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Does your cat love cardboard? So do we. That’s why we created this modern hideout. Cardboard re-imagined for your cat, home & planet.
Does your cat love cardboard? So do we. That’s why we created this modern hideout. Cardboard re-imagined for your cat, home & planet.
249 backers pledged $14,701 to help bring this project to life.
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The Water Gem 🐱 The Hideout Designed For Your Cat & Planet

$14,701

249



We all know that cats LOVE cardboard, but why? 

Cardboard speaks directly to your cat's instincts. It’s made from wood, so it has a natural smell and feel. Corrugated cardboard has flutes (shown below). These flutes help regulate your cat's body temperature, making them feel extra cozy.

Corrugated cardboard flute

This is why your kitty likes those boxes 📦📦 that are dropped off every so often. But the reality is, used cardboard can carry traces of whatever it was used for. Maybe it was stored in a dirty factory, maybe it carried harsh chemicals at some point, it’s not easy to know what dirt may be present in the cardboard. Also, a cardboard box doesn’t have a built-in bed and a roof. And let’s face it–it doesn’t look very nice in your living room! 

So, while the Water Gem may be made of cardboard, it’s not some ordinary box. 

Packed with feline pleasing features, the Water Gem isn’t just cardboard, it's cardboard reinvented for your cat.


Sia, Chubby, Bongo, Mochi, Smokey & Ollie approved


Cats are naturally curious, suspicious and anxious animals. They instinctively look for threats. Giving them a space to hide, hunt and explore allows them to expend this pent-up energy in a positive way. This energy often reveals itself through stress and anxiety. As cats get anxious, they need a place to rest and feel safe so they can recharge their batteries and stay healthy. The Water Gem has been designed with features that truly support your cat’s needs for rest, play and safety.


The Pyramid Dome literally puts a roof over cats’ heads, ensuring no one can get to them from above. The pyramid shape makes the space feel small and safe without limiting the room to get cozy at the base. It provides a pawsome nook for cats to explore with their nose, paws and claws. ✔️Supports your cat’s need for rest, play and safety.

Mochi enjoying the roof over her head

The Natural Wood Smell from the cardboard speaks to cats' instincts, giving them an extra level of comfort and relaxation. ✔️Supports your cat’s need for rest.

Sia enjoying the Water Gem scent 🌱

The Built-in Headrests allow cats to fall asleep and rest their head in any position they prefer.  ✔️Supports your cat’s need for rest.

Sia resting her head in the Water gem

The Elevated Entryway allows cats to enter safely knowing no one else is inside. Exposed cardboard edges give cats a full belly rub as they enter and a place to leave their scent. With only one point of entry that is lifted off the ground, cats can relax knowing no one can sneak in behind them or from directly under their nose.  ✔️Supports your cat’s need for rest, play and safety.

Vespa getting a belly rub
Boba leaving her scent to remind Vespa this is hers too!

The Cradled Base provides many points of contact for cats to snuggle into. Its depth ensures they feel safe and cozy while dozing off. The angular walls of the base swaddle them by maintaining 360 degrees of cat contact, while leaving enough room to rest comfortably. ✔️Supports your cat’s need for rest and safety.

Bongo catching some 💤’s in the Water Gem

The Unique Shape allows pet parents to scratch and tap the outside walls creating a symphony of tones to entertain their cats. Like a drum set, the large base and narrowing dome create very different sounds keeping cats engaged. The sharp angles where the walls meet repel and deflect noise from every direction, allowing cats to relax in peace and quiet. ✔️Supports your cat’s need for rest, play and safety.

Sia playing with sound
Vespa taking a bath peacefully

The Corrugated Cardboard helps ensure that cats' body temperatures remain comfortable: not too hot and not too cold. Wood is a natural insulator that helps hold in heat. The fluted cardboard acts as a radiator helping to remove excessive heat. ✔️Supports your cat’s need for rest. 

Sia chillin comfortably in the Water Gem

The Hide and Sneak Walls allow cats to feel protected from the outside world, alleviating stress. The angles and shapes of the 10 interior walls encourage them to explore and play. ✔️Supports your cat’s need for rest, play and safety.

Vespa kinda hiding 😹
Peek-a-Boo Vespa

🚫 No glue. No clips. No Tape. No Tools. Interlocking tabs and shape of the Water Gem ensure simple, yet super sturdy construction. The Pyramids are like 5000 years old…Just sayin. 🤓



A love for pets, the desire to find meaningful work and a passion for protecting the planet have motivated Boba&Vespa® founders Mariya and Chia to take on plastic pollution. These two friends and coworkers found that they were frequently searching for career fulfillment and a way to fight against plastic pollution. Finding inspiration from brands taking control of their future and the future of the planet by creating meaningful change, Mariya and Chia decided to do the same.

Photo Credit: Christian Miller

Boba&Vespa is the brand on a mission to eliminate plastic pet products. We believe that the desire to reward our pets shouldn’t come at the expense of the planet. We believe companies, not consumers, should be responsible for ensuring products are responsibly sourced, manufactured and packaged. That’s why we started:








In order to make the Water Gem as eco-friendly as possible, we need to invest money into tooling and material sourcing. The Water Gem prototypes were made on a computer-aided drafting (CAD) table, one at a time. This is extremely expensive, inefficient and limited in capability. 

With a proper cutting tool, we can bring down the cost of the Water Gem by significantly increasing production efficiency. We can design in ways that utilize as much of the starting cardboard stock as possible, reducing waste. We can ensure the Water Gem folds well and is easy to assemble so that it is durable and lasts a long time. Lastly, a higher volume gives us access to higher quality, more sustainable cardboard. 

To date, we have spent nearly all of our budget developing, testing and marketing the Water Gem in an effort to ensure the Water Gem is loved by cats and recognized by cat parents. We believe that the Kickstarter community will recognize the value in the mission of Boba&Vespa and the joy that the Water Gem brings to pets, pet parents and the planet. 

We hope that the Kickstarter community will help us all move one step closer to a plastic free future by supporting the Water Gem.

How we will use the funding:

  • Tooling $3500
  • Raw Materials/Shipping $5000
  • Marketing $2500
  • Legal/Accounting $1,000


Trust us, this isn’t just another cardboard box. We know because we have spent the past two years cutting them up and putting them back together to create something that we are proud to bring to Kickstarter. 

Drawings, papercuts, dumpster diving, CatCons, dining room photoshoots, bootstrapped video production, a lot of time sitting on the floor and countless interference by curious kitties have been our life for some time now. We’ve learned a lot and can’t wait to get the Water Gem in the paws of all cardboard loving kitties. We can’t wait to start creating more plastic free pawsomeness.


Mariya Newman  |  Co-founder

Mariya is the one at the office BBQ that brought her own fork, plate, glass and cloth napkin. Her passion for travel and the planet has put her on a warpath with plastic pollution. Mariya has spent the past decade helping brands like P&G, BMW and Starbucks grow utilizing her skills as a certified PMP and digital marketing director.

“It is extremely difficult to shop for your pet and avoid plastic. From toys to pet beds, nearly all products are made from, or packaged in plastic. Pet beds are nearly all 100% polyester. Polyester is 100% plastic and a large source of the microplastics that are polluting our planet.”


Chia Wu  |  Co-founder

If you can’t get ahold of Chia, it’s likely because she is affixed to a giant rock up in the mountains pursuing her nightly passion of bouldering. Chia, a senior art director has spent the past 10 years helping brands through meticulous design. When at home, she is tending to her kitties Boba and Vespa­­—the inspiration behind the brand.

“It’s taken us a while to get here, but we are trying to do things right the first time. Most pet products are designed for the purpose of pleasing the pet owner, regardless of what our pets actually need and almost never with a thought of the effect on the planet. At Boba&Vespa, we’re doing the exact opposite.”



Chubby and all of us at Boba&Vespa thank you for your interest in our campaign. We hope to see you on the backer page!

Risks and challenges

Boba&Vespa founders Mariya and Chia have spent the past two years developing the design and supply chain for the Water Gem, while ensuring the brand’s mission is never compromised. The Boba&Vespa team has a combined 40 years of experience in manufacturing, supply chain management, product development and marketing. Boba&Vespa has made nearly 50 prototypes of the Water Gem to date, improving the structural design, size, ease of assembly, durability and packaging with each iteration.

One of the main risks has been ensuring we can package and deliver the Water Gem in a way that will make it across the country in one-piece while remaining plastic free. We are confident that we have done the work to ensure safe delivery. At this point, all that is left is to ensure that the demand for the Water Gem is high enough to cover the cost of the tooling, production and marketing required to bring the Water Gem and its plastic free packaging to life on a bigger scale.

While no project is without risk, Boba&Vespa is extremely confident that the Water Gem will be delivered on time creating happy holiday kitties! We won't let you or the planet down!

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Environmental commitments

Visit our Environmental Resources Center to learn how Kickstarter encourages sustainable practices.

Long-lasting design

Early versions of the Water Gem had more than two pieces and larger slots for the locking tabs to make it easier to assemble. However, this made the structure lose rigidity and begin to break down rather quickly. As a result, we moved to a two-piece structure and different tab locking mechanism. The Water Gem is now a cardboard structure that we have taken on several vacations over the past two years and is still a perfectly functioning cat hideout. With funding, we will be able to test different types of cardboard ensuring that we select the one that is most durable while still sustainable.

Reusability and recyclability

The Water Gem and its packaging is 100% biodegradable, compostable and recyclable. Boba&Vespa will be sure to educate its backers as to how to dispose of their Water Gem without sending it to landfill. Cradle-to-grave product lifecycle consideration is a founding principle of Boba&Vespa.

Sustainable materials

We plan to use FSC certified cardboard for production runs of the Water Gem. We will ensure that the cardboard used to create the Water Gem is sustainably sourced and does not cause deforestation.

Environmentally friendly factories

We work with factories that consider their environmental impact throughout their process. We will work to ensure waste is minimized when creating our products, and that any waste generated can be recycled back into the manufacturing process. We will also ensure that our products are packaged to ship to us in a way that reduces waste and unnecessary plastic packaging.

Sustainable fulfillment and distribution

Boba&Vespa has chosen to manufacture and sell the Water Gem exclusively in North America. We do not believe that cardboard should travel on ocean liners and then ship on planes all over the planet. We have already had interest from countries outside of North America and we have politely declined their interest. Until we are successful enough to produce in a market outside of North America, we will not sell to or source from it.

Something else

Boba&Vespa is operating its business nearly plastic free. Plastic pollution is one of the great threats to wildlife and the planet as a whole. The Water Gem and its packaging are completely plastic free. Events sponsored by Boba&Vespa are consciously planned to remain plastic free. Boba&Vespa is a member of the Plastic Pollution Coalition and regularly works with other businesses to promote plastic free alternatives to everyday needs.

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 35 or more About US$ 35

    💚 Kickstarter Special – Water Gem

    Includes:
    • 1 Water Gem
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    85 backers
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    Pledge US$ 35 or more About US$ 35

    👕 No Cat - Just the T Please

    100% cotton black t-shirt or tank top with Boba&Vespa logo

    Includes:
    • 1 T-shirt or Tank Top
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    Ships to Only certain countries
    23 backers
    $

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    Pledge US$ 65 or more About US$ 65

    😺😸 Double Trouble - 2 Water Gems

    Because your cats will fight for it

    Includes:
    • 2 Water Gems
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    39 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 65 or more About US$ 65

    💥 Water Gem + T Combo

    100% cotton black t-shirt or tank top with Boba&Vespa logo and Water Gem

    Includes:
    • 1 Water Gem
    • 1 T-shirt or Tank Top
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    Ships to Only certain countries
    18 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 65 or more About US$ 65

    👕👕 No Cat - Two T's

    Includes:
    • 2 T-shirts or Tank Tops
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    Ships to Only certain countries
    0 backers
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    Pledge US$ 97 or more About US$ 97

    😺😼😹 Triple Threat - 3 Water Gems

    When your cats don't want to share

    Includes:
    • 3 Water Gems
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    Ships to Only certain countries
    5 backers
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    Pledge US$ 97 or more About US$ 97

    👕👕👕 No Cat - Three T's

    100% cotton black t-shirt or tank top with Boba&Vespa logo

    Includes:
    • 3 T-shirts or Tank Tops
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    Ships to Only certain countries
    1 backer
    $

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    Pledge US$ 130 or more About US$ 130

    💥💥 Double Combo

    2 Water Gems + 2 100% cotton black t-shirts or tank tops with Boba&Vespa logo

    Includes:
    • 2 Water Gems
    • 2 T-shirts or Tank Tops
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    2 backers
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    Pledge US$ 194 or more About US$ 194

    💥💥💥 Triple Combo

    3 Water Gems + 3 100% cotton black t-shirts or tank tops with Boba&Vespa logo

    Includes:
    • 3 Water Gems
    • 3 T-shirts or Tank Tops
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    Ships to Only certain countries
    4 backers
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    🎨 Custom painting of your best furriend

    Custom Painting x 1

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    Limited 1 backer
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    Pledge US$ 1,000 or more About US$ 1,000

    🏬 Retail Pack

    I have a store that needs this on its shelf—retail pack

    Includes:
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    Pledge US$ 30 or more About US$ 30

    🦅 Early Bird Special – Water Gem

    Includes:
    • 1 Water Gem
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    Reward no longer available 40 backers
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Funding period

- (30 days)