In the lead-up to Niagara VegFest 2015 on June 7, we’d like to introduce you to some of our wonderful vendors, exhibitors and volunteers who make the festival happen. In this Q&A, Holly Brown of Black Cat Botanical tells us about her beautiful products, why black cats need our attention and how VegFest helps small, vegan businesses and organizations.
NVF: Tell us about your business.
HB: Black Cat Botanical sells a collection of nature-inspired products including vegan soap, body care and illustrated art cards. My soaps are made for sensitive skin by pairing simple ingredients with soothing herbs. All my body products are made with organic and/or wildcrafted ingredients, often grown by myself. I personally follow a vegan and gluten free diet for my health and the animals and this is reflected in my products.
I’m an artist and everything I do becomes infused with my love of art! You are not only buying a bar of soap, but you are purchasing an art piece as well. Each soap band is printed with a hand-carved linocut and then painted by hand in bright, fun colours. Each print is an animal I associate with the ingredients in the product and inspired by my observations of wildlife in my community. My soap packaging is unique and makes each bar a lovely gift for yourself or a loved one.
A lot of people ask about the name of my business. The name Black Cat Botanical and my logo is inspired by my companion animal, a small black cat named Kiki. I adopted her in London, ON when there were an overwhelming number of black cats up for adoption in Southwestern Ontario. Did you know black cats often have the lowest adoption rate and the highest euthanasia rate? Black cats are often the last to be adopted because of the superstition and negative beliefs they are sometimes associated with and a preference for colourful felines. Part of my mission is to break this stigma through using my business title as a conversation starter and encourage people to consider providing forever homes for black felines.
NVF: What are you most looking forward to at Niagara VegFest 2015?
HB: I am excited to be a vendor this year because I get to have so many wonderful conversations with people in such a short period of time. And of course, the food is amazing!
NVF: Why is Niagara VegFest important to you?
HB: The information sharing, education and community feeling that Niagara VegFest affords is always a highlight. Niagara VegFest offers a forum for like-minded, eco-friendly and veg-curious individuals to share, reflect and celebrate. It provides necessary exposure for many small vegan businesses and organizations that are doing fantastic work, but need our support to continue! I always leave feeling refreshed and that I am not alone in my journey of striving towards a more sustainable, compassionate and healthy lifestyle.
For more information about Holly’s vegan and gluten free products, follow Black Cat Botanical on Facebook and stop by her booth at Niagara VegFest 2015 on Sunday, June 7th! See you there.