Growing up, we were pet store groupies. My twin brother Thomas and I hung out at the pet store a few blocks from home. Thomas would play with the parrots while I dreamt about which animals would be mine. When we turned 16, the pet store hired us both. I left each day with any animal that was injured or needed a home. My closet became filled with mice, lizards, and anything that I could hide from my parents. When mom caught me, she had had enough! She evicted my family of broken animals and told me that I could keep all the pets I wanted when I opened my own store.

So that's exactly what I did. At 22, I opened Animal Crackers, with hand-fed cockatiels flying overhead and a three-legged tortoise to help greet the customers. My brother took another path and went to Harvard Law School, practicing as a corporate litigator for ten years. I obviously made the better life choice.

Ten years later, I got a call about a pit bull puppy who needed help. Of course I fostered her - adopting animals is what I do. So I met Mishka, a little tan pit bull with bug eyes, alligator skin, missing fur, and hot spots all over her body. She was perfect. On the first day, Mishka ran into my bedroom and jumped on the bed like she lived there. I fell in love.

I thought food allergies were causing her skin problems. A food allergy would have been no problem - I often fix diet issues for my customers. So I changed Mishka's diet and her hair started to come back, but she was still itchy and had hot spots. I took all the products we had on the shelf and tried them one by one. Nothing worked. I called my vet, who wanted to put Mishka on steroids and medication for the rest of her life.

I said no and instead researched natural remedies. The grooming industry is underdeveloped and dominated by large companies concerned with profits over ingredients. So I made my own natural relief for Mishka. My brother was impressed with how well she was doing, so I showed him my new products. (They would become our Hot Spot Stick and Charcoal Shampoo.) Thomas saw my vision for a natural and organic way forward. He would eventually leave his corporate job to help make it real, and thus kin+kind was born.

Thomas and I are thrilled to have you join us on our mission to save the world, one itchy pet at a time.

With love, 

Janine Ling
Founder and Owner, kin+kind