“I fought hard to keep it an attractive piece of furniture,” said McDonald. But the Cuddle on Inn is more than just a piece of furniture. Children can use it for play, as well as storing their stuffed animals inside it. “It’s an addition to a little girl’s room that will make memories,” added McDonald.
It isn’t some cheap plastic thing, either. The Cuddle on Inn is made out of wood. And most importantly, it is easy to assemble. It easily attaches to a bedroom wall or corner, and can hold 40-50 medium-sized stuffed animals. It is currently available on Amazon.com, with a special introductory price of $79.
Right now it only comes in the Victorian House design. McDoanld’s son, Connor, a student at Thomas Edison Elementary School, also wanted one. So now, he is working on a model for boys that will look like a firehouse. There is a castle model in development, too. For more information on the Cuddle on Inn, check it out on Facebook, or their web site, www.cuddleoninn.com