The Punch'n'Cuddle story started when product designer Brit Leissler began to explore the question of emotional design and design value in general. What direct needs could be addressed by furniture, other than the usual ones of storage or rest? She came up with the idea of »emotional furniture« - as the name suggests, furniture pieces that would address emotional needs and work as tools to achieve emotional balance for the user. 

Punching and cuddling the very first prototype

She eventually teamed up with business investor Johann Franke in 2009. Together they entered the next stage: to turn the cuddly punch bag into a feasible product, that could be produced on a large scale at affordable prices - without compromising on their strict quality and ethical standards.

Almost three years later, Punch'n'Cuddle was ready to roll and finally opened its virtual doors to its online shop in December 2011. It was a long journey with many ups and downs, as creating a whole production & distribution infrastructure from scratch is certainly a complex undertaking - particularly when working with various suppliers in different countries. However, it also meant gaining a lot of valuable experience and insight, with the incredible outcome of a reliable network of suppliers and manufacturers worldwide.

Material & Production 

Whereas the very first Punch'n'Cuddle prototype featured a fibreglass base, the subsequent second prototype was made with a stack laminated multiplex-wooden base. The idea was to apply the tactility of furniture, so using the warm, natural material of wood made a lot more sense than the rather unpleasant to work with and ecologically nasty fiberglass. This second prototype looked very much like the one now being offered in the shop.

Brit Leissler cuddling the second prototype

However, in order to make production feasible and to ensure that Punch'n'Cuddle could become an affordable product, the stack-laminated solid wooden base was replaced by one made from coiled bamboo. Although this meant that the bases had to be produced rather far away: in Vietnam - the place from where this fascinating technique of bamboo forming originally derived. 

Here you can get an idea of how exactly it works, to shape bamboo into a bowl, and which steps are required to do so:

Handmade with love