I'm Danielle, founder, maker and almost everything else here at Purrfect Palaces. Our story was cemented in my childhood, I have always loved making and building things. I can thank my parents for this. Growing up, they were always building or renovating something, and my sister and I would come up with our creations using off-cuts and scraps of wood. Fast forward many years, and I am a graphic designer with a love of animals. Being creative is who I am.
My partner, Chris, and I have four indoor rabbits of our own, two have free roam of the house and the other two have a bedroom. We wanted to improve the bedroom by adding more space to explore and play, and so the only way was up! The first rabbit castle had two towers adjoined by a bridge with a verandah at the top level, this was designed to be at window height. It didn’t take long for Poppy and Pippa to start exploring and soon they would spend most mornings up there, basking in the warm sunshine.
We learnt a lot from this first castle, about the step heights and depth, and we learnt what to do differently for the next time. It didn’t take long before I had aspirations to make the buns another castle, of course, this time it had to be bigger and better. It goes along the entire length of the long window in their room. When the sun has moved around, they too can move along with it. Needless to say, they love it!
Since then we built a few other smaller items such as the sleeping box, and friends who are also rabbit slaves saw this furniture and encouraged us to make them available to others. The first rabbit castles were customised to suit the space that we had, but we began thinking that we could make a similar product using the same elements in a modular way. It took lots of thinking, idea development, and time, before the range for sale was created and ready.
Of course, there are always more ideas, and the plan was always to develop a range of cat furniture. It feels as though we have been saying that it’s almost ready for quite some time, but we are working hard to get the final products available. We’re very excited about it, and hope you will be too when you see it.
I have volunteered and fostered for animal charities most of my adult life. Starting with the SPCA in Auckland, and then the Kitten Inn when I moved to Upper Hutt.
Even before the inception of Purrfect Palaces, we had developed a relationship with Wellington Rabbit Rescue. It all started with a small grey bunny, sitting in a gutter. Someone had posted on a local community page one morning about a rabbit they saw on their way to work but they were unable to help. I was eating my breakfast, browsing through Facebook and I saw the post. I grabbed Chris, as I had to go and look.
Sure enough, there she is in the same spot. Long story short, Albie (short for Little Bun) is still our foster bunny (we are trying to bond her with another foster bun), she has come a long way from that day and it’s fair to say we are both rather attached.
We are proud to be able to support Wellington Rabbit Rescue through the sale of our rabbit furniture and enrichment toys. We will also be choosing a charity to support through the sale of our cat furniture, once available.