Dispatches from CatConLA

I just had the most amazing cat-centric experience of my life thanks to CatConLA— a two day Comic-Con type event for cat lovers held in downtown Los Angeles. I don’t even know which part was most amazing! There were literally thousands of people  dressed up as crazy cats or in cat-based prints, exploring the 100s of cat-themed vendors and their adorable wears! Everybody in attendance just seemed to be so happy— the love of cats is contagiously euphoric I guess :) It was such an amazing experience to be a part of.

CatConLA Wendy Casazza

CatConLA exhibitor badge

Aside from being the first CatCon of this nature, this event was also the first in-person sales event for Notso Kitty! The opportunity to interact directly with my target market and receive feedback on Notso Kitty products was absolutely invaluable! Also I learned there is more of a demand for certain versions of my products than I could have ever anticipated! I am so thankful that the creator of this event, the amazing Susan Michals, agreed to give me a chance to be a vendor after discovering me on Etsy. I didn’t get to meet her at CatConLA since she was so busy figuring out the logistics for CatCon2 (and other versions), but she is one of my new creative business heroines in any case!

Booth Set Up- #1

Booth Set Up- #1

 

Todd helps me with the booth set up

Todd helps me with the booth set up

The finished Notso Kitty booth -- before it was decimated the first day of CatConLA!

The finished Notso Kitty booth — before it was decimated the first day of CatConLA!

So what else was awesome about CatConLA? Well…. EVERYTHING! Not only were euphorically happy cat lovers running around the Reef facility in LA, but there was kitty-based inspiration to be had EVERYWHERE you looked! I had the chance to meet and chat with Kate Funk who I have admired on Etsy for years for her AC the Cat photographs and cards! I also learned about Purrvana Kitty Kush catnip from my pal Corinna Santini — another amazing product! Laura Mart, the woman pictured below in the ball gown made of stuffed cats, designs the stuffed cats herself and sells them on Etsy!

One of Kate Funk's cards starring AC!

One of Kate Funk’s cards starring AC!

Purrvana Kitty Kush!

Purrvana Kitty Kush!

Laura Mart in her cat ball gown

Laura Mart in her cat ball gown

Aside from the other interesting Etsy-based cat people, there were major cat superstars and bigger cat businesses on hand as well. Fixnation and the Best Friends Animal Society were both represented heavily on the cat charity side– almost 100 kitty adoptions took place during the two days at CatCon! I also saw the internet superstar Lil’ Bub — she was hanging out on her table before the show got started (she later hosted a meet-and-greet in which people lined up for hours and spent $150 to meet her). Robert Smigel as Triumph the Insult Comic Dog and Jack McBrayer (Kenneth from 30 Rock) were also both on hand and taping a sketch in the booth next to mine at one point! I almost died when Rob Smigel looked over at my “cats should wear glasses” sign in my booth and said that’s “fucking awesome”. That’s almost a celebrity endorsement, right? :)

Lil' Bub!!

Lil’ Bub!!

After CatCon the high continued for a few days for Notso Kitty with all the great press mentions and news articles featuring pictures of my products. I almost can’t believe this still, but I even managed to get a mention of my shop in the NY TIMES!!! Who knew this would be so big? I certainly had my expectations blown away by not only the demand for my products at CatCon, but the level of people that were in attendance from big press outlets and cat-based business ventures. I would say that CatCon definitely succeeded in breaking the stereotype of the “weird cat person” which was part of its mission. I can’t wait to do an event of this nature again!!

CatConLA Preparations Underway!

Maybe you’ve heard me mention this before, but I am so excited to be participating in CatConLA- the fabulous convention for cat lovers occurring June 6th and 7th of 2015! I’ve been gearing up the last few months— squaring away several things on my “to-do” list that need to be done before I can go to my first in-person sales event. How have things been coming? Well, I’m a little bit overwhelmed, but here’s a preview of several items that I’ve been working on.

New Kitty Glasses Looks

I’ve expanded my cat glasses line to potentially attract more buyers at CatCon. First we have a few new Kanye West/Kitty West shutter shade looks with ombre rhinestone effects— I think they look  pretty cool!

Shutter Shades for Cats

Cat Shutter Shades

I also finished be-dazzling the black shutter shades for Fluff:Cat Shutter SHades

Aside from Kanye West/ Kitty West, I continued to improve on my nerd glasses looks. Below Fluff models a new pair in Blue that are available in the Notso Kitty Shop! Kitty Cat Nerd Glasses

Get Well Kitty Cat Nurse Hat

Aside from new glasses looks, I have been working on a few new hat looks for the Notso Kitty Shop and for CatConLA. The first one I actually made for a friend of mine originally— she recently broke her foot (ouch!) and I made this so her cat Oscar would have proper attire to attend to her. The hat came out so adorably (in my humble opinion) that I decided to make it available for the Notso Kitty Shop and CatConLA soon! Below Notso models this hat and sleeps at the same time– what we call multitasking in this house :)

DSC_0001

 

CatConLA Preparations

There is a lot to be done still before I head to CatConLA in the beginning of June, but I’ve been making steady progress over the last few weeks. I have made some of my bags, packaging, signage and freebie give-aways. I also have invested in some basics– business cards, a crate to ship my stuff in, a Square reader for credit card payments and a cash box for other tendered payments. Every time I think I’m making progress, I remember how much there is left to do and I become somewhat overwhelmed. Alas, nothing easy is ever worth it :)

CatConLA

Freebie decals  for CatConLA attendees

CatConLA

Notso Kitty shopping bags for CatConLA

New Nerd Glasses for Cats

It’s an exciting time here at the Notso Kitty Shop! Just posted: newly improved nerd glasses for cats designs! Kitty Poindexter has never looked so sophisticated. Check out some of the awesome looks below:

Kitty Poindexter

Nerd Glasses for Cats

Aside from the nerd glasses, updates were made to the Kitty West look as well as a new 3D glasses design. This cat’s glasses wardrobe is bigger than mine!

Kanye Kitty West Shutter Shades Cat

3D glasses kitty
That’s all the updates for now! Until next time!

 

Been awhile….

Been awhile since I’ve gotten around to updating this page…. I actually had to take a vacation day from my regular job today to ensure I would do the tasks like this that have been accumulating on my to-do list for the last few months. Ugh– my ability to procrastinate things I want to do has to be by far one of my most annoying habits. But I do try to be realistic and cut myself some slack at the same time— it’s not every individual that could handle a full time job as an engineering manager with part time aspirations of launching a successful creative venture. I know there are a few out there that can as I’ve even seen a few at my current employer— but sometimes I wonder if I might be dragging out this process longer than necessary. It’s tough to kick myself in the ass when I’m not coordinated enough to stand on one foot at a time :)

Anyhoo— I have a few updates to share with you that I think are quite exciting. I hope you’ll forgive my absence over the last few months and read onwards into my newest adventures ….

#CATCONLA 2015

My first big announcement is that the Notso Kitty Shop was recently invited to have a booth at the first annual CatConLA at The Reef in downtown Los Angeles. I’m so excited about this opportunity to meet and mingle with other cat crazies!!! It will be held on June 6th and 7th and I have been ramping up my cat accessory production methods in the meantime to prepare me for the occasion. I’m so excited to meet or revisit some of my fellow Etsy cat-themed heroes as well as the cat star-studded guest list!

#CatConLA

Other Odds and Ends

The last few months have not been as busy in the Notso Kitty Shop— I have calmed down on designing new things for the time being and some of my sales have fallen off with that. I fear not though— as I have a few improvements that should pick things up over the next few months. The first of such improvements is my recent investment in a Cricut Explore for achieving fast clean lines while cutting items like my felt cat glasses and patterns.  I’m surprised it took me this long to discover the Cricut Explore— I had been biased against previous versions of the Cricut because I didn’t think that cutting the pre-made cartridge designs really counted as a creative activity (yes, I guess I’m a creative snob like that). But the Cricut Explore is different in that you could import your own designs from places like Adobe Illustrator— a capability I jumped on IMMEDIATELY upon opening the box. This device has proved itself of unbelievable utility so far— within the first few hours of operating it, I had designed new hat boxes to house Notso Kitty Shop products that were both usable and adorable. I can’t wait to see what other uses for this device I can come up with.

Notso Fluffy Shia LaBoeuf

Notso Fluffy’s recent Shia LaBoeuf impersonation

As for new cat hat designs: I have plans for a few over the next few months as well as some improvements to my old designs made possible by devices like the Cricut and further crafty knowledge I have recently come by. I also hope to simultaneously gut half my house (we are still settling in from our move last year), learn Japanese, and clear about two dozen half-started ADHD project piles that currently occupy my living room. I’ll let you know how those adventures go— but in the meantime, please continue to forgive these sporadic blog postings :)

Notso Kitty Shop Updates

Hello Everyone! It’s been awhile (too long I know) and I have many new updates to share with you concerning my creative endeavors! I’ve made great progress over the last six months in getting settled into the new home of the Notso Kitty Shop in Salem, Massachusetts and I’m finally almost to the point where I’m picking up projects again as I did pre-move. I really didn’t realize how much “settling in”  would wear me out this past year before I moved, but I’m almost finally back to what I would call normal (and other normal people would call crazy). Time to make some new cat hats for the shop!

New Party Cat Hats

After a brief hiatus from making hats, I got back into it full force last month. I started by making a few new party hats that could be worn for birthdays and other festive occasions. Notso was all too happy to model them :)

Cat Party Hat

Cat Party Hat

The Holidays Are Coming

Aside from some new kitty party hats for various occasions, I made some specifically for the upcoming winter holidays. I finally got around to making my Hanukkah Cat Hat and a Mistletoe fascinator. I think they came out quite splendidly, though I may be a little biased— hope you like them as much as I do!

Hanukkah Cat Hat

Christmas Cat Hat

Mistletoe Cat