The Beloved Hello Kitty

Hello Again Kitty

I grew up in the 70’s…so did a company called Sanrio.   They had launched their brand and needed a merchandise mascot that would appeal to the preteen girl demographic.  Sanrio commissioned an artist to work on the project and a white Japanese Bobtail cat with a red bow wearing blue overalls was the ticket.  Below is the original Hello Kitty concept on the coin purse, which was also the first Hello Kitty product ever.  Pretty cute and hip.

Fast forward to today, and here I am a mother of 3 girls and 1 boy who all dig Hello Kitty.  Yes, my son chills with his skateboarding “Chococat”.

I have to share the whole back story for Hello Kitty, as I think it is pretty clever.  Hello Kitty is actually a nickname for Kitty White, who is not Japanese but actually British and lives in London with her family.  She has a twin sister named Mimmy. The only way you can tell the two apart is by their bows, Hello Kitty wears a red bow and Mimmy wears a yellow one.

She is in the third grade but when school’s out she travels the world making new friends. She is bright, kind-hearted, and loves the outdoors.  Favorite food: apple pie. Favorite word: friendship. Height: five apples tall. I can remember shopping as a kid in the Sanrio stores just to pick up the bubble gum- oh how the smell still makes my mouth water. Went in for the bubble gum, came out with a bag full of goods.  Brilliant marketing.

Hello Kitty has developed a highly devoted following around the world, even inspiring a new word to come into existence: kitira, it means someone who is a devoted follower of Hello Kitty.  This level of cuteness is how Hello Kitty built Sanrio a mutli-billion dollar empire that includes a wide range of products and even theme parks….and of course birthday parties.

With that said, meet our kitira… 4 year old daughter “Hello Kitty Kate”

It was a Hello Kitty party for her this year…her eyes lit up when she was welcomed by a life size Hello Kitty.

Our family loves to make celebrations a bit more fun by piggybacking onto an event or incorporating a theme at an establishment.  We are at an inflatable jump house for this years Hello Kitty bash.

Since you have to wear socks at this location, I thought we would provide HK for all the guests…Hello Kitty socks for the girls and Toy Story socks for the boys(looked everywhere for Chococat!)  We wrapped them in lil bags and the girls also received little diamond studded heart toe rings for post party.

Kates’ birthday is at the beginning of the school year, so we invited her whole class to join in on the fun.  We did the party on a weekday right after school.  Instant playdate.  This allowed for the children and new families to get to know one other.  Better to meet at beginning of year then at the end of year school party.  We put together snack cups of goldfish, pirate booty, pretzels, and grapes for their munchin.  We also stacked a few rice cakes in the form of a birthday cake.

After an hour or so of running and jumping, the kids devoured pizza.

Cake followed shortly thereafter…I served the cupcakes to the kids and the cake to the adults.  I kept cupcakes clean with white cake and white frosting.  The cake was red velvet.

If you do not want to spend a lot on a cake for a young child, but want to have a “WOW” factor for your wee one, here are some tips….

1.  Search online for what your childs dream cake would look like if you had an unlimited budget.

2.  Print out several ideas of your vision.

3.  Visit your local grocery bakery.  Share the printed photos and your ideas…you can put together a beautiful cake for 1/3 of the cost of a high-end bakery.  Believe it or not, cake tastes just as great….and lets face it- they are kids.

Next to the cake I have the party invite framed, I have done this for my kids every year. We design all our own invites and when we finish, we surprise the birthday child with the framed copy. We then deliver invites together or mail them off.

Our eldest loves to help out at parties, so her gift was painting faces and applying tattoos-she is so helpful, my lil 7-year-old Matriarch.  This year, she let Kate give it a try.  She was no Picasso, but it was the joy of being able to hold a brush and paint your friends face- no matter what was designed.  In the end,  kids thought they looked great (oh dear!) and the painter was one proud girl.

We had gift bags for the boys and girls.  Always look for the $1 bins at stores like Target, craft stores and even the dollar store.  Seek clearance sections at major anchor stores…you can find gems.

We wrapped up our celebration with one big group photo with parents.  They are perfect for the cover of your thank you card.  An easy way to end your party is to host a “Meet & Greet”.   We did ours with Hello Kitty and took a photo.   At that time, our party girl handed out the goody bag, smiled for the camera, then gave big hug to friend.  It made for a happy sendoff to parent waiting on the other end.  No tears.

For our thank you, we created a Shutterfly account and uploaded all photos.  We designed thank you card with the group photo enlarged.  On thank you, we shared our thanks and invited them to “relive” all the fun from the day by visiting “Kate’s” personalized Shutterfly site for viewing photos of them together.

Hello Kitty would be proud.