Originally a real love story
It all started with shy little love notes from Kim Casali to her future husband, Roberto. Each of these little notes involved a small drawing and a personal sentiment that perfectly captured Kim’s thoughts for the man she loved. She would hide these little drawings where he would least expect, sometimes tucked in a pocket or popped under his pillow, and also send them to him whenever they were apart.
The Love Is... Milestones
Marilyn (later Kim) Grove is born in Auckland, New Zealand.
One week after Valentine’s Day, Kim meets Roberto Casali at a ski club get-together in Los Angeles.
The first illustration of what will become ‘Love Is…’ is drawn by Kim on a postcard she sends to Roberto whilst on a ski trip. It is a thumbnail-sized caricature of herself – a mini Kim. Kim subsequently names the company responsible for the exploitation of her creation, Minikim.
Kim doodles caricatures of herself and Roberto on little cards that she leaves in various places for him to find (such as under his pillow, in his jacket pocket, in his car’s glove compartment, in a drawer).
Whilst working as the receptionist at a printing company in LA, Kim staples together some of her illustrations into little booklets, entitling them ‘Love is When’ and selling them from her desk for $1 each.
Subsequent to the positive feedback after one of her booklets is given as ‘THE’ wedding present at which the bride and guests deem it as a “must-have” for every bride, Roberto takes a collection of Kim’s cartoons to a newspaper syndicate to gauge interest.
January 5th – ‘Love Is…’ appears for the first time in the Los Angeles Times newspaper. It is a quick success and grows to be syndicated in newspapers and magazines in over 50 countries and translated into more than 25 languages.
The first licensed product featuring ‘Love Is…’ appears – plastic wall plaques.
November – Kim and Roberto get engaged.
July – Kim and Roberto are married in Auckland, New Zealand. They take their honeymoon in Tahiti on the way.