Meow Meow Tweet is a small batch natural vegan apothecary that was founded by Tara Pelletier and Jeff Kurosaki, and is based in Brooklyn, NY. They develop all of our goods as if they were modern culinary dishes, starting with a scent combination. Each concoction is carefully mixed by hand to produce the perfect aroma and healthful benefits, resulting in uniquely therapeutic and aromatic products.
I got hooked on Meow Meow Tweet’s products last year when Vegan Cuts sent me their holiday gift pack to review, and I’ve been using them in my daily routine every since. I was lucky enough to be able to chat with them recently, and we talked about their company, their products, and – one of my favorite subjects – cats.
Meow Meow Tweet – We were inspired to become vegan by our empathy for animals. We couldn’t share our home with these two cats, who made our lives a million times better and not start thinking about it. Actually, Jeff stopped eating meat after he met his bird. We were vegetarian for awhile, then we started eating vegan and using/making vegan body products. Later on we started dressing vegan. It’s been gradual because we make choices that fit our lifestyle and our means!
CV – Tell me a little bit about why you and Jeff started Meow Meow Tweet.
MMT – When we first moved to Brooklyn, we were interested in urban homesteading. Getting back to the simpler things in life but in the metropolitan environment. We started making soap after Tara’s grandmother gave us a bar of handmade stuff. Once you use non-commercial soap, without detergents, strange chemicals and with all of it’s moisturizing properties intact, you can’t go back. We were already super conscious of what we were eating, so this made us question what we were using on our skin.Tara had cooked and managed restaurants in Southern California and was really inspired by her the slow and local food movement. We felt like there was a way to take those ideals and apply it to natural skincare. Also, we weren’t super jazzed about many of the vegan skincare products out there that smelled like fake fragrance and had fake colorants.
MMT – Our two cats, Chester and Mochi, and Jeff’s bird, Beans, who lives with his parents back in Hawaii. We also wanted something fun that didn’t sound like a typical skincare company name.
CV – What inspires you to create a new product?
MMT – Curiosity plus necessity. Usually a new product fills a gap in our daily regime. And, we are just plain interested in how things are made. What makes a soap lather? What makes various plant oils different from one another? Where do ingredients come from? What healthful properties do they offer? How can an essential oil heal you and affect how you feel?
MMT – This is the hardest question! It changes based on the season and our moods. Right now we’re both a little crazy about our new Face Cleanser which took a while to develop. We’ve been washing our faces a lot! Aside from that, Tara is very proud of her deodorant cream recipe (another one that was a long time in development) and Jeff likes our Face + Body Toning Mist in Bergamot Vetiver.
CV – I love the Meow Meow Tweet packaging! Is there a story behind it?
MMT – Jeff makes all of the drawings. Sometimes they’re random but most of the time they’re depicting something specific that we have a joke about, like: silly things our cats do, pigeons stealing clean laundry, interspecies love affairs. The colors and patterns are a collaboration between Tara and her friend Sarah Hallacher. They bounce drawings and ideas back and forth until they come up with something unique that feels cheerful and vibrant.
MMT – Yes and no. When we’re super duper busy and barely leave the studio, we could be in any city. When we do a market, like the monthly Vegan Shop-Up, and we’re around all of the other vendors that are super inspiring and making delicious things, it’s Brooklyn at it’s best. In relation to that, because there are so many people making things happen here, we’re more conscious then ever that we need to stay true to who we are and what we want in life and avoid getting caught up in the hype.
CV – What advice would you give to entrepreneurs who want to star their own vegan businesses?
MMT – Don’t sell your products or your customers short. It’s no longer a time when there are barely any vegan choices on the market. So now’s the time to make the BEST products on the market, that also happen to be vegan. How else are we gonna take over the world?
MMT – Super glamorous. Just kidding. Wake up, eat a quick breakfast while answering emails, wash up, put on work cloths, work in the studio, eat lunch (sometimes), work some more, eat dinner, play with the cats, answer emails/go out/watch TV/read/play music/snuggle the cats, shower, go to bed. Repeat.
CV – In your wildest dreams what will your life look like in 5 years?
MMT – We’ll own a house upstate and run a cat sanctuary. Oh, and our company will be as big as Dr. Bronner’s, which will feed all the cats.
Photos by Danny Rico.