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…
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.)
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….
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.
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.
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).
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!
…But, would others agree?
The interest in Cats@Work was… well, immediate. Swift, clear, undeniable.
Which brought me to AmericasMart in January 2015…
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…
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!!
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…
…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!)
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!
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…
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!! ^__^