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!
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!
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!!