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Women Who Changed The Lives Of Guinea Pigs: Clementine

To start off our spotlight series, Kavee’s founder Clementine explains her career journey so far…

Here at Kavee our mission is to change the lives of guinea pigs everywhere. Starting off our women's day spotlight is Clementine, the founder here at Kavee.

Originally Clementine started out in biology and explained that after her Ph.D. she discovered the world of business! Clementine founded Kavee after struggling to find suitable cages for her guinea pigs. Set up in 2017 as a side project, Kavee is now a global company providing equal employment and campaigning to change the lives of guinea pigs.

Women Who Changed The Lives Of Guinea Pigs: Clementine

When did you first fall in love with Guinea Pigs and Why?

I have always been an animal lover and always had pets: hamsters, fish, tortoises, cats. Guinea pigs were never on my radar until I took up the job of a business consultant in 2018 and was desperate to have a dog. I was working too much to care for a dog but realised guinea pigs were pretty amazing and required less time on a daily basis. I fell for all the breeds and the hair colours! My first piggies were beautiful Peruvian boys with long locks. 

What do you think the future of the Guinea Pig space looks like and the role of women within it?

Most of Kavee’s customers are women so I can see how their customer’s choices will shape the way the industry goes and how we care for small pets. Women tend to make educated choices based on the welfare of the pets and I truly believe this is where the industry needs to go: more spacious, varied, and stimulating habitats, more floor time, overall a better understanding of the animal's needs. 

I also noticed that most guinea pig influencers, rescuers, etc. are women so clearly women are playing a critical role in creating content and diffusing information, educating about the needs of those lovely creatures.

People think my job and my company are a joke when I first tell them. They tend to underestimate the size and potential of Kavee and think of it as a cute hobby.  

What are your future plans and goals regarding your career?

I am very excited about developing Kavee further to become a renowned brand for guinea pigs and other critters: producing the best products and content for them and helping pet owners as much as we can. 

Alongside that, I am excited about helping other women entrepreneurs and engaging in other social ventures myself. 

What advice would you give to other women wanting to follow in your footsteps?

Dive in and believe in yourself! With motivation and determination, anything can be achieved. Be patient and take one step every day. 

With the Guinea Pig space being so niche, what challenges have you faced and overcome in your career?

The market is small so we had to go global very quickly to make the company viable. It was a lot of work to enter all those markets and negotiate regional differences such as languages and shipping.

Women tend to make educated choices based on the welfare of the pets and I truly believe this is where the industry needs to go: more spacious, varied, and stimulating habitats, more floor time, overall a better understanding of the animal's needs. 

What barriers do you feel are still left to overcome personally as a woman in business and in the Guinea Pig space?

People think my job and my company are a joke when I first tell them. They tend to underestimate the size and potential of Kavee and think of it as a cute hobby. 

I have felt offended a few times about that and it took me some time to feel proud about Kavee and even be public about that. For some time, I felt ashamed of it and hid it, which is insane because we have collectively achieved some incredible feats: growing to be a global brand awarded Online business of the year in 2021, growing to a team of more than 10! I am also very proud of our social impact with the disabled workers we hire and of course the improved lives of all the pets using our products. 

Sometimes, I wonder if people underestimate Kavee even more because I am a woman. 

As a woman, I often tend to feel like this is not enough, that my company is not enough: it is not disruptive or tech-oriented or trying to fix climate change. But in truth, you have to start somewhere. I keep learning and I hope that my future endeavors will be more ambitious. I have no regrets and I am so proud of what we have achieved.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Never doubt yourself. Have fun. Enjoy the journey rather than focusing on the end goal. 

As a woman, I often tend to feel like this is not enough, that my company is not enough: it is not disruptive or tech-oriented or trying to fix climate change. 

Is there anything you would do differently looking back on your career?

No, I have had a few careers already before landing where I am. Exploring and adapting is a big part of my personality and I don't feel bad about this anymore. 

Name one woman who inspires you and why?

Leylah Janah was an incredible social entrepreneur who has changed the life of many through business. I think about her often and hope to be able to reach a place where I am able to do something similar.  I am a feminist and I have an appreciation for women trying to change the modern-day narrative about women, such as Cardi B. 

Quote or statement you live by? What is the most important piece of advice you have been given?

Life is an adventure! Act out of passion, not fear! 

CONCLUSION

We absolutely loved hearing about how the journey to Kavee began and the future plans and ideas. Our spotlight series will continue with more interesting articles featuring incredible women!

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