Nothing says special like a personalized gift. It somehow gives the recipient (at least I think so) a tingly feeling inside – it definitely makes one feel remembered and not that of being an afterthought resulting in a last-minute present. In my case, I enjoy putting together personalized gifts for dear friends – not only am I able to make sure it fits their personality, there’s something so heartwarming knowing it’s appreciated (and it always is). In a world where technology is ablaze and novelty is much sought after, there’s still something so charming about classic and old school as espoused by monograms.
So much character is divulged by what and how a person chooses to personalize his/her belongings and what began as a means and practical manner of identifying personal belongings (in the Victorian era, monogramming was a symbol of aristocracy and with the belief that monograms on table linens and cutlery was a sign of prestige, households started to boast their own unique monograms, one after the other) has sure grown into a sort of branding tool to signify ones’ identity. In the same way that times have changed however, it is also key that entrepreneurs evolve with what this generation seeks in terms of aesthetic, while somehow managing to still please those who seek old-fashioned tradition and style.
For a fan of monogramming and all things personalized like me, it’s rather pleasing to see not only a heightening clamor for these, but more so a growing community of entrepreneurs who have taken a fondness for investing time, skill and effort to things custom made. Last Christmas, I discovered Ash & Muff’s products in one of the bazaars I frequent and got to see their merchandise firsthand. I was thoroughly impressed not only with the unique selection of goods they offered, but more so with the quality of their workmanship. To be honest, I’ve heard about them on television and have seen them on social media, but I am not one to really appreciate or support a product unless I’ve bought and tested it myself. Ash and Muff definitely did not disappoint. What I appreciate most about them (besides the quality of their products) is how they’re able to not only customize to your liking, but that they have a plethora of items that cater to and can cover all age groups. Their best sellers (and personal favorites of mine as well) include their monogrammed blankets and personalized bags – so popular that you may have spotted a celebrity or two donning and raving about them somewhere on your social media feed.
In the words of its owner Jecelle Tan-Olives, Monogramming It! By Ash and Muff is a result of their search to find the perfect gift for the numerous birthdays, anniversaries, and special occasions that we all find on our calendars. And because she and her husband Paolo truly love and appreciate anything personalized themselves, they came out with an idea to give monogrammed blankets to all their nieces and nephews. It was such a hit that they wanted to share it with everyone. Sure enough, in January, 2014, Ash and Muff opened its doors as a home based business. A business sparked by passion and serendipity, because at the time, Jecelle was transitioning from doing warehouse leasing when she accidentally stumbled upon fabrics which gave her an idea to make blankets. With their first clients being their own friends and family, slowly but surely, by word of mouth, their clientele grew.
I am a firm believer that when one is passionate about his/her craft, it manifests in the work that they do. Such is the case with Ash and Muff. So true that even during their own wedding last year, Paolo and Jecelle decided to take on the responsibility of making their own souvenirs and giveaways. While it was challenging, they wanted to come out with new items and designs for this coming year and figured there was no better place to start than with their nearest and dearest – the same ones who helped grow their business after all. For those of you wanting to go the extra mile with your gift giving this year, I highly encourage you to check out what Ash & Muff has to offer – affordable, personalized goods, made wholeheartedly and delivered with a smile.
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