Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Huggerz boot wraps winner

The lovely founder of Huggerz, Debbie Thelen Miller, has generously offered to allow the winner to select one pair of Huggerz. That lucky winner is....

Keeley Rae
Congratulations Keeley!
Please contact me at mamagiglio@hotmail.com and give me your mailing address as well as which pair of Huggerz you would like to receive.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Interview with Debbie Thelen Miller: inventor of Huggerz boot wraps

A few weeks ago, after a particularly successful "hunting" expedition through Anthropologie's clearance racks, my friend Barb and I wandered down the street to a cute boutique called Oliver's Trendz. One of the very first things we encountered were these faux fur and knitted items that looked like hand muffs. My mind drifted back to early childhood memories of my own genuine rabbit fur hand muffs. {I know what you're thinking but it was the 1970s and we weren't as concerned about cruelty to animals in those days...} But I digress. My mid-day mind fog cleared and we deduced that what we were looking at were boot wraps. I liked what I saw but assumed they were "Made in China" like the preponderance of items in most stores. Boy was I WRONG. It would take just a short time to find out just how wrong I was.

Toddler's hand muffs from Little Muffet on Etsy, $26

About 2 weeks later, another good friend, Angie, sent me a link to Huggerz website. She had watched the local Sunday morning news that features a "Made in Michigan" segment quite regularly. Clicking on the link, my synapses started whirring and sparking. I realized these were the very creations I'd seen a few weeks prior. I was giddy as I realized Huggerz were invented by a clever local lady right here in the metro Detroit area!!! I joined their Facebook page and began drooling over all  the lovely styles.  I HAD to talk to the smart lady who came up with this clever product! Thankfully she agreed to allow me to interview her and share Huggerz with you!


These are my favorite pair of Huggerz: Sand Fair Isle, $34

Rabbit Huggerz, $39 shown with handmade rabbit pom poms,$14

{An interview with Debbie Thelen Miller: 
inventor of Huggerz boot wraps}

Debbie, thank you for allowing me to share your story with my readers. By the end of this interview, I know they too will share my love of your ingenious product.

For those who aren't familiar with Huggerz, please tell us what they are.

Huggerz Boot Wraps are a cover for your boots that make them look like a totally different pair of boots. They do not just look like something added to the leg of the boot.

If you had a tagline for Huggerz what would it be?
DTM: Our tag line is "Wrap your boots to suit your moods." 

Embossed Brown Beaver Huggerz, $39
MHA: How and where did you come up with the idea for Huggerz?

I was in a hockey rink and my feet were freezing. I was wearing boots and wool socks, but not the super warm shearling style boots. I knew then that I needed to invest in a pair, but when I started shopping, I could not decide what style to buy. I loved the ones with the fur. I loved the ones with the knit. I loved the patterned ones. But, I could not buy 3 or 4 different pairs, and I hated to spend all that money and be "stuck" with one look. That is when the idea hit me.

During our phone conversation you shared with me that all aspects of production are done in Michigan. How many jobs were created by your company?

To date, we have created 3 full time jobs!!!! We have also added 3 part time jobs. I hope to keep building from there.

When did you first realize Huggerz was going to be a hit?

Hmmm. Well, I knew that I was on to something when I wore my "test" pair out and about and had people stopping me to comment on my boots. The fact that they could not tell that they were covers, really made me happy. I am constantly thrilled to hear how much people love them and hope that the Huggerz "craze" as it has been called, continues.

**MHA: Deb also shared with me that 1500 pairs of Huggerz was sold in the 3 weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas 2010...that's impressive**

How long did it take from the time you got the idea for Huggerz until they were first available for purchase?

I had to wait until I had my patent pending status to sell any. So, I sold my first pairs 4 months after I came up with idea. But those were just more "test" pairs. They hit the market on our website and in local stores almost 2 years after I first had the idea. There was lots of research and product design, along with all the legal work, that had to be done.

What has been one of the biggest challenges you've faced with the company?

Pulling together the people and the funding to do it right!

Share with us some of the surprising things that happened to you since Huggerz was "born".

Good question! I think that I have been surprised by the overwhelming response to the product. I have been surprised by how hard it is to find products made in the USA. I have been surprised by all of the details that I never would have thought of! Frankly, I am surprised that I am running a company!

How do you promote your product?

Our primary vehicle for promotion is the internet. My marketing firm has sent out some press releases to the media, and we have had some nice responses from those. Our best promotion is from people wearing them!

You sell Huggerz through your website but where else can readers purchase a pair?

There are currently 10 retailers that carry Huggerz Boot Wraps and accessories. They are listed on our facebook page (Huggerz) under the info tab, and they are currently being added to our website.

Do you have plans for eco-friendly and or organic material options in the future?

Absolutely. From the very beginning I have wanted to do a line made from recycled sweaters. I would also love to use organic cotton.

As wife, mother and business owner, how do you juggle all of your responsibilities?

Some days, frankly, not very well! My 13 year old has taken to baking. My husband has learned to do the laundry, and everyone has had to get used to a less tidy home! They also expect my phone and laptop to be attached to me..... I have guilt, but I also know that they will all develop good skills from this, and that one day, I hope, it will all be worth it!
Fun and funky Black Zebra Huggerz, $28


Once again, thank you Deb, for allowing me to interview you and share your cool products with my readers!

Deb has agreed to sponsor a Huggerz giveaway on My Handmade Addiction. The lucky winner will receive one pair of Huggerz of their choice!!!
The giveaway will run through February 14th. To enter, please comment under this post. If you post a comment on My Handmade Addiction's Facebook page, you will also receive one entry!

Best of luck to all entrants!

Stay warm,


I'm putting the finishing touches
on my exclusive interview.
It should be up within the next day.

I can tell you that the interview dovetails nicely with the alleged snow storm
due to hit in the next day as well....

Stay tuned,

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Exclusive interview coming soon....

I will be interviewing a local entrepreneur later this week who invented a clever product that I'm just crazy about.

I don't want to give away too many details so please keep an eye out for the new post! 

Have a lovely evening,

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Hot Cocoa

Rushing in through the back door from playing out in the white, blustery Michigan winter with snow drifts higher than one's head. What elixir will thaw a frozen child, quicker than a jack rabbit can cross the yard, embracing you with warm, chocolaty sweetness? HOT COCOA, of course.

An ode to that beloved beverage of my youth

Hot Chocolate & Cardamom foaming sugar scrub
from Nature's Edge Farms, $9 for 8 ounce jar.

Hot chocolate and blue mittens, from Miracle Mittens, $38

Peruvian Cacao sampler set from Flying Bird Botanicals, $29.75

Cocoa Mallow body butter  from Solstice Scents, $9, for 4 ounces

Hot Chocolate open edition print, $38 Janet Hill Studio

Ah...cocoa warms thy soul. Don't you agree?

Monday, January 10, 2011

What's in store for twenty eleven

Good Afternoon,
In the short time I've been blogging,  I've so enjoyed sharing my Etsy finds, favorite shops as well as a glimpse into my crafty pursuits. As much as I enjoy sharing those things with you, I find myself wanting to switch things up a little with the coming of the New Year.

 I LOVE a good story. In 2011, I will be interviewing a few handmade artisans and sharing their stories with you. I already have a handful of folks in mind at this time.

Stay warm and stay tuned,

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy New Year: help please

Hello all,
Today is the second day of the week and the second day getting back to a schedule of sorts. I've been pondering some new directions I'd like to go with the blog. I'd love to get some input though. Can you share with me what you'd like to see more of from My Handmade Addiction in 2011?

With my appreciation,

Saturday, January 1, 2011

December 2010 giveaway winner announced now

And the winner for December 2010 giveaway featuring Nature's Edge Farm handmade soaps and body lotion is....

Christy on the Craggy Moor

Congratulations Christy and Happy New Year!!!!