The clocks have changed, the nights are drawing in, and thoughts now turn to my favourite time of year: the autumn colours, Halloween, Bonfire Night, the run-up to Christmas. It’s definitely the cosiest time of year, and with that in mind I’ve been trying to acquire some warmer clothes and accessories to see me through a winter of working in my little shed at the bottom of the garden. Don’t get me wrong, the shed is actually really warm, but it does take a while to heat up on cold, frosty mornings. So I was delighted when a lovely lady named Sara, founder of a company called Jaffic, got in touch with me through this blog about reviewing her unusual creation: the “snock”, which is like a sock, for your neck!
Sara and her partner Ryan live in Berlin and sell these cosy garments online via their Etsy shop. They sent me one to try, and I’ll write more about it later in this post. But first, I wanted to share Sara and Ryan’s fascinating story in Sara’s own words, as it’s amazingly romantic!
Ryan and I met once at a new year party in 2006-7, and then again at another party in the summer of 2009. He had been living in Japan for 6 years but wanted to leave to set up his own clothing company, possibly in India (he loves women’s fashion). He invited me to meet him in Goa for what was essentially our first “date” and spent the whole trip trying to convince me to up sticks and join him in his quest. I was working in a monochrome cubicle at Barnet Council in London, and the future was looking fairly bleak, so I agreed. We eventually ended up in Berlin, a little bit by accident, after a friend had a 30th birthday party there and we didn’t want to leave. We threw our lots in together, pooled our savings, opened a joint bank account and hoped for the best. Sounds a bit rash on paper, but I had a good feeling about him!
It turned out to be the best place in the world to start a clothing business.
Isn’t that amazing?! And that gamble paid off: Sara and Ryan now have a thriving business, Jaffic, fitting right in with Berlin’s creative community, which they got into through selling at the popular Mauerpark Flea Market. It was Berlin’s famously bitter winters that gave them the inspiration for the “Snock”, or “neck-sock”, created on a sewing machine by Ryan himself, which would prove to be the perfect product they’d been searching for. They sold out on their first day of trading, their Snocks laid out on an old ironing board covered with a tablecloth.
They get their fabrics from a local Turkish market, and the Snocks have grown in sophistication since Ryan’s first prototype. Details such as leather panels and adjustable toggles combine with a choice of patterns to produce an array of design options for both women and men. They’re eco-friendly, too: the leather details, for example, come from scraps of leather donated by friends who make upcycled leather bags.
Jaffic has also allowed Sara and Ryan to achieve a good “work/life balance”, working together close to their home. Sara’s comments reminded me of my own desire for flexibility with working arrangements, which is a major argument in favour of being self-employed. Also in common with me, she loves listening to Radio 4 comedy and drama!
we live a 5 minute cycle from where we work, and the two of us share sewing duties and pretty much work all day together
Sounds a pretty great arrangement to me!
As I’ve found with the Snock they sent me, there are a couple of different ways of wearing them. You can simply wear them around your neck, like this, and they act as a scarf. The faux fur lining is so snuggly! (Excuse the dorky photos of me, taken on my laptop.)
Or you can wear them like a hood, which keeps your ears and head warm too (and you lose a lot of heat through your head). It’s like a hat and scarf in one!
It’s going to provide amazingly warm and snuggly protection against the elements. I’ve actually worn it for most of the day as I was writing this, and it’s remarkably toasty. I think it’s going to be indispensable this winter!
These make great Christmas presents, but they’re also a lovely addition to your own winter wardrobe. Get 15% off your Snock by using the discount code MOOSEDREAM over on Etsy, and don’t forget to ‘Like’ Jaffic on Facebook, and follow them on Pinterest.