A PLAY-Ful Mission
Lisa Hisamune, director of sales at P.L.A.Y. (Pet Lifestyle and You) in San Francisco, reveals how
the company’s laser-focused mission to serve pets, people and the environment has resulted
in a winning product portfolio.
Pet Product News International November 2018
Tell us about how P.L.A.Y. came to be and the story
behind the company’s unique acronymic name.
Lisa Hisamune: The idea for P.L.A. Y., which stands for Pet
Lifestyle and You, was inspired by an adorable pug named
Momo. Like all loving pet parents, our co-founders Will and
Deb wanted only the very best for their puppy, and giving
her a great dog bed was naturally one of the first things they
had in mind. They shopped around for a bed, seeking out a
good balance of quality, comfort and design that would look
good in their new modern home. However, they were unable
to find a bed that met all of their needs. So, they decided to
start from scratch and create their own idea of what a perfect
pet bed should be, and just like that, P.L.A. Y. was born, and
as the saying goes, the rest is history.
Just as Momo was the inspiration for the company, she also
inspired the name. When she was a puppy, one of the most enjoyable moments in Will and Deb’s everyday life was watching her getting excited to play and either doing “zoomies” or
going into a play-bow position, which became our logo. When
brainstorming names for the company, they wanted a name
that was happy and energetic, so, of course, they immediately
thought that “PLAY” would maybe be a good brand name.
It helps that it shares the same starting character as the word
“pet,” so it just went from there until we created P.L.A. Y. (Pet
Lifestyle and You).
Tell us about P.L.A.Y.’s product portfolio and
how it has evolved over time.
Hisamune: P.L.A.Y. started off with the standard
round and rectangular pillow beds but really broke
into the market when we started making our popular
lounge beds. Our Denim Lounge Bed with mandarin
trim stood out in the market as being a timeless classic that was of high-quality construction and could
be washed and used for years to come. We soon added our standard crate mats that we call Chill Pads
and Snuggle Beds for the smaller burrowing breeds.
At this point, we had started to build a strong and
loyal following of customers, so when we tried our
hands at plush toys by adding whimsical flair and
thoughtful design elements to each one, starting
with our Garden Fresh Collection, they were quick
to pick them up and try them out and were not disappointed. Every year since then, we have added at
least one new plush collection of toys to our line. To
date, we have about 15 collections of plush toys and
a very popular interactive treat toy called the Wobble Ball 2.0. The eye-catching design of the brightly
colored cloud-shaped openings paired with interesting characters inside each Wobble Ball makes this
enrichment toy unique, and it is a favorite around
At P.L.A. Y., we are constantly evolving and de-
veloping products that our customers would need.
It is easy because we are based in dog-loving San
Francisco, and we just need to draw inspiration from
the dogs we see every day in the city and in our of-
fice and ask what we would want for our own furry
family members. We knew that not all dogs are into
plush and wanted to develop a line of products for
the more outdoorsy human and dog, so that is how
we developed our Scout & About line of outdoor
products. This line is a complete set of products that
one might need when they go to the beach, on a hike
or camping for the weekend. It is complete with a
doggie tent, training pouches, agility tunnels, pop-
up bowls, beds, roll-up mats and rope toys.
It was around this time that we realized we did
not have a lot of cat-specific products. We started off
by making unique and design-friendly cat scratchers
we named after an employee’s cats, Arty and Leeloo.
The Arty was so unique in its bold curved design
with such solid construction it was even featured in
O Magazine. With that confidence, we developed a
Purr & Pounce Cat Tunnel and our newest line of Feline Frenzy cat toys. The Feline Frenzy Collection is
made up of eight fun and whimsical sets—some that
mirror our dog toys in shape—that have refillable
pouches for catnip and come pre-filled with organic
USDA and non-GMO certified catnip from Washington. So far, these toys have been a hit with our kitty
friends and their parents, energizing playtime with
stimulating colors and textures. In line with our other
plush toy collections, they are 100 percent washable
(with catnip removed), making them easy to clean.
As we grow with P.L.A. Y., so do our pets and our
customers’ pets as well. Our most recent addition to
our portfolio is our California Dreaming Memory
Foam Bed for the larger breeds and ailing pups who
need more support on their joints. This bed contains
100 percent memory foam and has a modern design
fit for any home. The quality is top notch with a water-resistant liner protecting the 100 percent memory
foam cushion, which can be easily removed before
washing the microfiber fabric cover and side bolsters. It is truly amazing to see how our portfolio has
grown over the years. We are constantly listening to
our customers, brainstorming and developing new
products and are grateful that they have all been received with positive feedback.
P.L.A. Y.'s California
Dreaming Memory Foam Bed
What specific consumer trends and demands are
driving your product development both creatively and
in terms of the types of products you are designing?
Hisamune: P.L.A. Y. has always had a simple mission: to create pet products that are better for pets, people and the planet.
For pet, we ensure that all our products are safe, nontoxic and
use quality materials. Our beds, toys and hideaways are made
with a pet’s comfort in mind, and we have a variety for any
picky pet to choose from. For people, we create our products
with thoughtful design to ensure that they are functional, as
well as beautiful. Our toys are all washable, and our beds can
all come apart for easy cleaning. The materials we use on all
of our products are made with the highest-quality materials
to last for years to come, while looking good in your home.
For the planet, our beds and toys are stuffed with our in-house
certified PlanetFill polyfiber that is made from post-consumer
recycled plastic bottles. To date, we have saved more than 4
million plastic bottles from entering landfills.
What inspires the aesthetic of your brand and the
designs and patterns of your products?
Hisamune: P.L.A.Y. is a lifestyle brand, and team members
are based in San Francisco, so our aesthetic naturally reflects
that identity. For pet bedding and furniture type products,
we not only choose the finest, upholstery-grade materials, but
we also pay attention to interior design trends, and choose
different patterns that fit effortlessly in various home styles.
For toys, as homage to our brand name, we are always seeking
ways to [add] unique, sometimes whimsical, touches to our
design and make them special for our customers. We enjoy
bright, happy colors and bold design elements that are still
tastefully designed to blend into your home and lifestyle. P H O T O S