James Cramer is the founder of The Cat Solarium. Although the company is about 1 years old, he actually built the first solarium back in college. James attended the University Of Alabama, (Roll Tide!), and was a swimmer on the swim team. After graduation, he bought a condo in Tuscaloosa that was on the 2nd and 3rd floor. One day a cat showed up and before long, he had adopted it. James wanted a way for the cat to get outside while he was at work, so he came home to his dad’s wood shop and voilà , the Cat Solarium was created. James has had a successful business career, owning 3 business, all at the same time, and sold them to move home to be with his aging father.
About this time last year, James walked into his father’s wood shop again and began making the new improved Cat Solarium. The detail that goes into making one is amazing. There are grooves all around the box. If one of those grooves is 100th of an inch off, the box will not go together. James uses the highest quality wood and thick plexiglass. The paint cost him $75 a gallon. He is very proud of his product. People often comment that these look easy to make. Good luck. There are about 20 different pieces that have to be primed and painted multiple times, on this side then on that. Some pieces are curved or grooved. As James’s girlfriend, I have heard how difficult it is to make. I will not be quoting James here….
As for me, Melissa, James’s faithful girlfriend, I have many projects that I do daily. I am kinda a “good deed doer”. I have a foundation, Shoals Area Families. I help area families that are impoverished or need help with a bill. I fund myself and the program through, Ups & Downs Thrift Store. I have a program that helps out with power bills or rent. If the people qualify and I have funding, then their bill is paid. However, I don’t give money out for free. For every one hundred dollars that go towards the persons bill, they have to work 4 hours in the give back program. I also talk with them to find out why they are having financial problems and then work up a plan to get them out of financial stress and keep them out. Sometimes it is learning a new skill set, getting a GED or learning how to interview. At the first of the year, I launched a new project, What’s Possible. I now teach etiquette, interview skills, confidence building, communication skills and other necessary life skills to area students. This project is very exciting. The kids learn new skills they would never get at home and will use these skills with them for the rest of their lives. I am also involved in a pet pantry and a low-cost spay neuter program; among other things.
When I’m not out saving the world, I am on the computer creating those cute posts on Facebook for the Cat Solarium. If you get an invite to like the page- you were invited by me. My former life was in advertising. I worked for several Fortune/Inc. 500 companies but left that life when I heard for the 500th time, “what did you sale for me today Melissa?”. BTW- I was always the top in sales….
So James and I spend our free time discussing politics, planning our trip to sail around the world, and what is coffee creamer really? James likes to fish. Of course, we live on a lake and I’ve never seen him catch one. But there is gear in every closet. We both like to sail and eat. I cook dinner for us every night and it’s always something truly Epicurean. I am a gardener. I grow herbs and veggies to feed James. It’s really a win-win.
It’s my day off and I’m working. I have painted solariums, as noted by my paint covered hands. I do not know how I get it in my hair every time…. I have also planted a dozen tomato and pepper plants. I should remember not to wear flip flops in the garden… But it is just so beautiful outside today. It is in the high 60’s, the Dogwoods are blooming, the wind is blowing, (I guess the wind doesn’t know March is over), and the sun feels so good on my back. It’s a high cotton day in Alabama.
Don’t forget to buy the best-made cat window box, the “world” famous Cat Solarium, (we are in windows in Europe!). I hope you are enjoying your Saturday.
Melissa- Typist, Cat Solarium