Her family consists of her parents George and Mary White and she has a twin sister named Mimmy. The way to tell the difference between the two sisters is that Mimmy wears a yellow bow on her left ear and Kitty wears a red bow on her right ear. She also has a boyfriend named Daniel Starr.
By the mid 80’s Hello Kitty had gained worldwide popularity. Most of the merchandise was targeted more for young girls, like toothbrushes, barrettes, school supplies and writing supplies. By the 90’s, Sanrio began marketing Hello Kitty products to adult women. They produced products like makeup and handbags with the characters face on them. The release coincided with the rise of the Japanese Kawaii or “Cuteness” culture which helped Hello Kitty’s sales. From there Sanrio began to expand it’s Hello Kitty product lines to clothes, jewelry, watches, household appliances and much more.
In 1999, Hello Kitty appeared on 12,000 different products yearly. By 2008, Hello Kitty was responsible for half of Sanrio’s 1 Billion revenue and there were over 50,000 different Hello Kitty branded products in more than 60 countries. In 2007, following trends in Japan, Sanrio began using darker designs. They started putting Kitty in more black and less pink and started pulling away from the Kawaii look.
It didn’t seem to take long before you could find Hello Kitty everywhere and now with the older crowd on board, Sanrio started producing more adult related and high-end products. Even some corporate partners wanted to collaborate with Sanrio. In 2006, Fender and Sanrio put out the Hello Kitty Stratocaster electric guitar. In 2005, EVA Airways in Taiwan added a Hello Kitty Airbus A330-200 commercial jet airliner. Due to the popular demand, EVA Airways added 3 more and 2 more in 2012 and a year later added a 777-300ER jet airliner. There is also a partnership between Simmons Jewelry Co and Sanrio where the jewelry range from $300 to $5000.
In Taipei, Taiwan you can find a Hello Kitty themed restaurant called Hello Sweets. In Sydney, Australia there is a Hello Kitty themed dinner and a Hello Kitty Dim Sum shop in Kowloon, Hong Kong. In 2008, Yuanlin, Taiwan opened a Hello Kitty maternity hospital. All the room decor, the bed linens, nurses uniforms, etc have Hello Kitty on them. Besides the restaurants, Hello Kitty has animated series, comics, music and video games to add to the long list of Hello Kitty products.
If you still can’t get enough of Hello Kitty from all these things then you can go and visit Sanrio Puroland in Tokyo where there is a Hello Kitty theme park. Also, released on Hello Kitty’s 40th anniversary in China is another Hello Kitty theme park. The one in Puroland features many other Sanrio characters, where this one is strictly dedicated to Hello Kitty.
So, that is Hello Kitty’s story! She might be a little kitty or she could be a little girl. I guess she is whatever one you want her to be since I think she is a little of either one!
Thank you for taking the time to read and I will leave you with some more quick little facts about Hello Kitty.
- Hello, Kitty’s birthday is November 1st and her sign is a Scorpio.
- Her blood type is A
- Shimizu got the name Kitty from Lewis Carroll’s book Through the looking glass, where there is a scene where Alice plays with a cat she calls Kitty.
- Hello, Kitty was strictly marketed as merchandise until 1992 when she began appearing in books and tv shows.
- She has a pet cat named Charmmy that was given to her by her father. Charmmy looks a lot like Kitty who isn’t a kitty and the only difference is Charmmy walks on all four. She also has a pet hamster named Sugar.
- Hello, Kitty is the ambassador of Japanse Tourism in China and Hong Kong.
- Hello Kitty has no mouth because she speaks from the heart.