Chatting Pet & Plant Parenthood with Rooted Co-Founder and Creative Director, Kay Kim

Chatting Pet & Plant Parenthood with Rooted Co-Founder and Creative Director, Kay Kim

The overlap between pet and plant enthusiasts is pretty darn big, but something people don’t often realize is that certain plants are actually toxic to dogs. To solve that issue, we teamed up with our friends at Rooted to create a limited-edition Fetch & Foliage box, which includes our best-selling Spruce Toy Kit and four small, pet-safe plants. A portion of proceeds from each box will also support Social Tees Animal Rescue, a no-kill shelter dedicated to finding forever homes for abandoned dogs and cats in NYC.

To celebrate the launch of the Fetch & Foliage box, we sat down with Kay Kim, the Co-Founder and Creative Director of Rooted, to chat all things pet and plant parenthood.

Wild One: Tell us about Chicken! How did she come into your life?

Kay Kim: Chicken is my incredibly sassy (and smart) 1 year-old Australian Shepherd Mix. I was scrolling through my feed during Thanksgiving week when I came across an urgent post from @SocialTeesNYC requesting foster help due to everyone being out of town. I happily agreed to it for a week because all dogs deserve some turkey during this time—especially Chicken. That week turned into two, two weeks turned into a month, and now here I am, five months later as a foster fail dad with zero ragrets.

WO: We’d love to know more about Rooted and what led you to start the company?

KK: We were our own customers, really. When my cofounder Ryan and I first moved to New York, we felt disconnected from the lush environments we were so used to in California and Hawaii.

Buying plants for our space helped fill that void, but the entire process of buying and caring for plants was frustrating at best. Finding a variety of quality plants was one thing and getting them home another. There had to be a better solution than lugging giant fiddles onto the L-train or sifting through all sorts of conflicting plant care information online. One final trip to Home Depot really put the nail in the coffin. That’s when we had the idea to create a one-stop shop that would make the plant-buying experience more fun, convenient and accessible so that people would have an easier time reconnecting with nature.


WO: What do I love most about working with plants?

KK: Just the very fact that our entire business revolves around plants and nature in general. The mental, emotional, and physical benefits I get from interacting with, or even just looking at, plants on a daily basis is something I’m grateful for. It’s calming and reminds me of my early childhood growing up in Maui. The smell of fresh dirt and getting my hands dirty every now and then is another sweet bonus. It’s a nice way to balance the constant clicking, clacking, and pixel-pushing at my desk.

WO: How do you balance pet parenthood with running Rooted? What does a typical day in your life look like with Chicken?

KK: Balance? Luckily, we’re a fully-remote company so I’m able to work from home most of the time and that really helps with taking care of Chicken. She’s pretty needy in terms of play time.


WO: If you could share one plant tip, what would it be?

KK: Be consistent. It may take some time, but figure out how much light and water they need to live their best lives. And when watering, always err on the side of underwatering in terms of frequency. It’s much easier to bring back a slightly wilted plant than one with root rot. Once you know what they like, stick to a regular cycle of watering, fertilizing, repotting, etc.

WO: If someone struggles to keep plants alive (like many of us!), what plant would you recommend they get?

KK: You can’t go wrong with a ZZ plant or a snake plant—they can survive without weeks of water and basically thrive off of neglect. Great for those that are forgetful and/or are frequent flyers.

WO: What’s your favorite thing about Chicken?

KK: She smells like rice and takes criticism really well.

WO: What’s your favorite activity to do with Chicken?

KK: I love playing fetch with her just because it’s her favorite thing in the world. She’ll literally fetch anything that’s thrown from sticks to frisbees, but nothing, nothing, compares to the word ‘ball’. It shakes her to her very core, triggers tunnel vision, making everything else in the world fade to black. For Chicken, ball really is life.

WO: Does Chicken have any silly quirks or secret talents?

KK: She sits kind of like a propped up rotisserie chicken where her hind legs splay out like a butterfly.

WO: All-time favorite Wild One product?

KK: I love the Tennis Tumble because it takes her a while to get the ball out which means that much more time for me to get some work done.

WO: All-time favorite Wild One color?

KK: As a plantboy, I’m a big fan of Spruce.

WO: What are you most excited for in Rooted’s future?

KK: I’m really stoked about our new hard goods line we’ll be launching later in the year. This includes everything from custom-designed planters to accessories like trellises, moss poles, and more.

WO: Where can people follow you and learn more about Rooted?

KK: You can find us at @heyrooted and/or