” Plyhome is a built upon the blinding frustration I felt when I was assembling furniture for my kids”.

– Anna Gilhooly, co-founder of Plyhome.




Above : Plyhome’s Junior Bed


1st Assembly was lucky to play host to Anna Gilhooly and Rips Cassels, the co-foundering marketing and engineering team behind one of Lower Hutt’s gems – Plyhome. Anna and Rips took the Startup Garage limelight to share their furniture story two years in the making. As with many great ideas, it began with a vision and a rough sketch which grew into a business that places authenticity, quality and care at its core.

The journey to minimalism hasn’t been easy for the pair, who have learnt (all of them the hard way) the keys to success within an industry filled with big players, thin margins and intricate safety standards. One theme became clear, that perfectionism and stubbornness, if not tempered, can stagnate the end outcome’s completion, dramatically shorten a startup’s runway and sideline the advice and wisdom of those more experienced.

During the talk, Rips assembled the ” Plyhome Junior Bed” to the amusement of the attendees. One feature, in particular, struck me the most during the demo. Whether by a brilliant intention or lucky execution, Plyhome had turned the assembly process into an experience that a child (either big or small) could complete with ease…and better yet have fun while doing it. This feat highlights the care given to the bed’s design and the dedication both Anna and Rips have poured into Plyhome. Another master stroke was to include a slot between the mattress and frame that neatly stores a night time read.




Above : Rips assembling while Anna speaks.


All left the night feeling humbled by Anna and Rips’s enthusiasm and enlighted by the experiences the pair have garnered from sketch to bed.

Don’t worry if you missed out, 1st Assembly routinely hosts a number of free events and workshops. If you’d like to learn more and take part you can sign up for our newsletter at 1-a.co.nz, and join our meetup groups at

meetup.com/1stAssembly and meetup.com/StartupGarage.