Titi came by taxi. He was three weeks old, very sick. He was adopted through a Facebook group when he was just starting out. Pandemic, in quarantine. He was weak, his defense was low, he could not recover, a simple flu could have been fatal. The specialist said he had feline AIDS. Titi is a cat.
He was the first to try the rubber brush for massaging and removing pet hair. The product wasn’t approved until it relaxed him, which was good for him, reducing stress and keeping his health stable. “She tests products before they hit the market,” says 27-year-old entrepreneur Elizabeth Javier. Marmoset A pet supplies brand that turns domestic adoption into a business idea with social impact by calling on three communities in Pasco, Ucayali and Tarapoto to use sustainable materials like rubber and partnering with inmates in Jauja. Initiative, one of 10 winners in Protagonists of Change 2022, a social responsibility program of Peruvian University of Applied Sciences (UPC) with 12 years of experience.
Elizabeth was in Huancayo, where she was born days earlier. The city where he migrated alone to study in Lima. The city she returned to now as a Social Management trained professional and with her own job in her bag. Titi is at La Incontrastable and they are already preparing new products; In addition to the clothes, accessories, beds and toys they produce, they also have prototypes carrying backpacks. cat with regenerated fabric; and Titi is already testing it.
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-What makes you think the idea of a pet business could work in the midst of a pandemic?
I’ve seen a lot of people start adopting more pets while they’re in lockdown. I guess it was because they felt lonely. For example, I stayed in Lima and my family was in Huancayo. During the time we were in prison, more pets began to be adopted. For example, in the United States, few shelters were left without animals as people began to adopt them. Besides, I love animals very much, I saw that it was a good opportunity. But I also saw it as an opportunity to create employment in the midst of a very difficult situation. And I think you can always see opportunities to create and express with various groups.
– With the adoption of a cat, you have created employment for prison inmates and are working with communities.
I’ve always had a very personal motivation for what I do to make an impact beyond fulfilling a functional role. It was important to partner with Cristian Gutiérrez Zevallos, who was already working with wild rubber there, and that’s why we thought of this series for pets. The rubber industry is vast and can be used in many products. There are natural rubber products in Peru, but they are imported. And we have rubber from communities in Peru. Why you do not use? Employment and additional income are created for the community. And it’s a growing industry that provides continuity. The important thing about these rubber products is that they are non-toxic like the dog chews we have. On the other hand, Jauja has its prisoners; Of course, it would be easier if I went to Gamarra and had my products made.
-Or you went to a penalty in Lima, but you went to a penalty in Jauja.
Yes, while it’s true that I mostly carry the brand in Lima, I’m very interested in its impact in the country. And Jauja is my territory, Junín.
How do you manage to trust them?
I had the opportunity to visit someone who was in prison there; So I knew they had workshops. There are also a few brands that work with penalties. My family helped me communicate with them. I started with searches and when it was possible to travel, I went to prison; I’ve trained with three girls, and we’ve been coordinating the shipping of supplies and clothing guides ever since. They have workshops there, they have sewing machines. Titi provides them with fabrics, threads and everything else they need. It’s all part of Titi’s mission to create jobs and empower vulnerable populations.
-What did you learn from Titi?
That we can always do different things. There are always ways to influence people through what we love and are passionate about. And we persevered, because just because they said no to me didn’t mean it was impossible. It was a mission for us to develop this product. Yes, it is possible to do a business that not only offers products but also creates a positive impact. And this is Titi. Any improvement we have, we always look at how we can do more, what impact this might have beyond the product.
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-What other products do you have?
Accessories and clothes made of cotton that do not cause allergies are soft. We fill the beds with regenerated napa made from fiber from recycled bottles. We use regenerated fabric in some furniture; fabric made from scraps of fabric from factories. We use natural kapok fiber for woven cat toys, it is a natural fiber.
– And where is Titi?
(Laughter). He sleeps here next to me. He is my boss. We always say that he is the CEO of the company, he fully supports the products. If the brush did not come out until the hairs were removed and did not stay for long when we brushed it. Initially the brush was soft and the bristles were bent and Titi was gone. We’ve already reformulated the titi until it’s comfortable to be scanned. He already knows your product (laughs).
– “I’m Elizabeth Javier Tolentino. I was born in Huancayo, I am 27 years old. I studied Management at the Catholic University with a mention of Social Management. My father is a retired policeman and now has a job with his siblings and my mother works in Huancayo. My brother is studying Architecture”.
– “It is customary to think that the best way is to work in a large company, I heard this a lot in my family; but in the end everyone decides which way they want to go; and in my case, I persevered with Titi and gradually gave her more time and resources”.
– “We have a virtual store on the web (titibrand.com) and you can place your orders there. We are on Instagram and Facebook. In Huancayo, on the second floor of Open Plaza, where we will be until the end of the year, you can find products from Monday to Sunday, from 10 am to 9 pm.”
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