Kiln Boulder member, Dominic Monahan, wasn’t always a cat lover and didn’t always know what he wanted to do. His story is one about exploring your interests, finding a true passion, and giving it your all as a solo founder. We’re excited to share it with you in this month’s Kiln member spotlight!
Originally from Illinois, Dominic knew he wanted to live around the mountains. Before making Boulder home three years ago, he spent time figuring out what to do. He says, “I went to college and probably dropped out 7-8 times, and eventually ended up with a Bachelor’s and an MBA. I spent time serving in the military, doing field service jobs, and working for startups in the healthcare space.” His winding path is a reminder that our journeys through life aren’t ever linear. Instead, it was the amalgamation of Dominic’s experiences that encouraged him to follow a new calling when the Covid-19 pandemic hit.
Stuck inside last spring due to Covid-19, Dominic spent more time watching his cat, Shivers, than ever before. Since rescuing Shivers during Chicago’s Snowmageddon storm in 2010, Dominic had bought every cat toy on the market. Each was cheaper, uglier, and more poorly made than the last. That’s when he had the idea to create Clawz, a modern cat furniture company that satisfies and stimulates a cat’s natural instincts as if they were outside.
To build Clawz, Dominic envisioned a cat habitat made of magnetically stackable rectangular boxes with openings all around. The boxes could be stacked in any configuration, creating new paths for the cats to explore, and creating accent furniture to be enjoyed by humans as well. With Clawz, cat owners could, for the first time, create a coffee table that doubled as a perfect indoor pet habitat.
In April 2020, Dominic began prototyping. First he used cardboard boxes and PVC pipes. Next, he used particle boards. After eight design attempts, Clawz was born. Clawz pieces are available for pre-order now, and will begin shipping early next month.
We’re excited to have Dominic onboard as a member of the Kiln Boulder community. He says, “Kiln is the very best way to get out of the house and to stay motivated. It’s so nice to bump into familiar faces and to meet new people.” We couldn’t agree more!