Mae Sot is an international kinda town, and the World Cup has brought out a lot of national pride. Starting at the beginning of June, we took this rare, once-every-four-years opportunity to try out some very special, limited-edition designs.
Pyit tine htaung—or as we call them internally, eggybabies—are a traditional Burmese toy. Loosely translated to “won’t stay down when thrown,” they represent strength and character. Burmese tell themselves to be like the pyit tine htaung, to stand strong in the face of problems. The traditional design is a baby swaddled in fabric, with just its face peeking out. We made ours owls because they’re cuter! Well, and also because owls represent good fortune.
We’ve been doing our standard, colorful designs for about a year and a half. As our paper mache technique improved, former teacher Sein Sein Lin injected a bit of whimsy with special editions: super-detailed black & white abstract designs, and matched “wedding” couples. We continued her designs after she left. Then World Cup rolled around, and we had the opportunity for a third special edition.
The World Cup designs are a slow process. The black & white abstracts are, well, only black and white, but the designs themselves are complex. The wedding couples follow a template, only differing in colors. But every World Cup design is different; we compare the team logo, flag colors, and uniform colors to settle on a design for each country. Some of these logos were crazily detailed–Spain, Netherlands, Mexico for example. Then for each country, we offer two options: with the “football” design on the stomach or on the wings.
We’ve been so pleased with their popularity among the Mae Sot community; 34 ordered, making up 26% of our income in June! They turned out ridiculously cute, and gave us a great learning experience.
If you’re not in Mae Sot? Don’t worry, we’ve got a few pairs of wedding owls in our webshop!