Meet Our Team

Mara and Liberty

Liberty Peralta
Read our founder’s story

Liberty originally hails from Wai‘anae and now calls Kaimuki home, where she lives with her cats Mara, Boo, and Rey. Liberty earned her bachelor’s degree in advertising from Hawai‘i Pacific University on a full-tuition scholarship. She’s also a graduate of Launch My Business, a local, federally sponsored accelerated entrepreneurial program. Liberty has a background in nonprofit public media in marketing, production, and management roles. In her downtime, she enjoys contributing music knowledge during trivia nights with friends, playing video games, catching up on podcasts, curating her Funko Pop collection, or enjoying the occasional live rock show.



Kamalei Hee
Cat Lounge Host

Kamalei was born and raised in Kaimuki and Palolo, and graduated from the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa with a bachelor’s degree in creative writing and a certificate in ethnic studies. She still harbors dreams of becoming a Pokémon Trainer. When not trying to befriend and/or pet every animal she comes across, Kamalei loves to go on eating-related adventures, attend live music shows as often as possible, drink coffee at her favorite local spots, and take photos.



Jessamyn Kedl
Cat Lounge Host

Jessamyn was raised in Minnesota and moved to O‘ahu for college. She earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies at Chaminade University. Prior to joining the Popoki + Tea team, Jessamyn was a veterinary technician for five years at an East Honolulu clinic, and briefly worked as a customer service agent for interactive dolphin experiences. Jess has three Persian cats, and in a past life, showed her award-winning felines at the local cat show. In her downtime, Jessamyn manages her pets’ social media and tries to keep up with her dogs’ active social life. She loves the beach and the outdoors.



Marie Frances Pagkalinawan
Cat Lounge Host

Marie was born in the Philippines and moved to O‘ahu when she was 9 years old. She is pursuing an associate degree in medical laboratory technology at Kapi‘olani Community College. Marie has a great passion for animals, plants, microbes, and science. Her passion for cats started when she was only 6 years old. While she was growing up in the Philippines, Marie would watch her grandmother rescue cats, dogs and cows. In 2016, Marie rescued a 2-week-old kitten and surrendered her to CatFriends, a local nonprofit animal rescue, only to re-discover her 6 months later at a pop-up adoption site! It was kismet, so Marie ended up adopting this cat, who now goes by Bonnie. Marie also has a kitten named Clyde, adopted from Popoki + Tea. During Marie’s downtime, she loves traveling, gardening, and playing fetch with Bonnie.



Abby Wilcer
Cat Lounge Host

Abby was born in Novato, California, and moved to O‘ahu for college. She’s currently pursuing a bachelors degree in sociology and a certificate in women’s studies from the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa. She started at Popoki + Tea as a KAT Charities volunteer before officially joining the Popoki + Tea team in May 2021. She adopted her cat Gio, previously known as Trixie, from Popoki + Tea in its first year. When she’s not working at Popoki + Tea, Abby is either drinking all the iced coffees she can find, or traveling the world and learning new languages.