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The Brief Evolution of The Notso Kitty Booth

Hello Notso Kitty fans! I hope you’re all having a cat-tastic week! I was recently tasked with providing a link to a picture of a recent booth set-up, and realized I didn’t have current booth pictures on my website. Time to fix that! However when I was looking through my booth photos, I was struck by just how much the Notso Kitty booth had managed to evolve in just a year’s time…. I figured a blog post about the booth’s evolution and some plans I have for it in the future was in order! So here it is…

CatConLA – The First Compared to the Second

The first CatConLA in 2015 was Notso Kitty’s first in-person vendor experience. I surprisingly pulled in a decent amount of money in spite of my booth’s low budget appearance. Cute sells— sometimes you don’t need to be perfect to make your point.

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!

The Second CatConLA was held in June, 2016. By this time I had quite a few more vendor experiences under my belt and I believe that shows in my booth’s less-amateur-looking set-up. Sales were even better in Year Two… I’m already looking forward to what my CatCon3 booth will look like!

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Other Indoor Booth Set-Ups

Over the past year I’ve done a few other indoor booth set-ups besides just CatCon. I like when the markets move indoors for the holidays in New England, because it takes weather out of the equation of factors that I worry about for Notso Kitty preparation. I love indoor markets where I could use lightweight display materials and not worry about them blowing away down the street. Here we have an indoor display from SoWa’s Chrismukkah Market in 2015.

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A week later, Notso Kitty did the Salem Holiday Market in the Old Town Hall with a similar booth setup (sorry for the blurry picture)

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The following is a picture of a recent booth from the Breakaway in Danvers….

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Can’t wait to further evolve my indoor displays this holiday season.

Outdoor Markets – Notso Kitty Embraces the Outside World!

The first outdoor market Notso Kitty did was 2015’s Salem Open Market held in October. I didn’t realize before this point what a bad idea it was to make displays out of foam core board for outdoor use. I also didn’t have nearly the amount of merchandise that I have at the markets I have done recently. I think my first few outdoor booths were a little sad-looking as I was getting the hang of the layout and figuring out what else I needed to add to my inventory.

First Salem Market Display - 2015

First Salem Market Display – 2015

Even over the course of a few weeks, I feel my Salem display improved from the first one as evidenced in the next photo…

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This year since May Notso Kitty has participated in at least 15 in-person vending events. Here are some more photos of booth evolution…

This photo is from the Salem Arts Festival in June, 2016:

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This is SoWa from July, 2016:

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Note how I started rainbow-ordering my bow ties at the end of June— this seems to have coincidentally increased sales of those items 🙂

Rainbow of Bow Ties

Rainbow of Bow Ties

Here is a booth set up from the Greenway in Boston from August, 2016:

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The Future of the Kitty Booth

Setting up a tent from week to week isn’t the easiest thing (especially when your car is compact-sized), but it’s been a rewarding experience to meet new Notso Kitty fans every time! I have many plans for continued improvements to the Notso Kitty Booth— both outdoor and indoor versions! Stay tuned and visit Notso Kitty at an upcoming event to check out what’s new for yourself!

 

Notso Kitty Blog Renewal!

Hello Notso Kitty fans! It has been months since I posted an update about my cat-tastic life in general and one is majorly overdue! From website changes to kitty updates, I have covered a lot of ground in the last 8 months without blogging about it all — forgive me for the lack of communication!  So what’s been going on with Notso Kitty in the meantime?

RIP Notso Fluffy

Yes, this first topic is a sad one, but it’s unfortunately kept me more occupied in the past year than I would like to admit. After battling obvious GI disease (likely lymphoma) for the better part of a year, Notso Fluffy, original muse and Cat Executive Officer (CEO) of Notso Kitty passed on February 18th, 2016. At the time I had been in denial that Notso could ever be taken from me and that I would have to figure out a way for my company to move on without his direct inspiration. Needless to say his passing hit me unbelievably hard when it did actually happen and unfortunately stalled the progress of Notso Kitty as well since Notso was such an integral part to my creative process.

Notso Fluffy

The Great Notso Fluffy

I tried as hard as I could after Notso died to “just get over it” and fill my life with work— but unfortunately when most of my work projects were inspired by him it just wasn’t easy at all. I had no other choice but to take a break from my old creative process for a couple of months. In all of this I learned some valuable lessons: the life of a cat entrepreneur will likely involve heartbreak over cats, and you shouldn’t rush your grieving process even if you think your business needs you to. Moving forward I hope to remember these things— I have a feeling they won’t be the last time I’m dealing with them unfortunately.

What About Fluff?

In the beginning of February Fluff had NEVER had a health problem other than an occasional hairball. Unfortunately by the end of February Fluff had been to the vet for several health scares– perhaps bought on by the stress of his brother’s passing. After spending half the month of August fearing his imminent demise, it appears Fluff is on the mend again with some new Rx’s and hope! We’re hoping his progress continues— I almost feel like I’m on borrowed time with him lately, but I’ll take EVERY DAY I CAN! Hopefully he sticks around awhile more.

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Fluff’s Sisters!!

After getting the “okay” from Fluff’s vet a few month’s after Notso’s death, I decided it would be a good idea to get Fluff some new friends in the form of new cats. Enter Pepita and Roxy Hissfit; two crazy 6-month year old kittens who I adopted from Black Cat Rescue, a Boston-area foster program. After a couple of tense weeks of new cat/old cat stand offs, Fluff has really warmed up to his new little sisters! Roxy Hissfit especially loves him—  we tease her because she never wants to leave her “boyfriend” Fluff’s side. Even when Fluff hasn’t been feeling well, his little sister Roxy checks in on him and guards his sleeping spot.

Pepita and Roxy are still pretty crazy since they are kittens and were feral for their first three months, but they have shown promise for being Notso Kitty executive cats someday! Roxy has modeled a few bow ties in test runs and Pepita has proven herself a great cat-toy tester already!  Even though Fluff has a lot left to teach them before they can be considered part of the Notso Kitty “boardroom”, they are well on their way to climbing the kitty corporate ladder!

Roxy Hissfit!

Roxy Hissfit!

Pepita!

Pepita!

 

Notso Kitty Future

The last eight months have been quite an adventure for Notso Kitty — in that time I have managed to vend at least 15 in-person events (including the 2nd CatConLA), update my Etsy shop a bit, and redesign my website twice.  All this while not so efficiently getting over the death of my muse…. It hasn’t always been easy, but I’m still in the boat of thinking it has been worth it!

Sample of one of the new Halloween patterned bow ties!

Sample of one of the new Halloween patterned bow ties!

 

Much more work remains to be done in terms of business planning and figuring out my future schedule, but at least I’m getting more organized about it…. For example: you can now find upcoming events that Notso Kitty is attending on the events page right on this website! I’ve also been working on the 2016 Notso Kitty Halloween collection— this year I’m getting to it earlier than last year so that hopefully I’m not playing catch up in October again.  I have discovered the busy season for cat hats is October-December— this year is the first I can deal with that information ahead of time — hopefully that works out better for me and my sanity 🙂

 

Cat Bow Ties & Chrismukkah!

Greetings kitty fans! It’s been a busy few months for us at Notso Kitty— between filling backorders, coming up with a few new designs and participating in SOWA’s Chrismukkah Market I’ve certainly had my hands full. In the last month or so  I estimate I’ve made over 1000 items by hand— not as easy to do as it sounds I assure you 🙂 My efforts have been rewarded  though—- many of the items I bought to the Chrimukkah market sold out completely!

Notso Kitty @ SOWA

This year I decided to participate in SOWA’s Chrismukkah Market— a new holiday market held in a heated tent in Boston’s South End. It ended up being a great success— not only was there a demand for my kitty-themed handmade items, but it ended up being a great market to participate in all-around. There were also far less touristy-type haters at this market than were the case at some past events I have done. Notso Kitty’s most popular items this time around ended up being both the bow ties and glasses for cats— good thing I made some new patterns for the occasion!

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New Kitty Bow Tie Designs

With the holidays around the corner, I decided it was a good time to step up Notso Kitty’s bow tie offerings. We have many new designs in the shop now including ones in velour fabric and fun holiday prints! There is even one with some dreidels for Hanukkah kitties that has been quite a popular seller this year 🙂

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What’s Next

Notso Kitty is SUPER PSYCHED to be attending the SECOND CATCONLA held in the same place as last year’s June 25-26, 2016! It’s a little early to be so excited, but I’m already planning out projects for the event. Stay tuned for more adventures soon!

Post- Halloween Planning

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

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 :)

Just a typical sidewalk gathering of people in Salem in October 🙂

Coming Up

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!Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 4.36.57 PM

 

 

What’s up in the world of Notso Kitty?

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!

General Updates

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!

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!

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New Designs

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!

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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 🙂

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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!

DSC_0028A variety of new bow ties are now available in the Notso Kitty Shop! 

More updates coming soon!

 

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