Interview: Tom Canters, Inspirations of Mujjo
by Julija Kaselyte
Holland based entrepreneur Tom Canters has been in the field of consumer electronics for a while. But his passion for fashion took over a few years ago when Tom headed in another direction: he and his partners launched a mobile accessories design outfit named Mujjo. Their entry into the fashion industry was successful: from gloves that function on touch screens (and are extremely useful in cold winters), to the recently introduced The Originals Collection aimed towards the beloved Apple gadgets. Learn more about the genesis of the company and what lies ahead for Mujjo in our interview below.
Julija: Tell us a brief history of Mujjo. How did it all begin for you?
Tom: Mujjo is a Dutch brand for mobile accessories. Founded by the Dutchies: Remy, Robin and me in 2010. We started out making hand stitched winter gloves that work on touch screens. Our gloves turned out to be successful and have been featured internationally in major publications. In spring of 2012 we began making sleeves for Apple devices, featuring a unique combination of wool felt and high quality leather. Our brand has grown quiet fast, and continues to evolve, but we keep the same passion for creating beautiful and minimalistic designs. Our passion for making good products even goes beyond the desire of keeping clients and [our] reputation.
Julija: What’s your vision as a brand?
Tom: Our vision as a brand is to be contemporary and come up with timeless, clean and minimalistic designs in everything we create. Mujjo will never chase trends, but instead, every Mujjo design is a reflection of our personal taste. Our designs may not be for everyone, but that is just the way we want it to be.
Julija: What fascinates you about mobile accessories design?
Tom: It is a very vibrant industry driven by innovations, giving us inspiration and keeps us “in the fast-lane” for developing new designs. We believe the mobile accessory market lacks on sustainable and characteristic fashion labels, unlike the traditional fashion industry. The mobile accessory market is dominated by brands from companies with a consumer electronic background; they simple miss the “smart couture factor.” Some haute couture brands rent their brand rights to consumer electronic companies to rebrand their accessories. We believe there is a great space in this industry for Mujjo to create new, outstanding but above all contemporary and minimal designed accessories with character.
Julija: Who are your influences?
Tom: Morten Lund, a Danish serial entrepreneur in his late thirties. His vision for having good values above being loaded with cash in each of his 80 companies inspires me.
Julija: Mujjo recently launched the collection of accessories for Apple products. Why did you choose Apple?
Tom: We only design stuff we like. We all like Apple gadgets. That was the easy choice, to develop The Originals Collection for Apple devices.
Julija: What are the distinguishing features of this collection?
Tom: I believe the main distinguishing feature is the combination of 100% wool felt and hand dyed high quality top-grain vegetable-tanned [leather]. Wool felt is uncommon in the industry for mobile accessories. All Mujjo items are crafted by hand, with an obsessive attention to detail, which makes each item unique.
Julija: How long did it take to create the collection? Also could you mention a few highlights of the creating process?
Tom: To realize The Originals Collection we teamed up with a group of fashion designers for their expertise. We wanted to develop accessories that are unique and not seen before, in terms of design, fabrics, as well on terms of material treatment. Wool felt is a sustainable and renewable material, offering strength while remaining soft, which is great, however it is not water repellent. With help from fashion designers, we developed a special treatment providing anti-peeling properties to make the sleeve water-repellent. Co-founder Remy, explains: to make this happen we had to start from scratch, change the way we work and develop our very own natural fabrics and designs together with our suppliers. From scratch to final product, to develop The Originals Collection took us around 4 months.
Julija: Are you satisfied with the result? Did you get a positive feedback from the clients?
Tom: I consider the originals collection successful when I want to use the designs in my own personal life. Right now I am carrying the leather Mujjo iPhone sleeve around my iPhone, so yes I am satisfied. Last but not least we are really honored for all the positive posts and shout outs we’ve been receiving in social media. The feedback so far is very positive; we will strive to keep people smiling!
Julija: What’s next for Mujjo?
Tom: Something with leather that can keep your hands warm in winter.