If you're not Squared to try something new, then this little plush toy might make the perfect gift for some young girls this Holiday season. For around 10 bucks and available at your local Toys-R-Us, Squaredy Cats are the invention of Brooklyn couple Kurt and Elaine Marquardt. Elaine says the whole idea for little kitties who or "Aren't Squared to Shine" or "Aren't Squared to Surf" came about as a play on words, but turned into a whole line of square cats designed for the tween-aged girl:
"We've been working on the design for about 10 years and we had all these ideas flying around in our head, and one of the ideas we had was the pun, Squaredy Cat. So we said 'OK, squaredy cats are cute, but what can they actually be?' And we thought a really fun, positive message would be if we actually proclaimed what they were not squared of."
So the ideas came forward for unique Squaredy Cats, like "I'm not Squared to Bug You," and "I'm not Squared to be Sweet."
Elaine: "I think it resonates mostly with tween girls, like 9, 10, 11 12 13, because its really kind of the age where they start to figure out what their own personalities are. And so a girl might be into cheerleading to she's not squared to show spirit, but then next week she might want to surf, and she's not squared of waves. So they collect them, give them to their friends, really express their own personality."
The Marquardts, from Brooklyn, came up with eight cat concepts for their original line of eight, have four more in their second set, and come up with new ideas all the time - often, helped with concept ideas from kids themselves who offer them up on Facebook. Says Kurt: "We do concept design, package design, logos and illustrations. We wanted to work on our own stuff so Squaredy cats was the first this we came up with... The great thing about facebook is we get instant feedback from the fans. We put up something they don't like we know right away."
If you'd like to learn more about Squaredy Cats, and where to find them, head to squaredycats.com or www.facebook.com/squaredycats.
Studio On The Run: Brooklyn Couple Behind 'Squaredy Cats'
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