Coasting on a Trend

Everyone who’s visited our shop or read Little Bookstore knows that I crochet items to support cat rescue. During the winter when we don’t have fosters in residence, we support PAWS of SWVA by getting feral cats neutered and spayed. In the spring Jack and I open our garage and mystery room to nursing mamas and their infants, getting them adopted to loving forever homes.

DSCN0288It gets expensive, but it’s worth it looking into those little whiskered faces.

spay and neuter afghanLast fall I started making SPAY AND NEUTER afghans, based on a free pattern called Rows of Cats. “This is what you get if you don’t spay and neuter,” I declaimed via FB (and ok, it might have been slightly self-righteous, but what’s a little smugness between friends?) and sold 20 of those afghans. They were fun and quick and cheap to make because I burned through a lot of my stash, so it was easy to sell them for $67, the cost of a spay on the Margaret Mitchell van (a mobile animal clinic for low-income areas.) They’ve gone up since I depleted my stash and have to buy yarn.

jack with chickensAnd then the chickens came home to roost….

Somebody posted the Swanky Chicken Trivet by Sarah Moss, it went viral, and I bought it for $7 and sold about 96 chickens for $7.50 each, branching out into pigs and penguins somewhere along the way.

And the pigs were fun and the chickens were fun and lots of people bought them and we got lots of cats looked after and gave some money to another group, In His Hands Small Animal Rescue, because they’re trying to help get a feral cat colony down the way under control, and life was good. Except there were chickens and pigs everywhere.

chickens in chair mark with penguin chickens and pigs

One day about three weeks ago I started my 97th chicken and thought, “No.” My hands just stopped moving. There are limits. So the Great Chicken Crochet of 2014 ended with a whimper. And that was fine. Jack and I have eight fosters in the house and chickens have covered three of them, so we just needed to fundraise for five more, including three girls (which are double the cost of boys to render non-producing).

And then…..

cat butt coastersa lady out East somewhere makes cat butt coasters, and somebody posted the photo from her Etsy store, and in the past 48 hours no fewer than nine people have posted them on my timeline with a note equating to “You should make these next! People would buy them!”

And yes, they have gone viral. The lady who makes them actually tracked their popularity:

But here’s the thing: I saw the coasters weeks ago when I was browsing for something to replace those *&%^$# chickens, and thought “Nobody’d buy those” and went on looking for new items with which to raise money.

I ask you, can I spot a social media trend or what? No wonder my agent and her assistant are so proud of my Twitter feed! Marketing genius, me.

So now I’m making coasters, $20 per set and yes you can specify colors, up to one month to deliver. PM me on FB with your address if you want a set.

But wouldn’t anyone like a nice dignified SPAY AND NEUTER afghan?!