Lithuanian furniture brand Pušku pušku: inspired by clouds
It takes a bold idea to get noticed in the international furniture market: infinite customisation, green consciousness and playfulness are major hallmarks of the times. All of these are combined in the business strategy of Lithuanian brand Pušku pušku (pronounced ‘push-koo push-koo’). The company has embraced modern ideas to reimagine the concept of the bean bag. And it has done so successfully – the company is the largest soft furniture manufacturer in Northern Europe, with legions of fans for its cloud-inspired furniture in variuos countries, including Germany – where the company sells one-fifth of its production.
The story began with a single bean bag
The company offers more than 1,500 different bean bags and accessories, with a wide range of models, colours and fabrics to choose from. Pušku pušku has been bringing joy in the form of bean bags for more than a decade now.
“In 2008, I wanted a bean bag for my new home. But there weren’t any good options, so I just decided to make one,” smiles Pušku pušku CEO and creator, Remigijus Balčiūnas. “I found a sewing shop and some good people, who helped me with the mechanics – and Voilà! The bean bag of my dreams was born.”
“After going to so much trouble, I started to wonder if other people might have similar cravings. They did,” Remigijus adds. “I knew there was a demand for quality bean bags in the world, but it took time, persistence, and some luck for Pušku pušku to get into international bean bag waters.” Today, the company exports almost two-thirds of its production, which proudly bears the tag ‘Made in Lithuania’.
Aside from its flexibility and customer care, Pušku pušku focuses on sustainability: the brand offers natural fabric options, as well as materials made from recycled plastic bottles. It also aims to minimise leftover fabric waste by recycling it and using it as a bag filler instead of traditional beans or foam flakes.
Germany is the right place to unleash creativity
With a fresh approach to the production of bean bags, Pušku pušku looked for opportunities to expand, and entered the German market in 2012. “We were very excited to get into the German market, which could be best described as tough, but fair,” says Remigijus. According to him, customers in Germany are looking for a flexible approach towards custom-made designs, colour and texture choices, and are especially concerned with quality and individuality of their furniture.
“In a way, it frees us up too – we can be more creative with our designs, sourcing one-of-a-kind materials and offering individual custom care,” says the company’s CEO, adding that these days, Pušku pušku sells almost 20 per cent of its production to Germany.
While the recent pandemic presented challenges, it also brought new possibilities: before it hit, most furniture sales occurred through showrooms and wholesale agents. Quarantine restrictions changed all that, and Pušku pušku decided to switch gears. The company’s website, which had been under development for two years, was finished in one week during lockdown, new designs were brought to life – and orders began to pour in.
“It took us years of hard work to get where we are now, but I wouldn’t change any of it,” says Remigijus. “Because I believe in the philosophy of simple happiness: it’s all about the ability to find joy in your everyday life.”. And let’s face it: it’s almost impossible to be grumpy when you’re relaxing on a cloud in the middle of your living room.
With the world becoming more complicated every day, it’s great to come home to simplicity. To create a natural oasis of calm and cosiness, German consumers are increasingly choosing to surround themselves with the beauty and simplicity of furniture and other household goods that are made using natural, sustainable materials.
To achieve success, it’s often said you need to “think big” – and for one family of master jewellers from Lithuania, it’s literally true. Their leap from jewellery-making to furniture design might not seem the most obvious move – but by putting their creativity and expert metalworking skills to work on a larger scale, they have produced a range of subtle, nature-inspired tables and other items they call “jewellery for the home”. And after finding favour with buyers at home and in the US, they now hope German consumers will fall in love with their innovative designs too.