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From Meme to Reality: An Idea Pursued and a Meme Store is Born

Today’s guest post by Kat Krieger Ideas Come in Surprising Ways … When is the last time you had a new idea or perhaps were presented with one? I don’t mean ‘Oh, idea! I’ll have Thai for lunch.” When is the last time an idea really made you think differently about something? And how did you react? Let’s be honest, we are creatures of habit who don’t like change. We are much more likely to blow off a new idea rather than see where it leads us. New thoughts can make us uncomfortable. That is my usual instinct too, but

KateFinley I Can Haz Power

Today’s guest post by Kat Krieger

Ideas Come in Surprising Ways …

When is the last time you had a new idea or perhaps were presented with one? I don’t mean ‘Oh, idea! I’ll have Thai for lunch.” When is the last time an idea really made you think differently about something? And how did you react?

Let’s be honest, we are creatures of habit who don’t like change. We are much more likely to blow off a new idea rather than see where it leads us. New thoughts can make us uncomfortable. That is my usual instinct too, but what I have found recently is that pushing past your comfort zone can take you to exciting places and bring incredible opportunities to grow. In fact, as I write this a Joe Vitale quote came across my feed – “A good goal should scare you a little and excite you a lot.” So here’s my story on how that unfolded for me:

For the Honor of Grayskull

KateFinley I Can Haz Power

When my 4-year-old requested a She-Ra Halloween costume this past year, I had no idea it would lead to a new business venture. (Her little sister went as Madame Razz if you are curious). I’ve been producing and listening to Brand Fast-Trackers interviews with entrepreneurs for the last three years. I watched numerous friends launch their own businesses, including your own Kate Finley with great pleasure. Yet, I’ve never quite wrapped my brain around being an entrepreneur myself.

Some months after Halloween, my friend Ryan Cox came across the She-Ra photo above and sent me a Facebook message. The conversation went something like this:

Ryan: “Yo Katacular, what’s crackin’?”
Katacular: “Nothin’, just doin’ me.”
Ryan: “So I was looking at that She-Ra picture of your daughter and I want to put it on a t-shirt.”
Katacular: “Ummm”
Ryan: “It is spectacular. It needs to be tagged ‘I Haz Power. ’I want her to autograph it and hang it on my wall”
Katacular: “Ummm”

Despite my initial hesitation, I decided to let my crazy friend make a t-shirt. At this point, he had also convinced me to buy shirts for me and the girls. That is when things went in a whole new and surprising direction. Ryan had essentially created a meme with the She-Ra picture, and that got his wheels turning.

MemetoPrint is Born

Ryan: “Yo Katacular, what’s crackin’?”
Katacular: “Nothin’, just doin’ me.”
Ryan: “I was thinking we should start the first meme store. Not Zazzle or CafePress or Etsy or Threadless … something that can go from meme idea to products in 2 minutes and easily shared social links. Let’s monetize the Like, RT, <3, Pin.”
Katacular: “Word.”
Ryan: “Wise words…let’s do this.”

KateFinley Grumpy Cat

Now I am about as practical as they come (except for my EBay habit, but we don’t need to discuss that, do we?), but the idea had merit. Memes are a huge part of our every day culture. When is the last time Ms. Grumpy Cat appeared in your Facebook feed? If I had to guess I would say sometime today. In fact, at last month’s SXSW festival, Grumpy Cat herself made an appearance. Do you know how long people stood in line to see her? Four hours. Yes, you read that right, four hours. The power of memes cannot be denied.

That She-Ra picture sparked an idea, which turned into a business idea. Now a photographer can quickly upload their photo, attach a meme and sell it on a whole host of products (t-shirts, pint glasses, coffee mugs, mouse pads, you name it) all with a few mouse clicks.

Now, I don’t know how Memetoprint will ultimately work out, and I certainly haven’t quit my day job, but the one thing I do know is that I wouldn’t be where I am if I hadn’t pushed past my initial discomfort. Ideas come in all sorts of ways, so next time one comes your way, go with it, you may be pleasantly surprised.

Kat Krieger is the Co-Founder of MemetoPrint. When she isn’t fending off insane ideas from her Co-Founder Ryan Cox, she is running the actual numbers and deciphering how to make it a functioning business…Hey, someone has to be an adult here. Kat is also the Director of Marketing for Brand Connections, an independent global marketing and media company and the producer of the Brand Fast-Trackers podcast. She lives in Brooklyn, with her husband Ben and 2 daughters Marcella and Amadea.

Kate Finley

Founder + CEO of Belle
Currently thriving in Puerto Rico