Posted October 01, 2015
I'm a crazy cat lady and -- though I'm not ashamed -- I draw the line at wearing the clothes. As in, "You're never gonna see me in one of those cat print sweatshirts..." But that was before I saw this Pusheen t-shirt at ModCloth. I can't imagine a t-shirt that could possibly be more ME. A cat drinking a cup of coffee and penning a letter? I need this shirt. Oops - I mean, this would be a great gift for the crazy cat lady in YOUR life.
Another great gift for cat lovers is a Sonicare toothbrush. Anyone who *really* loves their cat spends an enormous amount of time sitting on the couch drinking coffee and tea in order to feed the spirit of pet togetherness. A sonic toothbrush keeps the coffee drinker's smile nice and white - and is well worth the investment for what you'll save in dental care. You can get a good deal on a Sonic toothbrush at Costco and many other stores.
Probably the most difficult thing for the crazy cat lady to cope with is the social shame of the multiple litter box smell. Ladies, all the Mood Sprays contain pure essential oils that will clean the air without harmful chemicals. Apathy™ will be the strongest and most effective option for the multi-cat owner. If your cat is particularly standoffish - you might try a bottle of The Antidote for Ego™. The organic French lavender in Ego will calm the kitty crazies and give the uppity cat something to think about before rejecting your loving advances. Anyone who travels with a pet will enjoy a set of TSA friendly mini mood sprays, especially helpful when your pet poops or pukes in the car carrier or on the airplane.
If you're still struggling to find a thoughtful way to organize all the cat costumes you purchased at Halloween, consider investing a few dollars in this handy book by Lissanne Oliver. If you follow this blog you know I've been using Oliver's book Sorted! and have found it very helpful. She lives in Australia but the book is still affordable and ships fast enough to please the gift-giving families of any US-based hoarder. I recommend it for anyone who has a pile of stuff and no idea what to do with it.
Most toys are a complete waste of money. The Cat Dancer, on the other hand, is the best $2 you'll ever spend. It doesn't look like much but your crazy cat lady's cat will love The Cat Dancer toy to the point of obsession. It's a simple twist of cardboard on the ends of a stiff wire that, when unrolled and moved through the air, looks like a flying insect.
What crazy cat lady wouldn't be touched by a set of custom postage stamps with pictures of her kitties? Choose her favorite Facebook shares and make some custom postage at Photostamps.com or Zazzle. Now she'll have the chance to share her love with the WHOLE WORLD.
Pet Food Nation changed the way I think about the cat and dog food industry. Some of the things that Joan Weiskopf writes about are difficult to hear but so important for understanding the challenge of pet nutrition in a competitive marketplace. I make several of the natural pet food recipes in this book for my pets (though five years ago I would have said that was CRAZY) and I've seen fewer hairballs and more satisfied bellies and it's alot cheaper. I know what you're thinking...and I thought the same thing...but cooking for your pets isn't actually all that hard once you get in the groove.
A FURminator grooming tool thins your pet's undercoat and reduces the hairball "problem" around the house. Specifically, the throwing up on your pillow problem. It's a little more expensive than your average brush, but it really works. My cats don't enjoy it as much a regular brush but will tolerate it in short spurts, which is all you really need if you FURminate regularly.
I can personally vouch for everything on this Crazy Cat Lady Gift Guide - I'm not ashamed to out myself on the Internet or anywhere else. I love my pets! Any of these items will be a great gift for the pet lovers in your life. Are you a crazy cat person? What are some items you can't live without?
This photo has absolutely nothing to do with mood sprays or crowd funding. I just wanted to show you my vintage faux leopard coat and the red bag I bought in Paris fifteen years ago.
Now, on to the point:
Every once in awhile a friend will ask me why I don't put the Anti-Bad-Mood Sprays on Kickstarter. I have vision for my products beyond what you see here (mostly marketing and sample sizes) but it's tough to leverage the cash to make some of those dreams come true.The crowdfunding concept is attractive and Kickstarter's success stories would make any entrepreneur want to try for the gold.
But here's what I've learned after working in philanthropy: there's no such thing as "free money." Here's another thing I've learned from a decade of helping nonprofits raise money: You can ask for money but you can only ask one time. No - really.
Think of it this way and your successful grant applications will noticeably increase: If you have just one opportunity to connect with a funding source - are you ready? Can you present a carefully thought out idea (you would be surprised how many people believe that a casual social relationship with a funder will be more important than have an actual idea to discuss.) Does your work fit the donor's funding interests? Is it a quality product? Will you pursue the goal with or without funders' support? Do you have the skills to pull any of it off? Because if you're not ready even though you swore you would be then you can't ask again. If you do get the money then you have a set of responsibilities to the donor. Are you prepared for that?
So much energy goes into the creative presentation of ideas - that's a truly beautiful thing and crowd funders do that really well. Where it often falls apart is on delivery. Because happens when you accept support but your end product is just, kind of..."meh"...? What happens when the idea never comes to fruition? That's powerful information you're sending to your community of supporters about your products and your abilities to pull it off. Botch it and you'll never be able to ask again.
If you've given support to more than one Kickstarter project the chances are you've received something pretty average in return. Okay, it's a gamble and not every gamble pays off. But would you give money to that entrepreneur again? Or just look for someone else the next time around?
Also, my experience has been that people get tired of the "ask." How many times have you received an email from a cause promising that they'll never ask you for money again? Never is as long as it takes for the next email to arrive, just a couple of months later. Like a guy on the street corner with a cup out - passerby eventually become indifferent to his plight. In the case of nonprofit arts, I don't think that your email list makes any distinction between the tickets you're selling as an "ask" and the quarterly plea for donations. An "ask" is an "ask." They will become indifferent to repeated requests. So what do you want the most from them? Ask for that. One time.
I don't crowd fund because I'd rather just sell you my truly beautiful thing - my Mood Sprays - because I am pretty confident you will enjoy the scent, the luxury packaging, and the humor on the labels. If you enjoy them you will return to the website for more. Mood Sprays are a real idea, in the marketplace, for real-time feedback. And the feedback and support from customers is incredibly satisfying. (Best "starter" mood spray for the novice user: Apathy - smells like fresh-peeled grapefruit!)
I so appreciate my relationships with the folks who have taken a chance on my products - it has been wonderful to get to know all of you and your candor over the past two years has helped me refine the project in so many important ways. Good reviews give me energy for the next steps. Thank you!
I feel good about every box I ship - I've hand-blended every bottle and I know that if it smells good enough for me it smells good enough for you. So, I guess from that point of view, I could feel confident about putting my work up on a crowd funding site. But honestly - it feels so much better when you buy Mood Sprays just because you enjoy them! Thanks for listening.
[steps off soapbox]