We all know who Hello Kitty is (If you don’t then please see our previous blog), but where did she come from?
Well in March 1975 she came into being as a design on a vinyl coin purse produced by Sanrio, but who are they you ask?
Sanrio Co., Ltd. is a Japanese company that designs, licenses and produces products focusing on the kawaii (cute) segment of Japanese popular culture. Their products include stationery, school supplies, gifts and accessories that are sold worldwide and at specialty brand retail stores in Japan. Sanrio’s best-known character is Hello Kitty.
Sanrio was founded by Shintaro Tsuji as the Yamanashi Silk Company in 1960. In 1962, Tsuji expanded his enterprise from silk to rubber sandals with flowers painted on them. Tsuji noted the profits gained by simply adding a cute design to the sandals and hired cartoonists to design cute characters for his merchandise in response. In 1973 the company was officially established under the name “Sanrio”.
The company produces a line of character merchandise around gift-giving occasions. Hello Kitty was added to the lineup of early Sanrio characters in 1974 and the first related merchandise was released the following year. Other notably popular characters through the years have been:
For more information please see:
Sanrio: https://www.sanrio.co.jp/english/ (Please be aware this is a Japanese website)