EHS Alum Megan Thompson Owns Meganography and Coffee & Purrs

Sioux City, Iowa - The chance to join East High School’s show choir motivated Megan Thompson to transfer to the District for her junior year. What she discovered brought her joy.

When she wasn’t in show choir, Megan thrived in the variety of classes that East High offered in addition to the career pathways she found through the Sioux City Career Academy. The budding entrepreneur learned skills that would be invaluable in her future business ventures.  

“Mrs. Discus’ entrepreneurship and accounting classes taught me some knowledge I didn’t know prior to taking her classes including the basics of bookkeeping, the importance of a business plan, and how I could better organize my business finances,” says Megan, who is now the owner of Meganography, a photography business, and Coffee & Purrs, Sioux City’s first cat café. “The tips I learned in those classes still help me today while running both of my businesses.”

Megan was just 13 years old when she started Meganography which specializes in destination weddings, senior photography, and videography. When she wasn’t in class or doing homework, Megan was editing, planning, and developing a brand for Meganography. During her junior year, through the height of the pandemic, she completed 28 weddings. In 2021, the year Megan graduated, she completed 47 weddings, traveling to destinations in Key West, Florida; San Diego, California; Nashville, Tennessee; and Dallas, Texas, among other locations.

“One of the main reasons I love Meganography is knowing the feeling of being able to look back on photos later in life and remembering that time in my life. Photos can bring back so many memories, and when that memory is gone, the photos are the only thing you have left,” says Megan.

While photography remains a passion for Megan, she embarked on a new adventure in October 2021, taking the first steps toward opening a cat café.

“I had always thought it would be cool to have a physical brick-and-mortar store. I just never knew what,” recalls Megan. “I took most of my savings from Meganography, and in October 2022, I signed a lease and launched the business online.”

The goal for Coffee & Purrs, located in downtown Sioux City at 500 Nebraska St., is simple: provide a comfortable space for cats waiting for their forever home and ultimately get more cats adopted in Siouxland. The concept is working. Since the café opened in early January, more than 30 cats have been adopted.

In addition to its feline friends, Coffee & Purrs offers a warm and inviting coffee shop environment for Siouxlanders to come work, get their morning coffee, or relax.

“Age does not define success. I’ve been told all my life that I am stubborn, but there is a difference between stubbornness and determination. You are the only one living your life, so do what brings you happiness and fulfillment. Live out your dream,” says Megan.

As she reflects on her success so far, Megan says that anyone can be a business owner with the right mindset, financial responsibility skills, and determination.

“Focus on what is most important and take it one day at a time. Try not to take on too much and burn yourself out.”