In late 2014, I had it pretty good. I had a corporate job with a cushy paycheck and spent my weekends partying, shopping, and traveling. Amazing, right? You'd think so, but I was strangely unhappy. I wasn't doing what I loved, I wasn't making a difference, and life felt meaningless. I needed a change. So I asked myself: What have I dreamt of doing for a really long time, but never done? The answer was to travel to Thailand and volunteer at an elephant sanctuary in Chiang Mai, started by one of my personal heroes, Lek Chailert. (Look her up, she's incredible.)
Even though I only spent a few days at that elephant sanctuary, it reminded me of a truth that I had forgotten in the bustle of the city and corporate life: I love, love, love animals. And I wanted to do something with my life that helped animals. But...I also loved business and believed in the power of businesses to create impact that can't be achieved by traditional charities. So I was left wondering: How can I combine my love for socially conscious businesses with my love for animals? Tough question, and I honestly didn't have the answer.
Right after the elephant sanctuary, I made some new friends in Chiang Mai. My 24th birthday was just around the corner, and after watching me share all my meals with every stray dog and cat in sight, my new friends realized they knew the perfect place to celebrate my birthday.
Suddenly, I found myself in Catmosphere, Chiang Mai's cat cafe. And I fell in love.
I wondered why cat cafes didn't exist back home. I thought about the huge impact cat cafes could make by housing homeless cats in a more humane way and increasing adoptions. I wondered if I could start my own cat cafe when I returned to the United States.
Wait. Why not?
So I came back to the US, quit my job, and set off to create Crumbs & Whiskers. I had finally found my dream project - a way to intertwine conscious business, animal welfare, and design. I didn't know if this would work and I was honestly scared out of my mind, but I knew I believed in the idea. I just had to give it a shot.
Today, Crumbs & Whiskers is a dream come true. Thank you for supporting us and for helping us create a better world for animals - it means the world to me.