East Williamsburg-based, Celltei, started in 1999 as one of the first companies to specialize in the production of customized pet carriers. Founded by Angie Yeung, the company is now considered the oldest maker of pet carriers in the world. Yeung’s background in investment banking and love of animals has helped her create a unique product for pet-owning travelers.
Since its founding and the boom in pet ownership in the last twenty years, Celltei has grown and created a loyal customer base located in over 60 countries. In this time, the company has created a niche for itself by selling an array of products for dogs, cats, birds, ferrets, and monkeys. Currently, over 50% of its sales are bird-related products including customized carriers for a wide variety of species including the African Grey, Macaw, and Cockatoo.
Celltei is proud to run its operations out of New York City and its owner and seven employees all live in the five boroughs. Initially, the company began its operations at a location on Grand Street and later moved to its current facility on Waterbury Street in 2009. Owning a manufacturing business in Brooklyn has many challenges, but the location provides the company access to a large workforce skilled in craftsmanship. Yeung cites this as one of the biggest challenges to running a successful business as fewer and fewer people are skilled in the sewing techniques needed to create Celltei’s custom products.
The company has embraced the responsibility of educating customers on the challenges that come with pet ownership, especially exotic animals that are not usually pets. Additionally, Celltei regularly invests in animal conservation efforts and in communities where poaching and wildlife trade risk the existence of many species. Yeung has made trips to Uganda, Congo, and Bolivia in hopes of learning more about conservation programs and how to deter the wildlife trade in poor communities. She believes that pets are more important than ever because they are living elements that not only provide companionship but also bring people together.