Katfood: Almost Edible Beauty Stuff, Get It Right Meow!
A former lawyer, Ms Kendra Liew is now proud owner of popular local beauty brand Katfood. Beneath her gentle smile is an ambitious drive to make us rethink the way we use personal care products. 100% natural and handmade locally, Katfood specializes in coconut oil-based skin and hair care products.
Extensively featured in the likes of Straits Times Urban, The Business Times, and a plethora of lifestyle print magazines (not least having had her Espresso Yourself Body Scrub picked up the prestigious Cleo Best Body Scrub Award 2015), it is hard to believe it all started only in November 2014.
We interviewed Kendra to find out more about Katfood and her mission to make personal care products safer, better and more 'edible'.
Tell us more about yourself and what made you foray into the business of handmade beauty products?
I studied Law at the National University of Singapore and was a lawyer for about 3 years before I left practice to run Katfood full-time. I have always experimented with and used homemade beauty remedies since I was a teenager, so going into this industry was a no-brainer.
I started Katfood because I have always wanted to run my own business, and I noticed that there was a lack of affordable natural skincare options in the market. I also felt like many existing products contained too many chemicals and too little quality ingredients.
What’s up with the name ‘Katfood’?
I wanted a fun and quirky name that got people thinking while at the same time giving people an idea of what we might be selling. The ‘food’ bit comes from how all my products are so fresh that they are almost like food, and also alludes to the ingredients we use in our products. It became ‘Katfood’ because I love cats. Haha!
Speaking of names, we really like the funky names of your products. Which ones are your favorites and what inspired them?
My favourite would be ‘John Lemon Lip Balm’ because it always brings up a mental image of a lemon wearing a tiny pair of his signature round sunglasses/glasses and it cracks me up. I also love ‘You Had Me At Aloe Body Lotion’ because every time I hear it I picture the scene from Jerry Maguire and Tom Cruise and Renee Zellweger saying ‘aloe’ instead of ‘hello’.
Who do you have in mind when crafting the various products you have?
We always have the every woman in mind no matter what we do. We want to make products that are simple, honest, useful and easy on the pocket.
Which is your bestselling item to-date?
The John Lemon Lip Balm! Women love it because it is super moisturizing and feels good on the lips, and men love it too because it smells like dessert. I have even had a couple order 80 of it as wedding favors.
Since your products are made by hand, how do you go about ensuring consistency in quality?
We adhere very strictly to our recipes to ensure consistency between each batch. As cleanliness is key when producing chemical preservative-free products, we also have a rigorous sanitization process which we never compromise on. We also stick to the Good Manufacturing Practice as far as possible.
We have seen a ballooning of handmade beauty brands out there, what would you attribute this to?
I think Singaporean consumers, especially the younger ones, are beginning to want items that they can relate to and understand - and this is why the demand for handmade products is growing. A product is no longer just an item that serves a specific function. What people buy now is a reflection of who they are and commercial, mass-produced products just don't tell a compelling story.
Any hint on what type of beauty product(s) you are looking to push out next?
We are working on several very different products at the moment so you can look forward to a diverse range of new products coming your way. One thing’s for sure though – it all smells really, REALLY good!
Give us three words you think best represent your philosophy in Katfood-making.
Made with love!
Where would people find Katfood?
Why work with Preloot?
Skincare is always a tough sell over the internet as it is something that people usually want to try before buying. With Preloot, I can now give my customers the opportunity to sample our Kat treats at a low cost before committing to the full-sized versions.