I don’t think it would feel right if my first post wasn’t dedicated to what I *think* ya’ll want to hear about the most… Shop House of Mouse…
I feel like I owe an apology for not giving it a proper goodbye and/or the last chance to shop! But that’s because it was never supposed to really be over! I had every intention of bringing back my ears once the pandemic was over.
I started Shop House of Mouse in 2013. It all started because Disneyland did not make themed or even holiday mouse ears at the time! As an avid Disneyland goer and freakishly holiday-obsessed person, I wanted holiday-themed mouse ears! So, I would pick up some cute festive fabrics at my craft stores and make a bow. Then I would purchase a pair of ears at the park, head to the bathroom, rip off the bow, and hand sew on my holiday bow! No, joke, this is exactly what I did! I eventually deconstructed their ears and started making my own complete pair. I went often enough that I wanted multiple pairs to match outfits, themes, and characters! And that’s when friends began to ask me to make them their own pair.
I quickly opened up an Etsy shop and created an Instagram account for Shop House of Mouse! This was back when Instagram was so different (and was so awesome!), and there was not even a handful of other ear makers at the time. Both of these things have changed very much! And that is all great, but I say this because it meant I grew quickly! I had a great reach on my accounts, both on Etsy and Instagram, and my orders kept me busy enough to lead me to quit my day job after just a few months and solely focus on fulfilling my ear orders! I opened my Etsy shop on October 15th, 2013; by March 2014, I was doing Shop House of Mouse full time.
I absolutely loved my job! My day-to-day was always an adventure of its own. I shopped for supplies. I loved spending the day in the garment district in Downtown LA, finding so many fun fabrics, and so much inspiration came from there! Then designing and creating ears, then, of course, my favorite part, all the marketing, and promo! Snapping all the cute and curated photos, or better yet, taking my new designs to Disneyland for even better photos! Sharing it all with you on IG and then loading it to my site! Remember my long Insta stories of going over bows for each pair? Or showing you my haul of fabrics I picked up? Of course, watching all of your excitement come through on likes, shares, and sales filled me with so much joy!!! And for probably my least favorite part, but still, I loved it… packing, wrapping, and shipping it off to everyone!
But overall, one of the best parts of Shop of House of Mouse was how I learned to connect with everyone on the internet. Once I put myself into the brand more, I connected with so many people beyond just being Disney fans.
I made a lot of real friends! Friends that have become such a part of my life, still! It made putting myself out there easier because of feeling such a connection to others. Especially since I was working from home, all alone, it made talking to the internet feel much less lonely every day. I would meet new friends at the parks, which was always such an incredible feeling too! I shared every part of my daily life on the internet, even the personal stuff, and y’all constantly related or showed up for me.
When the pandemic happened and Disneyland closed, I felt like that was the end of Shop House of Mouse. But then I pulled out my sewing machine, watched tons of tutorials, and quickly pivoted my shop to masks, and damn, y’all supported that big time (THANK YOU!).
During that time, I was pregnant, and once she came, keeping up with the mask-making was a struggle! I made masks while she napped when she slept, but it was rough! I found myself falling behind, so I slowly began to take fewer orders until I eventually stopped to give our sweet baby all my undivided attention. And then… we moved!
Soon after, Disneyland opened back up (I was sad because I was in Texas), but I was excited to start making and selling ears again! I had exciting new fabrics just waiting, and I had this big comeback hyped up in my head, and everyone would be so excited to be able to buy ears again for their return to the parks too! But on the more practical side of life, I had an eight-month baby that wasn’t the best napper, and the time I used to have to sit and make ears all day long just didn’t exist for me anymore. I was making about 2-4 ears per week when I needed to be making about 10 per day to keep up with what I had been doing before. The super big launch I had in my mind never happened, so I released a few ears here and there and promised yall I wasn’t closing, but it eventually just sizzled out. Time never allowed me to do what I was doing before. I thought when Nealia turned one, we’d enroll her in school, and I would return to Shop House of Mouse full-time again. When that time came, I think I had internally already moved on. Everything felt different for me at the time, and when I enrolled Nealia in school, I also ended up applying to be a teacher there.
While being a teacher was very short-lived (big props to all the teachers out there because THAT is the most challenging job I have EVER had.) I still liked to always think I would release ears every now and then, but now we’ve moved again, and my box of supplies that was once my entire life now just remains in my garage. I’d like to think I’d make a pair every now and then like I did for my most recent visit to Disneyland for Nealias 2nd birthday! But I am just not too sure about it. I have some new ideas and new hobbies I have picked up lately that are playing and growing my crazy creative mind, but for now, they just live there.
I’ll forever miss this job, and brand and cherish all the memories I made creating Shop House of Mouse and, I’ll be forever thankful for every customer and person it brought into my life! Thank you, mousies!