Capturing stories of pets and their owners have always been a fascinating subject for Kayla Dionisio and partner Julian Colvin. Talking about pets with strangers is such an enlightening experience that inspired the couple to start KinKo, a platform that aims to bring the pet community in the Philippines together.
In an interview with this writer via e-mail, Dionisio explained that KinKo, first and foremost, is a storytelling platform. “We were fascinated about how each of our pets had unique personalities and habits, kind of like a world of their own,” she said.
That’s when the idea of KinKo started. Dionisio added, “From our experience, talking about our pets with strangers is such a great ice breaker because we found that people like sharing stories about their much loved companions.”
KinKo was launched 5 December 2020 and since then has talked about the local pet scene and niche topics surrounding it. “We want to broaden our readers’ horizons, to make them see that there’s so much more to pet ownership than what they know,” Dionisio said.
While launching KinKo during a pandemic was definitely a challenge, Dionisio thought about its rewarding experience instead. She said, “We focused our efforts online. I think because of the lockdowns, people have begun to realize how much they crave personal connections, with pets or with friends!”
Aside from humanizing the whole aspect of pet ownership with amazing stories, KinKo also sells original products — all designed, sourced and made in the Philippines.
Dionisio mused, “We want to champion our local culture and bring it to the fore. We love collaborating with local creatives especially. We feel that they have so many ideas to offer — many of which we don’t even know much about, which makes it doubly exciting.”
She added, “Sustainability is a large part of KinKo We believe that, if not for ourselves, we should make the world a better place so our pets may lead healthier lives. Our Timber Kitty is an embodiment of that philosophy. It’s entirely organic and chemical-free, kiln dried, reusable as fertilizer for plants and most importantly, safe. There are a lot of litter out there that aren’t entirely safe for our cats and also harmful to the environment, so we wanted to provide a convincing and affordable alternative with minimal compromises.”
KinKo also collaborated with local creatives and artisans to make special pieces, like its Hachi-Buro marble collection of bowls and mugs, inspired by the story of Hachic’s everlasting loyalty to his owner Hidesabur.
Dionisio continued, “Pet ownership is 100 percent a lifestyle. Owning a pet is such a big commitment. I don’t think many people understand how big a responsibility it is. From the moment you get them, they’ll (likely) dictate how you go about your day. You’ll start thinking of things like ‘who’s going to take care of my pal when I’m doing this’ or even just planning your day around their bladder schedule.”
“It’s easy to fall in love with our pals, but what people don’t realize is how much work it actually is. It’s definitely one of those life choices that can really alter the course of your life,” she concluded.
KinKo will have a pop-up showroom next weekend at Dionisio’s office in Makati. There will be an alfresco waiting area so there’s enough room for people to observe social distancing. Pet owners can bring their own containers or empty boxes for the first Timber Kitty zero-waste refilling station. KinKo will also provide upcycled katsa sacks for people to use as cat litter. KinKo will also be taring the containers so people can purchase them by the gram. The pop-up showroom will run from 25 January until 5 February.