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The Purrfect Cup of Coffee


How do you take your coffee? If you’re bold you might take it black, relishing the rich flavor. Maybe you like to lighten your cup with a little cream and sugar or tweak the taste with a flavored cream like hazelnut or vanilla. Do you still enjoy a steaming hot mug, or do you prefer it iced? There are a lot of ways to enjoy a cup of coffee, and soon, at The Cat’s Meow Cafe in Miami, you can enjoy it with a cat… and a t-shirt.

Jack the cat gets comfy.

The concept of the cat cafe has been popular in Japan for a long time and have started to gain popularity in the U.S. These creative environments combine the casual atmosphere of a coffee shop with a fun place where patrons can enjoy the attention of frisky felines. Often the cats are available for adoption in addition to providing company.

For The Cat’s Meow Cafe founder, Elizabeth Gallardo, the idea of a cat cafe meant something more. She says that there are more than 300,000 cats in Miami who need homes. So, while often cafes focus on letting guests spend time with the animals, Elizabeth saw a need to do a little more for her furry friends. Quoting one of her heroes, Hannah Shaw, she says, “It’s just not enough to love cats, we must advocate for them, too!”

Elizabeth and Sammy

Elizabeth decided to create a place where people could do more than just cuddle cats; they could learn about them and build a connection that helped them understand their feline friends better. After obtaining the necessary permits and licensing, she set up a fundraising campaign via Kickstarter in order to get her pet project (and real business) off the ground. But no campaign is complete without backer rewards, and Elizabeth knew just the way to get her supporters pouring in: a custom t-shirt reward for her best backers.

The “Fat Cat” shirt from Custom Ink that Elizabeth used as a reward for her fundraiser.

Starting your own business?
You gotta get merch.
  1. Pick a great name.
  2. Use a bold color combination.
  3. Create your design.
  4. Choose a variety of products.
  5. Tell everyone you know.

“This shirt was part of an exclusive reward that includes an early entry pass to the Cat Café before we open to the public,” she says. “Most of our merch is branded with our logo and we were looking to create something different.” In order to create the shirt, Elizabeth reached out to local Miami artist, Bethmade to get a front design that her backers would go crazy for. Then she went to Custom Ink, where she uploaded her design and used the Design Lab to create the perfect back for the shirt. The shirts arrived in great condition and after a social media unboxing, Elizabeth could say without a doubt, “Everyone loves them!” She adds, “We may need to order more!”

The Cat’s Meow Cafe storefront lets those in the community know it will be opening soon.

The shirts proved to be a huge incentive, and Elizabeth and the Cat’s Meow Cafe met their goal. Construction on the cafe is underway and they will be opening soon. As the first cat cafe in the Miami area, the Cat’s Meow Cafe is poised to make a big impact on the community both by helping connect more people with adoptable cats and educating them on how to properly care for their furry friends. Not to mention serving up a delicious cup of coffee and maybe a t-shirt or two.

Starting your own business or personal pet project? Custom merch will help get the word out.


Grant is the Senior Copywriter at Custom Ink. He loves stories of all kinds and actively seeks to enthrall everyone around him with exciting tales, even if they’re about everyday events. Outside of storytelling, Grant loves to immerse himself in movies, television, books, and games, as well as go exploring in order to draw inspiration for the worlds in his mind.

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