The Story Behind NomNom Kawaii – Branding and Concept

A warm hello to you!

In this blog post, I will share what brought about NomNom Kawaii and how I went along with creating this brand.

Let’s begin.

What inspired NomNom Kawaii?

I started this brand to commemorate my 2 dogs – Maria and Chloe. But of course, there’s more to it than that.

I’ve loved animals (especially dogs) since I was a little girl.

I was born and brought up in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

My ethnicity is Indian, and every time I’d come down to India, I’d fall in love with random street dogs and feel sad when I couldn’t take them home.

We don’t have many dogs in UAE – the climatic conditions are unfavorable, and most buildings have a strict no-pet policy.

So, when I graduated and moved to India, I first got a dog. And then I loved her so much that I got another one.

My dogs have always appeared in my art and comics – even in my older brand – Stray Curls.

Aye, that’s right.

I’m also the creator of Stray Curls – a website that teaches people to start online businesses from the ground up.

In Stray Curls, my illustration style is very different – it’s more comic-style, and the characters have more details.

However, for NomNom Kawaii, I wanted to do something different – for a while now, I’ve been fascinated with the whole world of Kawaii.

But when I went to Thailand in September 2023 – something clicked.

I started going crazy collecting Kawaii things like stationery, tote bags, and miniature figures. It gave me so much joy.

And that’s when I realized that I wanted to do this – I wanted to do this full-time.

I also fell in love with Thai Iced Tea (something I drink daily, even now), but that’s neither here nor there.

It stewed in my brain for a while before I built NomNom Kawaii.

As I got started, I’d watch my dogs and look at how round and adorable their faces were – and I knew that they were the stars of NomNom Kawaii.

It took me a while to turn my dogs into Kawaii versions of themselves.

Yes, I also decided to give my dogs friends in this brand – the idea was to create a world of relatable characters.

So, giving them attributes, likes, and dislikes were equally important.

I wanted to combine my love for food and animals into this 1 project, and NomNom Kawaii was the best way to encompass that.

I understand that my dogs will pass someday – but turning them into a Brand makes them immortal.

I make my drawings small, round, and so cute that people would want to eat them – I do have a fetish for small, round things, and I do collect these.

Ha ha – that’s the whole idea, really. This is why I have so many stickers and merch showcasing my drawings in food form.

cute cat in coffee cup, cat in coffee cup, cat in coffee mug, coffee addict, gifts for coffee lovers, cute gifts for coffee lovers, adorable gifts for coffee lovers, cute gifts for coffee lovers,

This cute coffee notebook is available here. 

I also wanted to incorporate my values into this brand – I do believe in mindfulness and kindness, so I try to tell a story with each comic I make.

By giving my dogs friends – I am slowly building a world and giving these characters personality.

Building the Brand Identity of NomNom Kawaii

I had a vague idea, and it took me 2-3 months to develop this concept.

The characters underwent many changes as the weeks went on – I kept modifying how they looked until I was somewhat happy with their proportions.

This is why the characters look different in some of my products – I worked on product design before building the brand, and if I could go back and change 1 thing, this is what I would change.

I was so excited to start manufacturing that I didn’t spend much time refining the design.

cute kawaii memo pad, cute blue memo pad, a6 kawaii memo pads, a6 kawaii memo pad, cute notepad for stationery lovers, cute kawaii notepad for stationery addicts, cute notepads, cute cat notepad, cute dog notepad, cute animals notepad, cute kawaii memo pads

Happy Garden Notepad – available here. 

And that’s okay – I love learning these things as I go along.

But eventually, the Brand Design became crystal clear, and I’m happy with how it looks right now.

Building a Brand Board helped me stay consistent with my Branding.

I could easily build the website (something I thoroughly enjoyed doing with my website-building skills) because I had a certain vision in mind, and I kept tweaking the website until I was happy.

What did the work entail?

Nothing, nothing at all, prepared me for the work I had to do building NomNom Kawaii and bringing it to life.

I think drawing and designing the products barely entailed 10% of the work in total.

The rest of the work involved:

  • Building the website and integrating the payment processor (Stripe) with it.
  • Acquiring a business license, applying for multiple documents in India to export and ship my stationery to customers, getting an IEC code, a business bank account, etc.
  • Manufacturing products (this was tough because I had to hunt for manufacturers who could help me make notebooks), and often, I’d get samples that were just not up to the mark.
  • Buying shipping products – to package my products so that they are delivered safely internationally
  • Calculating shipping and then incorporating those calculations into the website
  • Taking multiple photos or designing mockups for products to use on the website/Etsy and then writing detailed explanations for each and every single product
  • Managing inventory and stock and learning how to account for these
  • Planning and executing Social Media and Brand marketing – I’m very weak in this department and still learning

At times, I got tired.

I would break down and go into a shell if the paper I bought wasn’t perfect – or the stickers I made weren’t perfect.

I do want to talk about the problems I faced in more detail – but I’ll save that for a future blog post.

And I wasn’t prepared for the physical work that went into building this business – I’ve never had to work this hard for my blogs, so this was definitely a challenge I wasn’t expecting.

I think doing something new is always going to be challenging.

plant shop sticker, adorable plant shop sticker, cute plant stiker

Plant Shop sticker available here

I would say the best thing to do is start small.

Stop comparing your journey to someone who has started 3-5 years ago – that isn’t fair to yourself.

Secondly, make mistakes.

It’s okay to get things wrong – this is how you improve and become better. This is how you grow.

You cannot grow unless you put yourself out there and give yourself a chance.

I have no idea whether this will take off or be a massive flop. *shrugs* but right now, I can afford to take this risk. =) And it’s something I want to do, so I’m going to take the plunge.


I have watched a couple of courses to get the confidence to start this journey – these are super cheap and very user-friendly; let me list them here:

1. Brand Idea to Merchandise Online Course

I enjoyed this course by Vania Bachur because I learned how to build a brand from scratch – she also lists a variety of already well-established brands and teaches you how to learn from them.

Click to see this course. 

2. Drawing in a Kawaii Story Style

Learn to draw in a kawaii style

Just because I draw doesn’t mean I know how to draw everything.

This course was very important because I needed to understand drawing in a kawaii form.

Click to see this course. 


I will write down more blog posts on how I built this business and share processes with you in this blog.

But if you have any questions, let me know – I’m here to help in any way I can.

About the Author: Angela Vaz

Angela Vaz is an Illustrator and Comic Artist living in Bangalore, India with her 2 cherub pups. When she's not drawing or reading, she's sipping on some chai or cuddling with her 2 labradors.


  1. Cat March 2, 2024 at 9:02 pm - Reply

    I love the origin story. I’m so proud of you for turning your dreams into reality. I support you and will purchase your cute creations. Keep it up!

    • Angela Vaz March 8, 2024 at 3:46 am - Reply

      Thank you so much Cat – you are so kind. I’m so glad you love the artwork – it makes me very happy! <3

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