Tell us a little about you and your business.
My name is Ian Thomas, Im also commonly known as the Mooshun Man. Mooshuns are moody cushions “ hand-made cushions with different expressions and moods designed to help children talk about their feelings, develop emotional intelligence and build positive mental heatlh habits. Ive been making Mooshuns since 2009, I hand stitch the faces, use the sewing machine for the seams and then finish them by hand.
What do you love about your creative business?
I enjoy the processes involved in making the Mooshuns but I find the greatest reward comes from customers, especially children, who respond so positively to the products, but also adult customers who can recognise the benefits of using Mooshuns as a feelings teaching and learning tool with children.
What is your favourite thing to create?
My favourite thing to create would be the Variety Packs as they have the greatest potential for making a positive impact on the lives of children. Developing concepts and ideas for new Variety Pack options helps me focus on the purpose of making and selling Mooshuns and reminds me of their value.
Where do you find your inspiration?
I find inspiration in new colours and the potential to create Mooshuns that Ive never made before. I also get inspired through the creative process and generate new ideas or problem solve while Im actually working.
Where can we find your work? (on & offline)
– On Etsy – HERE
– Various Craft Markets Australia markets “ especially Red Hill and Mornington
– Fetes, fairs and markets all over Melbourne
Let’s get to know you.
¢ Mooshuns are made from micro-fibre cleaning cloths and always have been since the beginning. Most of my fabric is found in cheap variety stores. Theyre are also filled with recyled filling that comes from plastic water bottles as I have a very strong upcycled/recycled philosophy.
¢ Im a primary school teacher with a strong background in emotional intelligence, childrens mental health and wellbeing and boys education.
How did you decide on your business name?
The name came from the product “ moody cushions = Mooshuns. I actually didn’t like the name too much initially but it grew on me! It can be very entertaining hearing peoples attempts to pronounce it as they approach my stall at markets. FYI: Mooshuns rhymes with cushions.
Do you listen to music or watch a movie while creating?
I’ve viewed the majority of my DVD collection “ TV shows and movies “ while making Mooshuns. Kylie Minogue helps me get the work that needs to be done away from the sofa finished.
Any business highlights over the past 12 months?
In 2014 I was working full-time as a primary school teacher and didn’t have as much time for Mooshuns as I would have liked. I spent the first day of the summer holidays making Mooshuns and I’ve been extremely motivated and productive since then! I work part-time now so I have a lot more time and freedom to dedicate to the Mooshuns business.