Hello Kitty was born in London, England, but was created by a Japanese company called Sanrio that is based in Tokyo, Japan. The company requested that designer Ikuko Shimizu invent a cartoon character that would appeal to preteen girls.
Hello Kitty is depicted as an anthropomorphic white Japanese bobtail cat with a red bow. The Hello Kitty character first appeared on a vinyl coin purse that was introduced in Japan. The product made its way to the U.S. in 1976. Although the Hello Kitty brand was originally aimed at pre-adolescent females, it has also largely appealed to adult consumers. By the year 2014, 40 years after its introduction, Hello Kitty was making $7 billion per year without advertising.