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This January, I traveled to AmericasMart primarily to support the Enesco launch of the Cats@Work line. Let me give you some back story, so you can understand the trajectory of Cats@Work…

Yoga Pals by Kathy Weller

Cats@Work Recon
Last year (January 2014), I traveled to AmericasMart to help launch my Yoga Pals collection with DEMDACO. I was so excited to meet the team and to support the Yoga Pals line!!! (Read about that trip here.)

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Me after a show. (Yoga Pals © Kathy Weller )

At that time, I’d been drawing Cats@Work in my sketchbook for about a year and a half, and I was ready to take it to the next level. These cats were clawing their way out!

On this particular trip, I was finally ready to show a very preliminary sneak peek of Cats@Work to just a few selected peeps. So, I stocked my ipad with the first twelve finished Cats@Work art panels. (I know, twelve. Twelve. JUST TWELVE. ) Anyway, my plan was to gauge the opinions of a few experts in the field! I needed to see if these seasoned product developers & creative directors thought C@W had as much SPARKLE in it as I thought! Well… Wa-La! I received positive reactions from all who I showed it to! At that very moment, I decided that NOW, right NOW, I needed to make the Cats@Work magic happen!

I just didn’t know what that was going to look like yet….

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Build it…
When I got home, I decided to start a Cats@Work Facebook Page. This would allow me to grow the art, the audience, and basically germinate the brand organically.

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Visit us on Facebook! facebook.com/catswork

In regards to frequency, I decided I could commit to posting a new panel once a week, maybe twice. But after about, oh, TWO MINUTES, I realized this was a ridiculous plan. NO ONE is going to pay attention to one or two postings a week. That is NOT how you build an audience. To gain any traction, I would HAVE to post much more frequently, and really commit to that schedule, consistently, and… indefinitely.

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Follow us on Instagram! instagram.com/catsatwork

FREQUENTLY….  CONSISTENTLY….. INDEFINITELY.

It was then that I really truly went “all in” mentally. I decided to post FIVE days a week (Monday through Friday—office hours!) with NO repeats, to Facebook Page, Instagram, Tumblr, and Twitter. This is what it would require of my time and energy to grow Cats@Work, end of story. So once I absorbed my new plan, I was full-on committed to it. I was so excited (and NERVOUS) to start! Let’s face it— I was jumping off a cliff with the Cats.

I launched the Facebook Page on March 31, 2014. I have posted a “fresh funny” Monday through Friday ever since (with the exception of January 29-30, 2015, when due to illness, I posted repeats).

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Surtex

I was signed up to exhibit at Surtex in May 2014, so naturally, Cats@Work was going to be a big part of my offerings at the show, since it was such a gigantic focus of mine in the months leading up to it. I really didn’t know how it would be received. I just knew that I felt GREAT about it! I had a ton of confidence and pride in Cats@Work, it had a growing audience on social media…. and, I knew it would be amazing on sticky pads and other desk accessories! Of course!

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…But, would others agree?

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I was about to find out….

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The interest in Cats@Work was… well, immediate. Swift, clear, undeniable.

Which brought me to AmericasMart in January 2015…

…Ta-Da!!!

We launched The Enesco Cats@Work line!  YES!!

The  Enesco Cats@Work line will be available at retail in July 2015. But, for NOW,  here is the SNEAK PEEK…

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It was SO MUCH FUN. I got to meet store owners and sign products for them! This was one of my absolute favorite experiences in the entire trip. I loved to meet and chat with them!!

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And ANOTHER favorite thing: Seeing my art licensing friends and ‘families’, such as the fabulous Studio M by Magnet Works Ltd.! The following pics are from their “Sip n’ See” party…

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Artists and friends Joan Beiriger left, Jane Shasky right, and me

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Artist and friend Bari J. and me

This IS a Cats@Work post! BUT I REALLY want to show you my Studio M Art Pots! S I put a cat on it! 😀 Mine are “Dream it up”, “Make it happen” and “You’ve got this”. the lovely dark blue “It’s all good” one to the lower left is by artist (and friend) Stephanie Ryan!

 

…And when I came to their Sip N’ See breakfast party, LOOK what they had all ready to show me! Amazing friends… A Cats@Work ad in the Show Daily Gifts and Decorative Accessories Magazine! Wow!! This was a first. (…And if they hadn’t shown me this, I might have missed it!)

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WOWEE!! Hey, if anyone happens to have a spare copy of this, I would love to have it! I will pay shipping! I’ll draw you a cat! (I was never able to obtain my own copy. They were all gone.)

Here is another friend I saw at the show. Fab licensed artist Stephanie Corfee! I think this was our first time meeting in real life, but it definitely did not feel like it!

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Artist friend Stephanie Corfee and me!

I met almost the entire Enesco team!!! What a thrill!!! I wish I had some photos of all of us!! But, I don’t.
Instead, more photos of the Enesco Cats@Work display will have to suffice…
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I arrived on Wednesday afternoon, and I left on Saturday morning. What a whirlwind. Next year, I think will have to stay an additional day. I said that last year, too, and I DID stay an additional day this year. But even so, there just never seems to be enough time! The show was amazing and I cannot wait to see what the future brings, for Cats@Work and for Cats@Work with Enesco and just in general for Kathy Weller Art + Ideas. I’d say this was a good way to start 2015.

On a side note, the Las Vegas Gift show took place a week after the AmericasMart show. I have only one snapshot of that show… but it’s a doozy!! ^__^

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^__^
Kathy