Hello Notso Kitty fans! It has been a busy few weeks for us here at the Notso Kitty Shop lately! Between open market preparations, catching up on back orders and designing new products I feel like it’s been a little whirlwind of activity. I’m lucky to have more time to devote to Notso Kitty lately, but I still can’t seem to catch up on all I want to do (which is everything all at once )! Oh well, all in good time I suppose!
Salem Halloween 2015
The Salem Open Market certainly was an adventure for Notso Kitty this year! This was only my second in-person sales experience with kitty stuff, but was my first dealing with people outside of CatCon (read: outside of my target market). Some people’s reactions to my cat hat creations were priceless — they would do double-takes in the middle of the pedestrian corridor and then stop to laugh at the funny cat pictures. Some people didn’t see the humor behind dressing your cat at all— calling me everything from “animal abuser” to just plain old “weird”— it was different having to interact with these types directly ( instead of just ignoring their comments as I do on the internet ).
Me in the Salem Open Market Notso Kitty Booth – 2015
I saw many crazy costumes and thousands of people in Salem, but I also learned an important lesson for future Notso Kitty sales ventures: just because there are people does not mean that they are going to automatically buy what you have to offer. Unfortunately I made more money selling cat ears to touristy types than cat hats for cat lovers in this go-round— but at least this lesson did not cost me money :). Though this wasn’t the targeted success that CatCon was, I did manage to network with a few people and get more in-person sales experience; invaluable opportunities!
Just a typical sidewalk gathering of people in Salem in October :)
I’m super-excited to announce that Notso Kitty will be participating in the upcoming Chrismukkah at Sowa Market on December 4th, 5th and 6th! I have to catch up on a large order for catnip cat toys first, but I can’t wait to start designing things for Catsmas! Stay tuned for more updates on holiday products like kitty ornaments, cat-themed cards and of course holiday accessories for your favorite feline!
Greetings readers! It has been ages since I have posted an update, yet there has been much that has been happening in the world of Notso Kitty that I can’t wait to share with you! Alas, since there is only one of me, blogging about my progress has taken a backseat to actually trying to get things off the ground in recent months. Now that I’m getting into a new routine though I hope to make room for some status updates from time to time! Here goes!
After CatCon and the press and media attention that came with that, I decided to accelerate the timeline in which I quit my engineering job to do cat entrepreneur pursuits full-time. At first I thought I could stay a few more months to years in engineering— still doing cat hats on the side. But a few months later (after a few additional soul-sucking moments that reminded me why I wanted to do cat pursuits full time to begin with) I decided the time was finally right to pull the trigger. Armed with the confidence bought on by CatCon attention and a huge order for Cat 3-D Glasses from KitNipBox I received, I decided my last day in engineering was to be October 1st.
One of the KitNipBox customers models some Notso Kitty 3-D Glasses!
In the weeks since I have quit my engineering job I am still largely playing catch up with the projects for Notso Kitty that I have been planning out for awhile. The first things I have been busy with are getting ready for the Salem Open Market— a huge market of crafters in Salem, MA scheduled to coincide with the city’s popular Halloween events. Last weekend was the first of three weekends I will be having a shop at. Sales went well, but I was a little surprised how much more reserved east coast people are about dressing their cats than the west coast people I observed at CatCon. For the 2nd weekend, I’m bringing more kitty-ear accessories and things for humans (more new designs I have been working on) to see how those do. I would have bought them the first weekend, but I simply ran out of time before I could get everything ready!
Speaking of getting things ready, here are some new designs I have been toying around with lately. As well as ideas for new cat hats and cat ears for humans, I have expanded my kitty bow tie offerings over on Etsy. Here are some pics of the new designs!
How could I not design a kitty witch hat living in Salem, MA?!? This one has a cute mouse— as I imagine most cats would want on their witch hats
I feel like I might be selling out a little by making things for humans, but here are some of the first lace cat ears I put together. Not too shabby!
A variety of new bow ties are now available in the Notso Kitty Shop!
More updates coming soon!
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.
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
Todd helps me with the booth set up
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!
Purrvana Kitty Kush!
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?
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!!
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!
I also finished be-dazzling the black shutter shades for Fluff:
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!
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
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
Freebie decals for CatConLA attendees
Notso Kitty shopping bags for CatConLA
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:
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!
That’s all the updates for now! Until next time!