From Wine to Wags: New Use for Old Wine Boxes - NBC Connecticut

From Wine to Wags: New Use for Old Wine Boxes

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Many businesses are built off of one great idea and Steve Simms, of Stamford, found his with the help of his  black lab, Bird.

    His idea is Whiner & Diner, pet accessories made from wine crates.  

    "Back in the mid '90s, a friend had given me a wine crate and I told my wife, 'I'm going to make a feeder for my dog,' and she thought I was crazy and then when I made it, she said, 'Oh, you've got to sell these things,'" Simms said.

    Simms disassembles old wooden wine boxes and puts them back together again as new creations: pet feeders, pet toy boxes and small pet beds.

    Winers and Diners

    [HAR] Winers and Diners
    A crafty Connecticut man turns old wine crates into furniture for fuzzy friends.
    (Published Monday, Aug. 9, 2010)

    "We've taken these things that would be garbage and turned them into a product," he said.

    When he's finished with them, they become beautiful pieces of furniture.

    "They're really quite nice,” he said.

    Simms completely handcrafts each piece.

    “What I use to put them together is all water-based and non-toxic, so nothing that goes into these things can be harmful to any of the animals that are eating out of them," he said.

    His wife, Catherine, customizes each one and paints on the animal's name.  She's also the brains behind the website.

    Whiner & Diner has sold hundreds of products to customers from around the world.

    "Instead of when company comes, let's hide the dog bowls and the cat bowls ... they can actually bring these products out and display them and they become a great conversation piece," Simms said.

    For Steve Simms, this one idea has developed into a labor of love, where he takes something old and makes it new again.

    "It's so much fun for me," he said.