In the winter of 2018, during a trip to the local animal shelter, I crossed paths with a roomful of very sick kitties kept in isolation due to the nature of their illness. It tore at my heart. I drove home that day determined to do something about it. Seeing an opportunity to help out my new furry friends was all I could think about. Over the next weeks to come, I decided to try and create something to help cats in need, but what and how? Sounds a bit crazy, right? But it was fueled by my kids asking questions about why those cats were alone and how long those cats would be there. I took that moment and tried to make it a teachable moment, but then thought again. To make this a teachable moment for these kids, really....I need to do something about it. If it is affecting all of us this much, making us emotional, still worrying and talking about these poor kitties weeks later, then do something about it.
My adorable daughter and sweet Midge, the cat, gave me an easy transition for a name for our company. Once I had the name, it was like it clicked...and BAM, our first t-shirt was created. Not that I knew what to do with it, but we had it and 500 of it's twins in my basement. In time, we built our website. It was ugly at first and all kind of messed up, but we had a website and it had a t-shirt on it...and then we sold our first t-shirt! (granted it was sold to, I think my mother, then the next my best friend, then my cousin, but still we were selling shirts and helping cats). After a quick and very lucky stint on social media, the t-shirts we created, sold out in a matter of days and the demand was high for us to get more shirts in stock.
I quickly recognized the significance of these shirts as a movement symbolizing our love of all things cats and appreciating the simple things in life. It also developed it's own sort of slogan. We were never planning on 'be kind to all kinds' to be the mantra of Marvelous Midge, but it was through the kindness of so many across the country that the kindness theme exuded from our brand.
In the months following, we strived to bring quality American made fabrics, with super cute designs all in an effort to raise enough money to write a number that 'looked good' on the big check we ordered. We didn't know what we were doing. I certainly didn't know how to start a business and especially didn't know how to sell a single thing, but what I did know was those kitties were calling to me. Pulling at my heartstrings if you will. I couldn't get them out of my mind. I couldn't field the questions my children had about how long those cats would be in that shelter without doing something about it. Yes, we volunteered, yes we donated, but still I felt my heart almost needed to do more. And so we did...AND SO WE DID. I studied every single youtube video I could find about small business start ups, and t-shirts, and cats. I taught myself HTML code to start my website, I read and read and read like you wouldn't believe. Oh the internet searches I initiated would probably make most CEO's and entrepreneurs cringe, but I was determined to learn and so I did, and here we are.
Marvelous Midge stands for kindness, giving back to your community, family, and helping the cats in our world who need it most. Each t-shirt is carefully designed by us, and is as unique and thoughtful as the person who wears it. Our tees are also packaged by our teenage children who have to put their phones down, (oh the joy that brings me) and fill and ship orders. Oh yes, they are in it and involved. They are creative directors in our social media, they fill packages and ship, and they create new ideas for shirts. Your orders save cats and save my teens from the endless world of iPhones, Snapchat, and selfies...and for that, I thank you.
I can only hope that sharing our story will inspire you to go after what fills your heart. If you have set aside a dream or a passion because maybe it seemed too big, maybe it was too hard, maybe your kids were little, maybe your husband didn't agree, maybe you just like me had a combo of all that plus you really had no clue how....I can only hope our story will encourage you to try. If you don't know it, learn it.
If you want it, get it girl.
Be Kind to All Kinds
'our shirts help cats'