Editor’s note: You can read more about CarmelFest 2015 here.
By Joseph Knoop
CarmelFest always plays host a variety of vendors, whether it’s toy bows and arrows or custom soaps and oils. Even four-legged members of the family have something to look forward to receiving this year.
Elaine Woolley is one such crafter, featuring her handmade cat toys, “Kitty Kickstix.” The toys, a simple fabric-covered tube the length of an average housecat are layered with organic catnip, and have proven popular with pet owners. The product has been sold across the country, garnering 75,000 ‘likes’ on Facebook in just less than five years of operation.
Woolley’s business began as the result of her decades of experience fostering cats. Her first year’s worth of proceeds went to the Spay-Neuter League of Terre Haute, which sponsored her.
“My heart goes out to all animals, especially those not treated well,” Woolley said. “I think the worst thing in life is an animal that doesn’t know a kind touch.”
Both Woolley and her husband retired from active duty in the Navy in San Diego, California in the early 1990s before moving to Indiana.
Woolley estimates she’s fostered over 1,000 animals since beginning in 1991.
“You know how people can pick out a baby crying from a ways away? I can hear kittens cry and I’m like ‘Where is it? Give it to me,’” Wooley said.
Woolley estimates 3,000 Kitty Kickstix toys were sold last Christmas to her home state of California.
“I think it was the public who saw the uniqueness of it,” Woolley said. “I kind of thought there was a need for more cat toys. There’s so many for dogs. The public is what inspired us the most.”
Vendors for CarmelFest are located surrounding the Carmel Fountain south of the Carmel Fire Station. Additional vendors are located on Gradle Drive and in the CarmelFest NorthZone. Vendors are open during all festival hours including July 3 from 4 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. and July 4 from noon to 10:30 p.m.