Cool Cats’ co-founders Evan Luza and ‘Clon’ (Colin Egan) spoke to NFT News Today about the year ahead, and some highlights of a busy year so far.
Cool Cats are on a hot streak in 2022, following a life-changing 2021 for their iconic blue cat NFT collection.
Their founding collection of feline NFTs is currently approaching $300 million in trade volume and you can’t get a Cool Cat for less than 4ETH ($11k) on the marketplace.
Indeed, with celebrity endorsements from the likes of Marc Benioff and Reece Witherspoon, the rise of Cool Cats NFTs has been meteoric and they’re not resting on their laurels.
Instead, they’ve kicked off the year with a bang, signing with Hollywood’s Creative Artists Agency (CAA). This will enable Cool Cats to further extend its brand to animated content, publishing, and high-profile events.
Their second generative NFT collection, Cool Pets, also has great potential as the Pets will be taking centre stage in the Cool Cats’ growing ecosystem.
Despite all the success and momentum, the founders are remaining philosophical and managing their expectations about what the future holds.
“Expectations is a funny word in the NFT and Web3 space, so much of it is this ongoing evolving experiment that’s dependent on a multitude of technical components, timing and brand positioning,” Evan said.
“That said, seeing the final form Pets show up in the Twitter feed and everyone reacting with a variety of emojis and memes and gifs is really rewarding.”
Much like the success of Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), which has been cited as an inspiration by the Cool Cats founders, the blue cats have struck a major chord with the art-loving NFT community.
The artwork was an original design by Clon himself, also known as the ‘Catoonist’, many years prior to The NFT boom in 2021.
The story of Clon becoming disillusioned with the Cats at one point, before they made a triumphant return to his life, makes the collection all the more resonant.
Suffice to say, Clon’s Cats returned from obscurity in a eureka moment, inspired by the two other Cool Cats co-founders, Tom Williamson (xtremetom) and Rob Mehew (Lynqoid), who were looking to start a project from scratch with Evan and Clon.
As a group of four, they seem to form the perfect storm, with software developers, artists and Evan’s experience branding for Bitcoin.
Ultimately, the secret sauce for all the successful NFT collections is rooted in their community and Cool Cats have never lost sight of that.
Their thriving community on Twitter, currently over 200k, is full of the familiar Cool Cats’ artwork and transparent updates about everything in their ecosystem.
Evan believes that the community is what separates Cool Cats from the plethora of other promising NFT projects out there.
“Aside from our blue cat, which truly captures the blood, sweat and tears of authenticity that Clon channeled into the character over the years, it’s our community and how important accessibility is to us,” he said.
“Our aim with Cool Cats is to transcend the blockchain. We want to spread positivity, incubate innovation, and define what it means to be cool on a global scale.”
“Our aim is to remove the barriers as an NFT company by easily onboarding people into the space and our community, and broadening our reach by scaling the IP to the world as a whole through creating as many touch points as possible, in an intentional and authentic way.”
Speaking of which, another major move made in 2022 has been the partnership Cool Cats signed with Toikido – the toy and merchandise manufacturer.
This will allow them to bring their brand into the physical world, in the form of plushies and toys. Another huge feather in the cap for Cool Cats, as they take their project from a profile picture phenomenon into the realms in real life.
As for the rest of the year, Evan was careful not to promise too much to his community, yet.
“It’s frustrating being overly ambiguous sometimes but it’s also just the nature of the situation we’re in,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of conversations going on with a variety of exciting players both in and out of the Web3 space.”
“Our revamped merch’ store, through Toikido, should be going live next month, and Paper Cats is looking like the next deliverable on our roadmap as well…who knows what could happen outside of those!”
Paper Cats will be the next NFT collection launched by Cool Cats, which will come with tutorials focused on new user and developer on-boarding.
Thus, everything’s coming together nicely for the Cool Cats and if you’re a holder of one of these NFTs, you’re likely smiling at the possibilities in store for this burgeoning community.
Evan took some time to reflect on his highlight of the year so far.
“Seeing the first Pets reveal really brought us back to some of those same feelings when we saw the Cats being minted and revealed for the first time,” he said.
“It’s the buzz and excitement of people coming together and having fun, talking about their favourite traits and sharing ideas for the future.”