Disney lovers from all walks of life seem to be taking their passions to the next level. When that undeniable love for a company so grand and wonderful encompasses your every thought and courses through your veins, you have no choice but to take action. Your purpose becomes to help others who love Disney just as you do, experience that love and that desire even when they are not in the parks; even when they aren’t watching a Disney movie; even if they live miles and miles away from the happiest place on earth. When you are called to create this enchanted realm for others, where do you begin? Well, for Mandy Nix, this began with the opening of her Etsy shop: Mickey and Mandy. With her signature “do it yourself” products, you find yourself falling into a world of Disney fantasy.
A Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio native, a wife, a mother of two, and a Disney fanatic, Mandy decided to turn her passion into a lucrative business pursuit: “After crafting for family and friends most of my life, I began to see other people opening their own Disney-themed Etsy shops and thought it would be a fun opportunity.” Her passion for DIY projects began at five years old, while growing up during those frigid Ohio winters. When the weather permitted her to do little else but stay cooped up inside, Mandy “bugg[ed] [her] mom to teach [her] to crochet.” From there, a fire roared within Mandy that prompted her to continue crafting for the rest of her life.
Once she began a family of her own, Mandy decided that she would utilize her talent to create clothes and blankets for her two children, Katie and David. Making clothes and other “kiddy” necessities helped Mandy to discern what products would be best received through Mickey and Mandy. Though, at the time, she did not fully comprehend the path down which her passion would take her.
As a child, Mandy went to Walt Disney World twice with her parents and sisters, sparking a love of Disney at a young age. However, her true adoration for this magical company came the first time she went to the parks with her own children and husband: “I think my love of Disney stems from how much fun we had on our first family trip in 1999. My husband and two kids had never been before and all four of us had such a good time we couldn’t imagine not going back.” Mandy says that despite the exorbitant amount of fun they were all having, their little ones at ages 5 and 3 at the time, needed a nap. They took David and Katie back to the hotel to rest, but Mandy “was pretty bummed about missing park time, because it was February and the parks operated on shortened hours.” But what Mandy remembers most is her husband looking at her and saying “Well it’s not like this will be our only trip.” She reminisces: “We had been there four hours and he was in love.”
Thus began a true love for something that an entire family felt drawn to. As we all know, Disney certainly has that power. It creates a place where families can exit reality and just be together for that short, yet truly magical, period of time. This notion of family spurned the creation of Mandy’s store and all the wonderful products within in it: “I think this has helped to shape my business and products because I want to put that same level of love into everything I send out. I want everyone to have that kind of Disney experience.”
Like many DIYer’s, Mandy creates just about anywhere she can. Her primary office is in her basement; where she spends her time sewing, crocheting, and manufacturing all of her products with her own two hands. She works tirelessly to create new products and add them to her store, but her greatest concern is that she has “so many ideas and only two hands.” Most of her sweet creations are inspired by things that her children could have used when they were young as well as items that her and her husband would have used as parents: “My daughter would have worn every one of the skirts and dresses and we would have killed to have small, stroller sized baby blankets.”
Mandy purchases the materials needed for all of her products online and at various craft stores near her home. Once she acquires all the necessary materials, she begins work on each item. All of her products are ready-made and can be shipped within one to two days after purchase. However, Mandy does offer the option of a custom order, which, by nature, takes a little bit more time to prepare. On average, it takes Mandy roughly one to two hours to create some of her most popular products, such as the coffee cozies and the skirts. Sometimes, however, the creation of a custom order skirt might require the purchase of a specialty fabric, which would take a few days to come in and then a little more time for Mandy to create.
So far, the two most popular designs that customer’s request are based on the Star Wars character C-3PO, and items made with a special Toy Story emoji fabric. According to Mandy, her unique baby blankets take the most time to create, but since she has “been crocheting [her] whole life, it [isn’t] necessarily challenging.” A real test arose when she decided to add Mickey Mouse ears to her store: “The most challenging thing I’ve done so far is the Mickey ears. I had no idea how to make them before I opened the shop and [I had to learn] by trial and error.” Mandy remarks that a number of the prototype ears were “thrown away or given to the dogs as toys.”
As a self-proclaimed coffee lover, Mandy favors the use of her own cozies. While wearing one of her cute headbands, she drinks a cup of coffee surrounded by a Mickey and Mandy cozie every day: “The headbands are so comfortable and add a little Disney to my day while the cozies keep my hands from getting too hot or too cold while I drink coffee on the go.”
All of Mandy’s products are sweet, elegant, and truly embody a Disney spirit. They allow you to escape the world, at least for just a moment, and remind you of a place where a family can be the true unit that it was meant to be. Mandy Nix embodies the essence of a Disney entrepreneur and proves that anything is possible if you have a great support system behind you. Mandy expresses to all those looking to follow their passions to “find something you love and care about and channel that into quality products.” She certainly lives by this philosophy, and we are the beneficiaries through her lovely creations.
If you want some beautiful Mickey and Mandy products, head on over to https://www.etsy.com/shop/MickeyandMandy.