Super fan profile: Karin de Graaff

October 18, 2016

We had the chance to catch up with Karin, one of our super fans, from Holland who is celebrating her birthday today – Hello Kitty themed, of course!

  • Can you remember what the first Hello Kitty product you bought was?

I can’t remember exactly what it was, but I do remember when I first fell in love with Hello Kitty. Sometime in the 1980’s, I saw a Hello Kitty display in a huge department store in Amsterdam. It was the first time I saw her and I loved how cute she looked!

Since then I’ve bought some Hello Kitty stuff here and there, because in the Netherlands, Hello Kitty’s is mostly aimed at babies and toddlers. So there isn’t that much to collect around here and that’s why I only started collecting seriously a few years ago.
It had been a long time coming! It happened when I was at a Hello Kitty exhibition in Leiden (probably the only one ever in the Netherlands) and there was this special Leiden Hello Kitty plush. I just had to buy it. And the rest is history!

  • What is your favourite item in your collection?

Because it was the beginning of “officially” collecting Hello Kitty, that special Leiden plush that I bought at the exhibition is still my favourite item! Although it’s hard to pick a favourite!

  • What collaboration would you like to see in the future?

One of my favourite Hello Kitty designs is the “Nerd Kitty”. My family and I are quite the nerds ourselves, so I would love to see a collaboration with some of my favourite nerdy fandoms! Like Star Wars, Doctor Who, Harry Potter etc.

  • How would you describe your relationship with Hello Kitty and what do you love the most about her?

Because hardly anyone collects Hello Kitty in the Netherlands (especially at my age—turned 51 today!) and you hardly ever see any items that aren’t for very small children— people in the Netherlands don’t really understand my obsession. Especially where I live, in a small town in the north, I get some strange looks when I walk around with my Hello Kitty clothing and accessories. But Hello Kitty makes me happy and always brings a smile to my face. Because of her, I’m more confident and care less if people look at me funny. Wearing Hello Kitty items makes me happy!

I love the fact that Hello Kitty can be anything. She can be an adorable ballerina, an astronaut or even a very cute member of the band KISS. I wish more people in Europe could share in this happiness! It would be great if Sanrio Europe would open an online store in future!

Happy birthday to you, Karin! To see some of her collection, check out her Instagram at