Dog food. The consented worry for every dog mom! What is in the food? Kibble or raw? Fresh or freeze-dried? There are so many choices and so many things coming from each direction. When we came across Maev, let’s just say we were blown away. Not only is their branding ON POINT and speaks to us on so many levels! But it is also run by two badass dog moms who decided that there had to be better for our dogs! Meet Maev is a mix of raw dog food, bone broth, and vitamin bars that address hip and joint, stress and anxiety hair and skin as well as weight and digestion. Everything is made with human-grade ingredients so we are 100% comfortable feeding our babes this day in and day out.
We had the chance to chat with one of the founders of Maev, Christine, and asked them all the questions you are dying to know below!
Why did you start Maev?
So we made Maev official to the world in February (very weird timing with COVID…), but Katie and I have been working on Maev as a concept for the last two years. Maev really started in 2015 though when Katie adopted her Italian Greyhound, George.
Katie was living in San Francisco in her early 20s and after growing up with dogs, decided she was ready to get a dog of her own. So she started signing up for almost any Italian Greyhound rescue organization out in California. While she was waiting to find her perfect match, she spent all this time asking for permission and approval from her family and friends who each told her she couldn’t or shouldn’t adopt a dog: she wasn’t ready for the responsibility, it would be expensive, it would upend her life, and the list went on!
The process was hard, but ultimately, it was the best decision she’s ever made. And it was really Katie’s experience that brought about the idea behind Maev. There’s something totally unique to getting a dog of your own in this in-between stage of your life. They become your person, the one with whom you tackle the world. The thing is, Katie wasn’t alone. There were so many people who shared Katie’s experience: living in cities, getting dogs earlier, having big meaningful jobs and trying to make it all work. And it’s really hard raising a dog, building a career, having a social life … all in a city that wasn’t made for this. It didn’t feel like anyone in the pet category was designing wellness products for us and our dogs, for our lifestyles together, for our unique needs and our unique relationships. No one even saw us a customer.
So we set out to build it: The highest quality nutrition and wellness products for our dogs that are also modern and intentionally designed. We’ve never felt like you had to sacrifice design for function. We’ve always believed you can make incredible, healthy products for our dogs that are also beautiful, well-designed, and affordable.
Tell us about your pup(s)!
Oh boy, well Katie’s the ultimate dog mom. She has George, an Italian Greyhound and Boone, a Doberman. George is a young gentleman – the kind you don’t often meet anymore. He’s polite, posh, and wise beyond his years. A retiree who loves to sleep in, sunbathe, and have worldly conversation with his mom. As a people person, he struggles with separation anxiety, so he tries to spend as much time as possible among/on top of loved ones. He’s still getting used to being a big brother to Boone, a doberman pinscher she recently adopted. Surprisingly, George is an alpha, weighing in at just 15 lbs.
What and who influences your work?
There are three main things that influence our work – our customers, our individual perspectives and who we aspire to be.
Customer feedback is the number one thing that influences us. The best part of working in the dog industry is the intimacy dog parents share with their dogs that then translates into our relationship with our customers. It means we get to have really unique, in depth conversations with users. It’s really special. Dog people are also extremely educated and engaged. We have such interesting and deep conversations with our customers who are so educated on nutrition and wellness and what makes their dog tick and what they love in products for themselves and for their dogs. It keeps us on our toes every day.
The next piece that influences us is our point of view and individual perspectives. We take that customer feedback and take those pain points, and we approach them with a design and innovation lens. Everything we build at Maev is functional and design-forward. We approach everything from a user experience perspective. Katie’s an engineer, so she loves building physical products that change the way you think about a category. I also love design, so the visual cues in our brand are very editorial and contemporary. We believe it’s important to actively listen to your customers and then put your own spin on things, so that your brand is still infused with your personality and stands for something.
And lastly, we’re influenced by who we consider to be great. It’s funny because they’re not in the dog care category, but Glossier’s had a huge impact on us. They have this ability to create incredible, hero products alongside amazing content and community and a superior digital experience. What they’ve built is really special and it pushes us to keep raising the bar on what it means to be an amazing dog brand.
What is/are your fav dog brands and why?
For us, we really love brands that have a mission we love and create products at the intersection of functionality and design. We love Little Beast. They have a really curated selection of products across a bunch of different categories from leashes to dog bowls to treats. It’s not super pricey, but it also doesn’t sacrifice design. We also love Growlees dog tags. They’re super snappy and quippy (Little Beast also carries them!) And then Pet So Good is great for super chic bowls.
What are your personal favorite products of Maev?
It’s really impossible to pick just one, and I know everyone says that, but we’ve put a lot of thought into what goes into each of our products from both an ingredient and nutritional standpoint as well as a design and user experience standpoint. Our raw meals, daily vitamin bars and bone broth are designed to meet you wherever you are on your wellness journey with your dog. If you’re ready to go all-in on a new diet, we have vitamin-enriched raw food, but if raw doesn’t fit your price point or your lifestyle, our vitamin bars and bone broth provide the supplemental nutrition your dog needs with incremental changes that have an impact.
If we had to pick though – it would be the raw meals. We’ve learned so much over the last few years about the issues with most commercial kibbles: from over processing to low quality ingredients to almost no protein in them to the slew of health issues they cause in dogs. When we first started learning about raw a few years ago, it was the first time we’d ever heard people be actually excited about what they were feeding their dogs. The raw feeders we knew had seen major health improvements both inside and out, so we quickly got on board and haven’t looked back. Which is why we love our raw meals so much. Just like with us where our health starts with our nutrition, food is the foundation for our dogs’ health. We want to make it as easy as possible for you to feed your dog the absolute best, so the raw meals are our standout favorite.
What is new for your company in 2020?
Right now it’s about growing the business and learning as much as we can from customers. We see ourselves dabbling with retail in the next few months as things slowly start to open back up. Dog products are really sensoriel, so it will be important for people to be able to experience our brand and products in real life. Our other focus will be in expanding our product lines.
Above all, we’re focused on our relationship with our customers (both humans and dogs). Anything we do next is going to be done based on the feedback, conversations and relationships we have with our customers. We love our community – people are so engaged with our products and our brand. That’s what makes this worthwhile. It’s through that engagement with customers that our products actually come to life. So anything we do next at Maev is going to come from what we’re hearing from our customers. Without a doubt.
If you want to improve your pup’s health please consider looking into Maev! You can try their trail pack which is One day of food, one daily vitamin bar, and one jar of bone broth. We can promise you that your pup is going to be obsessed!
Also, make sure to follow them on insta for your daily dose of dog mom greatness!