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Shelf after shelf of cute
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Fans of Hello Kitty will be delighted to know that a new boutique has opened in Newton County selling predominantly Hello Kitty merchandise.

Located in the new Covington Market Place shopping plaza on Salem Road, the Kitty Land gift boutique sells a full range of Hello Kitty products including luggage, large plush dolls, pet carriers, purses, slippers, toys, stationary and pencils. A wide variety of other Sanrio characters are also present including Chococat, Badtz-Maru, Pandapple and Cinnamoroll among others.

First made famous in Japan in 1976 before achieving world domination, Sanrio products are enjoying a surge in popularity thanks to a marketing scheme by the Sanrio Company which has encouraged the branding of a wide variety of products.

Kitty Land owner Vanessa Collantes-Lopez says she decided to open the boutique after observing that there was no other store selling Hello Kitty products on a large scale in the area.

"I grew up with it," said Collantes-Lopez. "I guess I missed it."

A mother of four, Collantes-Lopez says two of her daughters (ages 13 and 8) are also fans of Hello Kitty.

In addition to Sanrio products, Kitty Land also carries items from the Walt Disney Princess line, Dora the Explorer line and the Strawberry Shortcake collection.

Painted pink with turquoise trim, Kitty Land, definitely caters to the feminine persuasion. However, little boys are given their due in the shop which also carries Spiderman, Power Ranger and Winnie the Pooh and Friends merchandise.

Kitty Land also features a baby shower gift section.

"It's the right place to buy gifts for any occasion," said Collantes-Lopez who runs the shop with the aid of her husband and cousin.

Prices vary at Kitty Land, ranging from $6 for a Disney Princess wallet to $200 for a piece of Hello Kitty luggage. A sample of pricing at the boutique includes $80 for a large plush Hello Kitty doll, $28 for a Pandapple book bag and $20 for a Hello Kitty purse.

Gift wrapping is also available at the shop.

If Kitty Land does not carry a particular product a customer is interested in, Collantez-Lopez says she will special order it.

Collantes-Lopez says she plans to host a tea party once a month at Kitty Land where little girls can come dressed in their favorite princess dresses.