Hello Kitty has had many jobs in her life as a childhood icon. She's been a maid, an office worker, and even a pilot. Now, she's taken on a new profession: farming.
According to Modern Farmer a new 50,000 square foot organic farm has opened in Hong Kong. Called "Hello Kitty Go Green Organic Farm," it has a very recognizable mascot: Ms. Hello Kitty herself.
Hello Kitty is everywhere in the theme farm. She greets visitors, stands around in walkways, gives directions, offers farming tips, and appears in the guide map and stores. An image of the recognizable kitty girl even appears on melons bought from the farm.
Hello Kitty Go Green Organic Farm was founded by Raymond Cheng.
"Four years ago, when I was working somewhere else, I always had to take sick leave because of high pressure and insufficient sleep. So I rented a piece of land for myself to relax. I also wanted to grow organic food because of health issues, and the food safety problem in Hong Kong and China. I worked in the daytime, and then I was a weekend farmer."Originally, Cheng was planning to open the farm with no gimmick. His only interest was unwinding and growing good, organic, food. When he quit his job in order to work the farm full-time, and open it up to others wanting to rent plots, he knew he needed something to draw in a crowd.
"There are so many farms in Hong Kong, but there are no special themes to attract customers," Cheng says. "I started to think, why don't we cross over with some character so we can attract more families? I wanted more children to come to the farm to learn about green and organic."
When he first approached Hello Kitty's company, Sanrio, they didn't immediately agree. He had only a two-person staff and was very new to the farming scene. Eventually, Cheng was able to bring them on board and managed to quintuple his business, and then some.
"In the past, without Hello Kitty, during the weekend we got around a maximum of 100 customers coming to my farm to rent a piece of land or grow or buy some organic crops. But after Hello Kitty, we can go to 500 and sometimes over 1,000 people coming in one day," he explained. "The power of Hello Kitty is very great."
Cheng knows that there's not much room for growth in Hong Kong, so he's contemplating the possibility of opening a second organic farm in China. If he does, there's a possibility that the farm will be combined with a "Hello Kitty Land" in order to create a Disneyland-like atmosphere.
[ Image courtesy of co.exist ]