Remigijus Balciunas

Remigijus Balciunas

Odyssey of ‘Pušku pušku’ chairs: How the bean bag became stylish furniture

When a resident of Vilnius, Remigijus Balčiūnas created his first bean bag chair 10 years ago hoping to surprise guests with an unusual, yet cosy element in his sitting-room. Today the products of Remigijus’ bean bag chairs company are presented at international exhibitions and adorn the homes of people in more than 20 countries in the world.

This and other international experiences have been the best school for me as a businessman.
Remigijus Balciunas,
Founder and CEO of 'Pušku pušku'
How did you get the idea of creating a bean bag chair business?

“A decade ago I was looking for sofas and armchairs for my new home, but the furniture offered in stores looked boring and lacked uniqueness. The photo of a bean bag chair I saw online inspired me to look for something similar, but Lithuanian bean bag chairs were amateurish and unattractive, and the cost of ordering from abroad was very high. 

However, I did not abandon the idea and decided to create this soft furniture myself. At that time, I was working as an IT engineer and I did not have anything to do with sewing, but I found the right fabric, the pellets and zippers, and ordered my first chair at a local tailor shop – in the shape of a cake. It was huge and took up half the room! Those who sat on it did not want to get off. A week later, the idea arose that other Lithuanians might be interested in such a chair.”

What opportunities were opened by the EU’s business environment?

“The only way to grow was to move to foreign markets. In our case, this meant participating in international exhibitions. Without that, I would probably still try to combine the business with my IT job.

I hoped for the success abroad, so I filled out an application for EU support. This allowed my company, Pušku pušku, to take part in other international exhibitions. I established connections with foreign partners, including an Italian designer with whom we created a Lithuanian-Italian bean bag chair.

I also started to work with German partners and moved to Berlin for a few months. This and other international experiences have been the best school for me as a businessman, enabling me to create a company based on European values.

The EU has played an important role in giving the opportunity to not only present the idea of a Lithuanian bean bag chair to the whole of Europe but also realise myself as an entrepreneur.”

What are your ideas for the future?

“Work is my passion so I'm going to continue to focus on my company – as long as I have new ideas, I do not want to let myself relax. I want to become even more active in international furniture exhibitions, to expand trade abroad and to continue working with designers from other countries.

I know that there are a lot of people who do not know what a bean bag chair is. Therefore, in the future, I want to spread the idea that the bean bag chair is as good as settees or armchairs and could replace them.

I feel that it's time to share my experience, so I increasingly tell my story at conferences and to students. I want to inspire young people to pursue their ideas.”

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