How The Cats Meow Village Collections Started
The Cat's Meow Village Story...Here's what you'll get
How did Faline Jones start The Cat's Meow Village Collections? What are
Cat's Meow Village pieces? How are they made? What is the value, (what
are they worth) of retired vintage collector's pieces? Where can you
find collector's pieces? Where can I buy them, where can I sell them?
Are they just houses?
Read on and I'll try to answer those questions for you.
How The Cats Meow Village Collections Started
It all started with one piece...
The Cat's Meow Village Collections, (let's use CMV from now on) started out as a one-women spare-time handi-craft operation and developed into an international phenomenon. We will tell you the story of the beginning, the manufacturing process, and tons of information about many retired collector's pieces, and lots or supplemental stuff in-between. Of course we will provide plenty of links to outside sources for further details, and listed CMV items for sale.
Typical CMV pieces
First, Whart Are CMV Pieces?
CMV pieces, (remember that means Cat's Meow Village) are wooden
decoratives that are shaped like buildings. many of the CMV accessories
are shaped like billboards, signs or whatever they are representing.
They were designed to sit upright or on ledges, (many people put them
on their door or window frame ledges), and are made of 3/4 inch think
pieces of wood that range from 3 to 8 inches wide, and 4 to 8 inches
The designs are screen printed and each piece has the piece information, series date, Casper the cat, and Falines dated signature on them for authentication. Initially they were created as individual creations, but they quickly became popular sellers and were issued in sets and series. This increased their collector's value because now people would buy them to complete their series or set collections.
This products Portal by Appletreedeals is a great place to find more CMV retired collector's pieces, Vinatge Life Magazines, and Boyds Bears Collections
- Appletreedeals Products Portal
Your Portal for Tha Cat's Meow Village, Vintage Life Magazines, and Boyd's Bears
Faline Jones...The humble beginning
Information provided by: Diana West article, Dee Williams book, and independent research
** content is primarily the article credited above, but I have edited and added commentary. (Appletreedeals)
The Cat's Meow Village Collections started in 1982. Faline Jones was a part-time secretary in Wooster, Ohio. She made some extra money selling some craft work she made at her kitchen table. - cloth covered, cat-shaped doorstops called the Cat's Meow.
As the story goes... "One day, while visiting a gift shop that sold her Cat's Meow doorstops, some tiny wooden houses in in the shop caught her eye, and she thought, "I can do better than that." Using her sparse resources, she used $39 to buy several pieces of pine and went to work cutting out and painting a dozen two-dimensional miniature wooden houses."
The new creations were called The Cat's Meow Village, after her her previous business venture making the cat-shaped fabric doorstops.
"I didn't want to throw away those
business cards and letterheads," says Jones, 47. Staying with her
feline theme, Jones stamped a black cat on the front of the 4-by-5-inch
wooden architectural facades and peddled her creations to several area
"They are more than miniature houses," says Rosann Burger, then owner of the Country Traditions gift shop. "It's the moments and memories people associate with them."
The simple style of the handmade country cottages gave the designs a down-home feel. When a salesman noticed them in January 1983, he began taking orders and, within a year, 800 outlets were selling Jones' houses.
Here are some Retired CMV pieces available now.
- Shop the Moon! CMV pieces on eCrater
A very popular eCommerce site that has many reputable ebay power sellers. Safe and Secure, but it is not an auction site. You can buy CMV pieces now!
- Make an offer on iOffer
A great site for the bargain hunter. You can just load your shopping cart and buy now... or you can make the seller an offer for what YOU want to pay! (seller does not have to accept, but you might get a counter offer, and still save money.
- Collector's Pieces on Bonanzle
A good selection of Retired Collector's Pieces on Bonanzle. It's an easy to use, safe and secure eCommerce site
Faline Fry Jones
CMV has 800 retail outlets, now what...
CMV pieces were really 'catching on' as decorative and collectible pieces and...
The Cat's Meow Village pieces were eagerly accepted by collectors, and she "soon began receiving letters telling her how the houses brought back warm memories of growing up on a farm or visiting grandparents in the country. "Stories in their own lives created a connection to the collectible," she says. "That sparked their interest in finding more.""
With family and friends helping, she filled orders while still working part time as a secretary and waitress. In 1984, The Cat's Meow Village Collections became a full-time job.
Based on customers' requests, she started replicating actual buildings and historic landmarks such as lighthouses, barns and churches. "Collectors are attracted to the history of each piece," Jones says. "I find ideas by reading travel and historic magazines, visiting national parks and special celebrations." About 100 new designs are added annually while others are retired.
As business boomed, Jones expanded. In 1989, she built a 24,000-square-foot building just outside Wooster, which today has 70 employees. Although millions of products have been made, the company hasn't lost its personal touch. Each piece travels through seven sets of hands that cut, screen-print and hand finish it. And then it's off to the retail outlets for her buying public.
CMV Historical replicasClick thumbnail to view full-size
You can see the detailed story of how CMV pieces are made... in the beginning, and now, at this Hubpage:
- Discover how Cat's Meow Village pieces are made
Discover how the Cat's Meow Village collectors pieces are made. The early methods, and later upgrades. These wooden collectibles are made with a 7 step process that involves jig cutting, base painting, sanding, and screen-printing.
This CMV Finder, by Appletreedeals, is another great place for detailed CMV information. See the real building and history a CMV piece was modeled after.
- The Cat's Meow Village Finder
Your source for detailed CMV information, price guidelines, and piece locater services
- The Oficial Cat's Meow Village website
This is the official website to visit for new and current CMV pieces, CMV contact information, and general information about the CMV facilities in Ohio
- Official Cat's Meow Village site newsletter sign-up
This is the sign-up page to get the latest newsletter from CMV