Cashmere Wool Rabbit Fur Earmuffs
FAQ: Why cows? 🤔
Seeing that cows aren't exactly the animals people associate with luxury or cuteness that's a very fair question!
When I first started this project, I was mainly making earmuffs to fit my style and wardrobe. Seeing that this brand was a reflection of me, I had to pick something near and dear to me, the moo moos 🐄🐄🐄!!
Cows were my favorite animals growing up because my Chinese zodiac sign is the Ox. So when I was a kid, my parents would buy me a stuffed cow plush every birthday. I associated cows very much with their love, and as gift giving was a rare occurrence in my household (Santa's reindeers weren't able to fly to Taiwan) it was the most exciting time of the year to wake up to a new cow plush waiting by my bedside for me to hug.
Eventually I was too old to wake up to cows on my birthday, but my parents continued to encouraged the cow obsession, saying that liking something different 'builds character'.
Many people after meeting me, can never see cows the same way again. Cows are not just delicious, but a special symbol of love, happiness, and warmth that inspires confidence in UG's world. And so when it comes time for me to 'build' something to share, incorporating #cows are a must!
FAQ: Why is the name Moobury?
1. I am obsessed with cows! (Moo!)
2. This whole venture started when I was trying to 'bury' the earmuff-shaped hole in my heart.
3. It's catchy and rhymes with Burberry
FAQ: How long does it take for you to handmake an earmuff?
Each earmuff takes roughly 6 hours to make. This does not include the time spent researching and developing the different designs.
At some point I was able to push myself to 'complete' an earmuff in the 2-3 hour frame, however it came at the price of me overlooking small flaws and very cramped hands. 😖👎
Nowadays I give myself the time I need to make every stitch perfect. I want to enjoy the process, and have customers that can accept and appreciate that.
The weather is getting cold again, and so begins Moobury Season 3!
I'm really proud of this collection because I poured all that I learned from making close to 100 earmuffs by hand over the last two winters into this season's designs. From the very beginning my goal for Moobury was to replace the Burberry cashmere earmuffs I lost in the dry-cleaner mishap.
As much as I made that claim to others, I only half believed it myself. I was perfectly content thinking I was going to recoup my losses by learning new things with my friends and building memories. Little did I know that people would take my vocalized sadness on something that now looks so silly and small, so seriously.
This season I have outdone Burberry, and made cashmere earmuffs of my own! My revenge is complete. I have bought higher quality/expensive material that I was scared to work with in the past, and focused in on the precision of my hand-sewing.
Thank you to all the moo-friends that helped me with sewing, photo-shoots, website design, selling, and social media. Thank you to all the moo-friends that bought earmuffs and Moobowy totes to fund another season of Moobury. And thank you to all the Etsy customers that read my story and reached out to me saying they too were trying to replace earmuffs they lost.
This all has been a wonderful adventure and has provided me closure. All of you have successfully buried that earmuff-shaped hole in my heart. So without further ado please enjoy the fruits of your labor, here.
If you like what you see, please spread the word of Moobury, and invite them to follow us on facebook and instagram for updates.
I’d like to dedicate this entry to Portia (aka Conx). She’s one of the founders of Moobury, and has gotten little recognition for being such a big part of what it is today. Without her there would be no Moobury earmuffs! *gasps* a world without moo-muffs?!
That’s right, Conx is my sewing mentor, she taught me how to sew and is the seamstress that figured out how to make the earmuffs by hand. Without such a talented partner, I’d still be staring at pieces of fabric wishing for elves to appear and make my dreams come true. Now I can be my own earmuff elf and fill Christmas orders for all the good boys and girls. ;)
Learning to make earmuffs took a lot of patience on my end, but teaching a novice to make earmuffs took a marathon’s worth of endurance and patience on Portia’s end. After about 10 painstaking hours of trial, error and seam ripping, we got our first pair of earmuffs!
And then another 10 more (100+ hours) for the earmuffs you see today.
As I am reflecting back on the origins of Moobury, I would also like to take this time to thank all the friends that blindly ordered/invested in moo-muffs in the beginning. Even when I didn’t even know how to sew you guys believed in me anyway. And I hope you all are proud to see how we’ve grown, couldn’t have done it without all the support. <3
Portia is a special earmuff on Moobury, it is the only one that is made and designed by Portia herself. She hand embroidered the band on a beautiful stretch denim fabric. This is a limited edition earmuff!! I cannot and will not make something so complicated; I leave it to the master. So for anyone that is into one-of-a-kind craftsmanship, the Portia earmuff is for you! (Her birthday is also coming up, so it would be awesome to tell her a design of hers sold…*still keeping my fingers crossed*)
These days Portia is working as a quantitative data analyst at Cogo Labs. We haven’t been able to make earmuffs together since I moved to NJ, so she’s been doing her own hobby crafting. She makes these super intricate silk habotoi and charmeuse scarves, hand painted, heat set and then hand washed. Each scarf takes more than 30 hours to make, a true labor of love. She’s available to be commissioned if anyone is interested in a particular design (ie. Moocow. lol), otherwise keep checking in the shop to see if any of Portia Considine's masterpieces start popping up.
My Aunt Irene was a truly amazing person. She battled lung cancer for many years, survived much longer than the prognosis the doctors gave, and eventually passed away 6 years ago. Growing up my mom would feed me stories of how business savvy and successful Aunt Irene was to motivate me to be a strong independent woman. She was a real fighter, kind, beautiful, intelligent and funny. Because of this Aunt Irene was one of my heroes well before her battle with cancer ever occurred.
It still saddens me that we lost her so soon, but she will always be remembered, and so I naturally named an earmuff after her when I started this Moobury venture. My famous Aunt Irene quote, and one i revisit often to get me through the hard times is 'Why not me?'
When Aunt Irene was battling cancer, she told us she was extremely upset when she was first diagnosed, 'oh god, why me? why do I have to go through this.' And later when the anger subsided she realized 'Why not me? Who else would I wish this on? Who else is stronger to deal with this than I am. Then yes, Why not me?'
That my friends is what I consider real strength and love. She was still so strong for all of us when she was going through so much. And so when I go through a hard time in life, when my arthritis acts up and I'm in so much pain I cry myself to sleep, I think 'Why not me? who else would I wish this pain on?' And the answer is always nobody else but me. I may not hold myself up as gracefully as my Aunt Irene did, but I appreciate life, the fight I have to put in, and the times I can be free from my arthritis even more so because of her.
It just so happens that I have a new Irene in my life now. She is my MooBowy partner, incredibly gifted in her craft, and the more I get to know her the more I'm learning how business savvy she is too. We have been working hard to launch our new product. I've learned so much from her, and am very happy that she has brought new hope and meaning to the earmuff Irene.
Each earmuff here has a story(big or small). If you purchase one I hope the spirit, love and support of my family and friends towards me will transfer through and provide a little extra warmth for you and your loved ones this winter.
Thanks again for checking in, and following me on MooBlog.
Recently I made a weekend trip to visit my grandparents in Toronto. They are in their late 80s, and both have heart arrhythmias. So even though they appear active and well, a part of me is always scared. I could never live with myself if something ever happened to them *knock on wood*, and realizing I was too self involved to make an 8-hour drive when I had a chance. Therefore before work gets busy, I had to see them.
Seeing them was great, and as always helped me put things into perspective. I am reminded of what's truly important in life, and the problems I have all become so small. Each time I take away something different from my visit, and this time I learned to cherish and find beauty in the simple things. Sixty years of marriage later, they still show each other so much love and respect. They live a simple life, they own nothing fancy, just the necessities, but they have many treasures.
It wasn't what they were showing me that was impressive, but it was seeing how they looked at things. They have a school bus photo frame with 12 slots containing childhood photos of their children and grandkids. They pull out that school-bus frame every time I visit, each time I am embarrassed at how dopey(though cute) we all look, but this was the first time I saw how they were looking at it. My grandpa stood there with a silent pride, and my grandma with the most loving of smiles. At that moment I thought "wow, this is one of the most beautiful things I've seen in a long time." But it was just the start. They then continued to point out house decorations which were handmade by their lifelong friends, trinkets from their long ago travels, and then the beautiful garden my grandfather works on year after year growing stronger. So with that, when I slowed down to look at things from their eyes, I was surrounded by beauty.
I'm also convinced the stars shined brighter that night when I drove back to NJ. Sort of amazing what a shift in perspective can do.
Anyway, if you made it this far through my awful writing, thank you for letting me share the simple things with you. :)
And now who wants a gift from grandma Yang? (free earmuff! eee)
Last year I gifted a pair of Gloria earmuffs to grandma. However this time when I visited, she told me she hasn't worn them at all because she went back to Taiwan in the winter, and it is too warm for earmuffs there. The warmer weather is easier on their bodies, so they will be returning to Taiwan every winter from now on. She gave the earmuffs back to me saying that she wanted me to wear them instead and keep warm, but I told her I already had one of my own as it is a design I personally liked and kept for myself. So instead she asked me to give it to someone else. It has been a little sad because over the years I've been noticing my grandparents gift away more and more personal items that could be useful to those around them. They don't believe in being wasteful, and I admire that about them. So to respect my grandmother's wishes, we will be doing a giveaway of the earmuff and I will happily mail it for free to anywhere in the U.S.
(Like us on facebook @moobury and share the fb giveaway post by 10/20/15 to enter, winner will be selected at random)
This post has been a long time coming. I have worked hard, and Moobury is now fully open to custom orders.
So what pushed me to this?
In part this was due to demand, but the main reason is that the requests come from such a sincere place that they were hard to say no to. On my Etsy store, I made it a particular point to advertise "does not accept custom orders" because they take a lot more time and effort to make, and the material costs are higher. There are plenty of other sellers that do this, so I'll leave the hardship to them
...or so I thought.
I was extremely surprised when a buyer(Natalie) on Etsy sent me a private message for a custom request. I tried to deter her with higher pricing and absolutely no refunds, due to the nature of custom orders. However, her story that followed took me fabric shopping at three different store locations just so I can find her the perfect fabric.
Natalie was trying to replace her long time favorite earmuffs that recently broke, and after a long search could not find a pair to her satisfaction. The story sounds familiar right? Yep, we were "kindred earmuff spirits". I related to her pain, and my heart ached when she sent me pictures of her broken pair. I told her I couldn't completely replicate her old earmuffs, but we could work together to make something close. And as you can see from the pictures of the polka-dotted earmuffs, we were both happy with the results. :)
This year I had another custom order where I again broke a rule. I made behind the head earmuffs for men! *gasps* Its not that I couldn't before, but for what is offered of men's earmuffs out there, I can't compete with the prices. It also takes a surprising amount of effort to make by hand. (sigh, if only I were a machine)
Yet my friends Eric & HayJin (EJIN) have their anniversary coming up. They are one of the cutest couples, and their couple selfies popping up on my fb newsfeed makes me go 'awwww' every time. EJIN started their relationship in Peru when a large group of us backpacked to Machu Picchu together, since then they have been doing long distance from Chile --> NYC and then California --> New Jersey. They chat everyday, and put in an extreme amount of effort traveling to see one another. HayJin is in California, she doesn't need earmuffs, but when she visits the East Coast this November to celebrate her anniversary with Eric, she will. And during that time, she wanted to have a matching pair with Eric to stay warm. Their level of commitment to each other makes it impossible to turn down such a sweet request, so I set myself to work once again.
Thank you to the wonderful people above for giving me a chance to mend the earmuff-shaped hole in my heart with new earmuffs, friendship and love, and being a perfect example of it.
Even though I have done custom orders in the past, I have finally come to terms that it's a thing now. lol. Therefore this is the official announcement that Moobury is now offering custom earmuff orders! Yay!
(Pricing start at $55, and go up based on material cost. Mens earmuffs will only be offered in couple pairs, guy-girl or guy-guy combos. My only limitation is I am unable to sew through leather by hand or make my women frames adjustable. For more information please contact us directly through e-mail or fb. Thanks!)
I've recently been reorganizing the site to be more well aligned with the vision I had for Moobury. Overcoming loss (no matter how big or small) through friendship, love and dreams. Last year was when this project all started, and it was a blur trying to sell earmuffs as I was learning to make them. And somehow even with the story on the about page, the message got lost. Quite honestly I think I myself was a little lost too. Luckily earmuffs are a seasonal product, so I've had time to do some catch-up on life and regroup.
The earmuffs(moomuffs :D) are named after friends and family that have supported and inspired me to keep my dreams alive. The Burberry earmuffs that were ruined were special to me because of the memories and dreams I held with it, and not because they were name brand and expensive. It was silly to put so much emotions into earmuffs, but I did, and I was very much hurt when they were lost.
No matter the degree, loss is loss just as pain is pain. Whether someone experiences a paper cut or gets hit by a car, she is in pain. A breakup versus a family death, something is lost. So if someone I cared about was hurting, whatever the reason, I'll do everything I can to alleviate the pain. Doesn't mean I always have the ability to, but I will sure as hell try. Thus I appreciate that when this earmuff incident happened I had friends that cared enough to make me feel better.
Now it's time to introduce Jamie, we've been childhood friends for 19 years, and she's an UI designer in NYC. We talk and see each other twice a year at most, yet when I asked her to help me start an earmuff brand, there was absolutely no hesitation and she promptly booked a ticket to Boston as if it was a matter of utter urgency. (The epic blog post of that weekend can be seen here)
So why was Jamie one of the first people I called?
Because if I had to recreate earmuffs with new treasured memories, this was the girl. Jamie has the ability to make boring things fun, and most importantly when we were kids, she taught me to dream. She believed that both of us could be more than who we were back then. Though I didn't believe her at that point, I listened and promised her I would try. With that, she effortlessly opened up my world to new possibilities, and pushed me out of my comfort zone. So naturally when I think of blindly starting a new adventure in life, Jamie is that friend that inspires me to charge forward.
We recently celebrated out 19 years of friendship by having a girls day out/roadtrip to PA. We shamelessly blasted and sang along to old pop songs from the 90s, ate brunch at Terrain (yummy farm-to-table food w/ the cutest shop attached!), followed by a nice long walk through Longwoods Garden. The day flies by when you're having fun.
To share in our celebrations, why not buy Jamie? 19% off till Friday(10/2).