Celltei Product Development and Designer Notes
|Time Line||New Products||Designer Notes|
|January 2001||Original Pak-o-Pet was available in only two sizes: Small and Medium-small. It was made with microfiber material in leopard print and very light in weight; a great advantage for being simple.||The very first and only design we had. It was the first backpack pet carrier in the industry and was well received when we introduced it in NYC. A couple of Manhattan pet shop owners had taken their time to give us valuable advises to improve upon this simple design. They offered great encouragement to our designer who was also the salesperson walking from shop to shop with no previous selling experience. |
You may wonder where the Pak-o-Pet name came from. Hm... let say our designer grew up enjoying a lot of MacDonald's Fillet-o-Fish!
|Summer 2001||Pak-o-Pet was available in three sizes: Small, Medim and Large, and six different colors: ||Since the beginning of the year, our designer had taken the original Pak-o-Pet to pet fairs over the country and collected a lot of good suggestions. Many features were added to the Pak-o-Pet design including the climate control unit that was strapped to the roof inside, and making the backpack strap detachable. The medium and large size were added to the design. We rolled out these new designs in six colors. |
Unfortunately, the same contracted factory had substituted the materials including a much weaker mesh. We had to hand-sew a stronger mesh over all the mesh areas for products pre-sold and rejected 90% of the shipment. This gave rise to a knocked-off shipment a jobber had sold to a big corporation in later year. See "NO Knock-Offs" for details.
|Winter 2001||Pak-o-Pet was available in four sizes: Petite, Small, Medium and Large, and five different colors: |
|We survived the first mistake only to step into another trap where a recommended agent took our deposit but didn't put in the production. We survived with much support from family and friends, new materials were put into production one more time. Hearing the need of pet carrier for the increasingly favored teacup size pets, we were the first company to introduce the smallest petite size carriers with a purse handle. We also kept the backpack design for the tea cup pets to be inline with our other sizes that at this time remained backpack only. |
With more designs using high-end materials, we started to find way to differentiate the various product lines: Classic (long lasting); Active (lively and outdoor); Fantasia (unusual and seasonal) and Precious (special and luxurious).
Improvement were also made to the design which included having the climate control pouch sewn into the roof area instead of using two straps and all the front window cover were rolled upward to prevent rain water from leaking in. The purse handle design was well liked and projected a very inviting feeling. We knew we had to separate the backpack design from it soon.
|Summer 2002||The Pink and Blue Pak-o-Pet with crocodile print was brought back with a new XS size, totalling four sizes: |
|Making use of a few months of quiet period, we were exiting our other ventures to focus on developing pet travel products. |
If you should wonder where our legal business name "Style Living" came from, these elegant Ming Style furnitures with Victorian style tapestry and contemporary Thai/Burmese silk pillows would show you. It is our designer's love and perhaps one day we will get back to them!
|Winter 2002||The American Pak-o-Pet resembles the design of the American flag. All the strikes were lined up perfectly and the colors matched the exact Pantone of the national flag's red, white and blue colors. All zipper, handles, trimmings and lining are in Navy blue color and the body is in red and white colors. |
Added to the four existing sizes was the large size with detachable wheels with detachable hard plastic frame set.
|Determined and undeterred, the American Pak-o-Pet was introduced one year after 911. From manufacturing perspective, this was a very successful production run with everything matched up and sewn appropriately. We made about 100 to 200 pieces per size only and a good amount was sold to our friends in Japan. This should be considered as a collectible series if you have one. |
By this time, we had made a tray with perch in three sizes to fit our petite, XS and small size carriers. We were the first company to introduce the idea of traveling with pet birds in a soft-sided carrier. Another pets that was often inquired was ferrets, some of them were using our small size Pak-o-Pet. Our heads were spinning to learn more about them from then on.
With the help of a new staff, we had also started making pet charms with semi-precious stones and other materials.
|Spring 2003|| The first Tote-o-Pet had a body shape similar to that of Pet-on-the-Go with a slant side opening on the side that faced forward when the carrier was being carried on the right shoulder. The two shoulder straps were held together to prevent it from sliding off the shoulder. It was a simple and casual design. |
The Pouch-o-Pet had the front strap crossed in the back for better weight distribution. Each design came in three sizes: XS, Small and Medium.
A new Pak-o-Pet with no backpack strap was offered in two conservative colors: grey and blue color, and four sizes: XS, Small, Medium and Large.
|The backpack design was a very versatile and functional design but seemed to be missing the particular appeal to particular type of customers. A more complete design concept was brought to fruition with the addition of three new styles: |
We also rolled out the new Pak-o-Pet with no backpack strap and started renaming those with backpack strap the B'pak-o-Pet. These four style formed the new Basic line with all the essential features but at a lower price.
We also worked with a few bird owners and researched bird sizes and habits to meet the request for a macaw carrier. Having studied many pictures of various birds, our designer could help feeling that a bright parrot eye was staring at her as she sketched out the bird carrier design drawing while hearing "Ya'd better make it work!".
|Fall 2003||Part of the new Angie's Collection, the Mandarin Gold, a shape resembled a woman's silhouette in a beautiful hand-beaded silk Chinese "Cheongsam", were first made in petite size only for the very treasured tea-cup size pets. The XS and Small sizes and red and silver color were added later. |
A basket shape small size Lunar Gold with side and top opening and small pocket decorated with Chinese button was also introduced. The petite, XS and medium sizes were gradually added as this elegant design became popular.
The prototype of Pak-o-Bird for big macaws was made standing at 18" L x 15" W x 30" H. It was made of hi-tech sail cloth laminated with fiber for strength.
|Year 2003 marked a very special time in Celltei's development with both risks and opportunities. The financial markets was finally coming our from the serious impact of 911 but employment remained lagging. We were able to afford to have two professional staff to help rolling out a new business plan. Our designer was also frustrated that the contracted factory did not take the bird carrier design seriously or found it to difficult to develop that the project was going nowhere. |
The same year, the SARS virus was devastating the Hong Kong economy. As no factory believed there would be enough quantity to help us properly make the bird carrier prototype, we decided to set up a sample room in Hong Kong. In size months, this 280 sq feet sample room expanded to be a full scale production facility. Unfortunately, a valuable employee was called back from his old boss at a big IT corporation, leaving us rather short of hands to deal with the challenges in new production. We did manage to complete the Pak-o-Bird prototype and a few luxurious new designs to 'shock' the world, so to speak!
|Spring 2004|| |
For every new designs you saw, two more were discarded including a doggie jacket that could hold a can of beer on both sides and with a message/money zipper pouch if your dog is smarted enough to do the job for you!
| A designer's fantasy can be the production staff's nightmare, particular when the designer is the boss and had been an actuarial analyst for years! In a very short time, we had a matrix of five complete lines, five styles not including the specialty products, each with three to five sizes. Having a highly skilled production team was like having a 'license to kill'! We moved like a roadrunner and worked around the clock. |
We also applied our experienced from making the very large macaw carrier to make one for smaller size parrots. The drawer were removed because the fabric could not stand frequent brushing and that it was another chewing structure for the birds.
|Fall 2004||Pak-o-Bird in XS, |
Small and Medium size.
New Precious Tote-o-Pet in Turquoise Tapesty and Burgundy Flower Brocade and Fantasia Pak-o-Pet in Egyptian Print.
|Feathery friends, Pak-o-Bird was finally launched without the tray. We still learned and improved upon the design in coming months but the many feedback and suggestions from bird lovers were incorporated in the features. |
New colors/materials was added. Of note was the Egyptian print embossed faux leather. If you love history, you would be attracted to this design. The material is a rather heavy for pet carrier.
|Spring 2005||Available in the very small petite size for the 2 to 3 lbs tea-cup pets to the medium for the 12 to 15 lbs ones, Love Series came in quite a few combination: || Pet industry was blooming in 2005 and fashionable handbag style carriers were on the rise. So far, Celltei designs were more functional and 'serious' rather trendy. When we received a media request for Valentine's Day pet products, our designer started to draw a design that was built upon the symbol of love. |
Oh well, the Love Series turned out to be more classy than trendy. It was not quite our designer's idea to just add a lot of grommets and buttons to be part of the fashion.
|Summer 2005||The Traveler took on a nature theme and came in three sizes: Small, Medium and Large and in three colors: Sky and Ocean Blue, Brick and Stone (burgundy and grey), and Grass and Tree (lime and forest green) colors. |
Pak-o-Small was first made in XS size. The petite size was added later for sugar glider size small animals followed by the Small and medium sizes made for the larger size male ferrets, bunnies and multiple pets.
Celltei Lite is available in multiple colors for every size of the four core styles: Pak, Tote, Go and Pouch designs.
|What can be drawn on a piece of paper may not be made into a 3-D product. We do have a very good drafting master. |
The Traveler was designed for those active souls who frequently travel with their pet. A design that could allow airline travel without no check-in luggagew, hands free to navigating some rough terrain during the journey, compact and organized for only the necessities. It was a great emergency pack as well.
For some years now, we had defaulted the small animals' travel need to be similar to a dog. Finally, the Pak-o-Small was designed with features to prevent them from escape, provide low entry for free access, include sleeping quarter and 'bathroom' facilities, attachment for water and very easy to clean design. The shape is lively and contemporary. Well, it should make a very nice carrier design for guys too!
In general, Celltei carriers have more structural support than other brands' and therefore are heavier in weight. Particularly for elderly or people with back problems, Celltei Lite might look similar in the outside but were structured differently. The materials and parts used are light as well. This line offers the benefit of light weight, is stronger than an average carrier but does not wear and tear as well as the regular Celltei lines.
|Fall 2005||Basic Pak-o-Pet in Grey or blue in XS to Large size, Tote-o-Pet in Plaid or Jean Grey, and Pet-on-the-Go in Sand Blue and Green Camouflage, both in XS to Medium size. ||Improvements were continuously added to each new round of production. The Basic line was expanded with new colors at the economical price range. The purse handle were added to all sizes of Pak-o-pet. All backpacks were properly renamed as Backpack-o-Pet to avoid further confusion. Sadly, no new design was rolled out in the following months as our designer needed to take a break to be treated for the big "C".|
|Spring 2006||One of the first customized products that turned a regular backpack into a comfortable motel on board an airplane: ||Hong Kong was the basin of luggage goods manufacturing before China opened its door. By the ninety, the city had transformed into a major financial center. We had a small team of very experienced workers but facing great difficulties in adding new staff and production capacity. As the economy improves, no incentive was big enough for overtime works. With a very high cost base, we started offering highly price customized products. |
At the same time, we continued to explore working with contract factories. The challenge was that our products were too complicated for an average factory and yet we did't have the large quantity an established contract factory required. The so called low cost overseas manufacturing were never the case for us when we included the numerous quality control cost, the delay cost and the fixing cost.
|Fall 2006||Celltei Paws Winter Warmth and Blue came in small and medium size. Petite and XS size and other with various modifications were made-to-order. The Gothic offered many optional accessories and finishes. ||Facing with rising cost and out of frustration of constant back orders, we set up a small scale production in our premises in Brooklyn and explored the possibility of having products made in USA. A simple and causal Celltei Paws was launched. The Gothic theme high end line incorporated fine hand-crafted accessories was just in time for the Halloween. This is an Incognito day to day use carrier. The structure is simple but functional and details were purposedly left out to let users add their ideas to make this design more interesting. |
At the same time, we continued to be impressed by ideas customers presented in customizing a carrier for their pets.
|Fall 2007||Basic Pet-on-the-Go and Backpack-o-Pet with eco-friendly fabric (see Green World) were offered in three sizes. |
Celltei Paws's summer collection came in five color and two sizes.
Besides the three standard XS, small and Medium size, Pak-o-Birds were available for specific type of birds from African Greys, Cockatoo to Macaws and added accessories such as the detachable cart to turn the carrier into a stroller. A horizontal design was added for in-cabin airline travel.
|We started to learn about green products and used eco-friendly fabric that met European standard in a new round of production of two product lines: Basic Pet-on-the-Go and Backpack-o-Pet. In the Spring collection of Celltei Paws, we used 100% cotton for surface materials and lining. We were the only company in the industry that offer after sale repair service and replacement parts. Why throw away a good product if the chewed up zipper can be repair! |
By now, we had trained up key personnel in our US premises capable of making all our designs. However, the then bubbled economy inflated the entire cost structure. We might be one step closer to have products made locally but the environment discouraged labor intensive manufacturing business.
We expanded the Pak-o-Bird line to include many sizes for larger birds from Cockatoo to Macaws and add accessories such as the detachable cart to turn the carrier into a stroller. A horizontal design was added for in-cabin airline travel. Our persistent effort in perfecting the design were giving us great satisfactory and media coverages and paving way for winning two important awards in early 2008.
|Fall 2008||Eco-Beds were made to order in two styles: Round or Square. Kangaroo Pouch was available in five colors in XS, Small and Medium sizes.||We started making Eco Bed pet bed with 100% recycled foam for filling and eco-friendly fabric to the customer's specification. We also introduced a open top front carrier pouch that looked like a Kangaroo pouch. The design is well-balanced, with a sturdy bottom, good ventilation from both the user and the pet (as it can get rather hot to carry it in the front) and ergonomic. The material used is 100% cotton. |
Followed a year of rapid price hike, the economy took a drastic downturn in the fall. An good size order from a big company we had worked on for over a year and almost completed for Christmas delivery all in a sudden needed price renegotiation with a new buyer. It was dishonorable and made us re-evaluate the business risk of high quantity manufacturing just to fulfill the need of a big account.
We thought deeply and were seriously considering keep the entire operation under one roof.
|Fall 2009||Active Backpack-o-pet 2009 came in small, medium and large size. The initial designs came in blue, orange and olive green color with grey color trims. New colors will be added in coming months.||Celltei started with our designer interest to take her rescued Yorkie for hiking and camping. Eight years later, we finally complete the very first design with a stronger fabric, durable colors and essential features for outdoor activities. It is time to help slim down our very spoiled pets and share with them the beauty of nature. |
By summer of 2009, we decided to take the giant step forward to move our entire production to the US. It is a very unsettling feeling as we are basically starting over. We expect the transition will take six months to a year to complete and really appreciate the support and encouragement we have received.