Hello Kitty is probably one of the most recognizable images in the world today. If you have a little girl living in your home, you probably have one or more-maybe many-Hello Kitty items living there, too.
The cute little Japanese bobtail cat with a red bow was first introduced by Sanrio in Japan in 1974 and to the United States just two years later.
Beginning as a character in a fiction story, she soon appeared on a vinyl coin purse and has adorned countless products since that time. By 2010, the adorable little kitty was making sales worth 5 billion dollars a year for the Sanrio company.
Surprisingly, customers for Hello Kitty products today range from the original market of pre-adolescent girls to adult consumers.
From its small beginnings, Hello Kitty products now include shoes, clothing, bedding, lamps, jewellery, stationery, toasters, tv sets, tv programs, videos, video games, computers, stickers, school supplies, backpacks, T-Shirts, hoodies, keychains, fine jewellery, watches, and dozens of other items.
Two Japanese Sanrio theme parks feature Hello Kitty as the main character, and adult products such as Hello Kitty wine has even made their way into the marketplace.
In 2009, the Bank of America offered Hello Kitty checking accounts that provided clients with checks and Visa debit cards with Hello Kitty’s face on them.
Oddly, Hello Kitty has no mouth, and officials from the Sanrio company say several reasons for this.
1. Hello Kitty is Sario’s ambassador to the world, so she isn’t supposed to represent any one country over another.
2. She has no mouth so that people will be encouraged to be happy or sad with Hello Kitty depending on whatever is going on at any particular moment.
3. Hello Kitty may have had her origins in the Lucky Cat, or Beckoning Cat, Maneki Neko, so some of Maneki Neko’s characteristics were added when she was created.
Taiwan has a restaurant, Hello Kitty Sweets, with Hello Kitty dishes and décor. In another Taiwanian city, a maternity hospital featuring Hello Kitty on its birth certificate covers nurses’ uniforms, receiving blankets, and bed linens.
Japan, in 2008, named Hello Kitty the ambassador of Japanese tourism in both China and Hong Kong, and UNICEF awarded Hello Kitty the exclusive title of UNICEF Special Friend of Children.Hello Kitty