About the Biz
- Company Name: Mac Tabby Cat Cafe
- Who we talked with: Lori Konawalik, Owner
- Year established: 2017
- How to Find Them: mactabby.com
- Socialize: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
Get to know Mac Tabby Cat Cafe
Mac Tabby Cat Cafe is Charlotte’s first cat cafe. Located in Noda, Mac Tabby has a cafe serving local coffee, kombucha, teas, and gifts alongside a designated cat lounge, which houses 12 adoptable homeless kitties from our local rescue partner, Catering to Cats and Dogs. For $12, you may enter the cat lounge with your coffee or tea, and spend time loving, cuddling, and socializing the cats whether you want to adopt, or not! Mac Tabby also support local artists, yogis, and musicians. Everything is better with cats, so we have events monthly!
As a business owner, what resource organizations have helped you along the way, and how?
Charlotte Business Resources was a huge support to us at the VERY beginning of my journey. Like most business owners, I didn’t know where to start. Finding the resources and people available to help through CBR was a huge help. There are also countless individuals who guided me along the way, including our 299 Kickstarter backers who made Mac Tabby Cat Cafe possible!
How did you come up with this concept, and how long did it take for you to get from idea, to open doors?
I wish I could say that I came up with the cat cafe concept, but I did not! It has been a concept around the world now for some time, but I was aware there was not yet one in Charlotte, NC. I began to feel a “pull” on my heart to do something more in life, and my love for cats has run deep since I was born (see website!). I also knew I wanted to make an impact not only with cats but also support our community in some way. The concept of Mac Tabby didn’t take long when I truly stripped away all logistics and just spoke from my heart about what I actually WANTED to create. From there, the ball started rolling. From true “conception of thought” until opening the doors, it took one year.
Opening a cafe that allows animals must have its challenges. What were your biggest obstacles, and what did you do to overcome them?
Since we were one of the first in the state, there was a lot of gray areas when dealing with the county and also the state because it was never done before. We had to work closely with the Agriculture Department to figure out what would make sense and work within their parameters already in place for other animal establishments. I did not see this as a challenge, just an opportunity to learn and grow. The obstacles were there, but they just allowed us to think outside the box and create a space that would work for everyone!
What habits do you have that contribute to being a successful business owner?
I feel that how people define success is personal for everyone. For me, it’s peace and happiness – as cliche as that sounds. So, yes, I do consider myself successful, and the habits that contribute to that are the willingness to know and understand that I DON’T have all the answers, or pretend to know how things SHOULD be done. I allow myself to stay open and absorb any knowledge of business, trends, marketing, as well as guidance, love, ideas, art, music. I am always open to it all and will take it wherever I can get it! It all plays into the greater good and helps build the Mac Tabby brand and atmosphere as an authentic place in town that’s built by us ALL. I feel that just simply staying open, hungry, and in alignment with what you feel is right, and passionate about, as a human being AND business leader makes all the difference in the world.