“It’s also a combo of, manly plus tough, equals muff,” Lamp said.
Nees said he came up with the idea at a high school football game in the fall of 2016. “I really wanted to carry my drinks with me,” he said.
“We were joking around, wishing we had overalls with a six-pack in them. And then I woke up in the morning, and I had a drawing on a napkin from Backdraft (Bar & Grill) with a six-pack cooler on them,” Nees added. Neither he nor Lamp had any background in clothing design or marketing.
It took eight or nine months, Nees said, “to get any designer or manufacturer to take me seriously.” Eventually he found a firm in Minneapolis that was willing to work with him, and they finished the first prototype in September 2018. Around this time, Lamp, then a college student, joined the venture.
The first prototype proved unsatisfactory, so they went through several design changes. A final prototype was delivered around the beginning of 2020.
The product showed promise early on — in 2018, they posted an early Muff Waders video to Facebook, and got over 100,000 views in seven days.
To date, they’ve sold around 900 pairs of Muff Waders. The product is sold online and through travelling sales in the van-headquarters, which they take to tailgating events, fairs, parties and the like.