Would you attend a Hello Kitty convention? Dressed in Hello Kitty costumes, Thalia, left, and Kammie wait in line on preview night at the 2014 Comic-Con International Convention (AP photos)
Would you attend a Hello Kitty convention?
Lexile

Marty Garrett and Salumeh Eslamieh gave up their garage. All for Hello Kitty.

The married couple turned the garage of their San Francisco home into a showroom. It contains most of their Hello Kitty collection. Glass cases hold hundreds of Kitty items. They include a rotary phone from 1976. There's also a gumball machine from 1983. A four-foot-tall statue of the Sanrio character stands in the corner.

The couple met and bonded over the little white cat. Or, the little girl with kitty ears and whiskers, if you prefer. They will travel to Los Angeles this week. They will attend a celebration of the character's 40th birthday. It's called Hello Kitty Con. The four-day festival is dedicated to all things Kitty.

It's already sold out. More than 25,000 fans are expected.

Garrett and Eslamieh, both 32, were Hello Kitty fans before they met. There are pieces of their collection throughout their house. The couple keeps a mini Hello Kitty kitchen inside their real kitchen. They painted a skylight above their dinner table with Sanrio characters.

During their courtship, Garrett worked at a Sanrio store. Eslamieh would often visit. When the store closed, they bought its giant sign. It's on display in their showroom.

They made a trip to Japan to visit PuroLand. That's Tokyo's Sanrio theme park. They went to Honolulu's Sanrio Cafe on their honeymoon.

"You have to like cute things. And that's just not some people's personality," said Eslamieh. She is a college professor.

Garrett is an elementary school teacher. He collects video games, too. Now he has 676 of the 677 original Nintendo games.

Some of the couple's collection is kept in Garrett's his fourth-grade classroom at Lawton Alternative School.

"And especially that he's a man," Eslamieh added, "it gives boys license not to have to be so macho."

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COMMENTS (7)
  • baspro80
    10/31/2014 - 11:50 a.m.

    I am a big hello kitty fan and this to me is amazing for Sanrio the creators of hello kitty! My collection of hello kitty is stuffed animal hello kitty I have a blue tooth hello kittyand tons more. Hello kitty has became really popular since the 40 th anneversery of being around. Sanrio is really intelagent for all their hard work of building recoding creating it is so very amazing. At target there is a big hello kitty for $20.00.

  • cobrasnakepit123
    10/31/2014 - 12:04 p.m.

    I love hello kitty. But one thing I wouldn't do is turn my garage into a hello kitty mania! Well it is cool that you turned your garage into a hello kitty place. Also it is cool that you travel for a festival. You will probably get alot of comments on this articale.

  • Maggie-L
    10/31/2014 - 01:03 p.m.

    Hello kitty so cute tootle love it. Sweet I love it

  • JanaN-Saw
    11/13/2014 - 12:47 p.m.

    I will attend the hello kitty convention just by the picture I would attend looks fun.

  • oliviam@madawaska
    3/09/2015 - 11:14 a.m.

    YES I would it's the best thing in the world thank god for hello kitty and if you don't like her that mess up.

  • oliviam@madawaska
    4/02/2015 - 02:17 p.m.

    Thank you you tell my friend that he hates hello kitty.

  • mya18-Bla
    5/21/2015 - 01:20 p.m.

    No, i would not go to Hello Kitty con! Its seems like a place with way to many people. You wouldn't be-able to move!

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