NY Now is a home, lifestyle and gift trade show that just took place in New York City. Since it happens to be in the city where I live, I simply had to go see if there were any cat-themed items for humans in the works for the fall and holiday season. I was not disappointed.
Now to be clear, dogs – and, oddly, foxes, owls and squirrels (?) – seemed to take center stage in the animal-themed arena but cats certainly were not forgotten and quite a few trends emerged along with a few unique stand-alones. Although personally I was surprised not to see more smartphone covers given the recent article we did covering the plethora of cat phone cases on the market place. Perhaps it’s jumped the shark … or in this case, would it be mouse?
Cat Pillows – All the rage. Better run out and get a few for your sofa or bed ASAP! The ones on display ran the gamut from a pirate cat complete with eye patch from Spitfire Girl (Or was he just a drunk cat who got in a bar fight? I didn’t think to ask), to cuddly oversized cats from Craftaholic and Blabla I for one would be tempted to use as a body pillow (Granted they may have been created for a younger audience in mind but never-you-mind) and rat pat pillow by Ferm to realistic cat pillows from Lucky Fish and dci.
Stationery – Let’s just say I’d become rather desensitized to cat stationery by the time I left the trade show. I did my best to pick out the most modern, cute, attention-grabbing cards and wrapping paper to share with you. My favorite? The cat and wine wrapping paper of course. Or maybe the irreverent kitten. Or the “Thanks for always looking at pictures of my cat on my phone” – I’m sure everyone reading this has someone to give that card to!
Pouches – For make-up or pencils, pouches abounded. I was rather taken with the kitten against the teal background. Catseye of London is known for their animal face merchandise. LAVISHY played it subtler and more masculine with just one applique cat figure on their zippered pouches. You may have also notice that the twin Siamese Cat fabric pouches match the pillows above – a matched set by Supermaggie.
Magnets – You no longer have an excuse for a naked refrigerator. Vintage inspired, humorous, colorful – they were all there. Your bills and artwork will never be lonely – or catless again!
Ornaments – Last year, Jonathan Adler sold a single Siamese cat ornament for the holidays. This year he upped the anti and created a set of two white cats for ones Christmas tree. If that’s too modern for your taste, than perhaps the simple silver silhouette of a cat fro, Beehive Handmade. And of course we also have a more traditional, but playful, ornament from Rock Paper Scissor.
Jewelry – Brooches seemed to be the most prominent, followed by earrings. I found the black cats sporting real jewelry (gold and pearls) to be of interest. Although I did find it odd that they were made of fur, and that the designer from DAY C failed to see the irony in it (perhaps because they are from the UK?). While not my taste, I could picture the metal broach cats from Abbott and Ellwood on an earth-mother type or elementary school teacher. They are rather fun and whimsical. I found the tiny origami cat earrings made of specially coated paper from Legend Design in Toronto to be unique and could see them making a nice gift, especially for a younger girl.
Clocks – OK, if you have a cat you know you don’t need a cat clock to help you keep time (It’s feeding time. Feeding time again) or wake you up (Feed me!), but should you want one anyway, you’re in luck. There were plenty of hanging and desk models to chose from. (left to right: clocks and alarms from Pink Cloud, alarm from Streamline, wall clock from Produced in Mass not Mass Produced)
Mugs – Cat mugs are one thing we do not have to worry about going into extinction. Even Jonathan Adler displayed his classic cat mug, which means it’s still selling strong. There was a Crazy Cat lady mug but I just couldn’t bring myself to feature it. I hope you forgive me. It goes against every grain of my being (WE ARE NOT CRAZY!). OK, I’m better now.
Aside from the overall trends, there were a few rather unique items I can honestly say I’d never seen before.
• Grumpy Cat Cozies by Freaker that stretches to fit any size bottle from beer to water or wine (or vodka, I’m sure, by the look of some of the folks at the booth). I have to wonder if Miss Grumps (as I like to call her) realizes this interesting product sporting her likeness is in existence (of course they call it the “sour puss”).
• Etsy featured a few of their sellers at the show this year. One of them was Sweet Pickle’s Designs from Portland, Ore., whom you may already know for her hand made collars and bow ties for cats. For the tradeshow she debuted decorative collar flowers as a fun, feminine alternative to bow ties. They should be available on her store soon.
• Adopt a Cat Gift Box by Gift Republic – It’s like “Save the Children” but instead you have the opportunity to help a neglected cat. Your “adoption” will assist the charity work of IAPWA, the International Aid for the Protection & Welfare of Animals.
Which was your favorite NY NOW find? Did you think anything critical for the cat-lover’s home was missing?