Oh, hey there! It's your girl Megan, back at it again with another wild story. If you're not familiar with me, I'm a mom of three boys living in Dallas, Texas with my hubby Kevin. We're a true Texas family - I was born and raised in San Angelo, went to college at Texas Tech, and Kevin's a central Canadian who decided to brave the Texas heat and join me.
Now, let's get to the good stuff. You want to know how I got into Mahjong? Well, let me tell you, it's a wild ride.
It all started back in my college days at Texas Tech. My roommate was a Houston girl who had mahjong in her blood - her grandma and mom were both pros at the game. One night, while sipping on cocktails, my roommate taught me how to play mahjong. And let me tell you, it was love at first sight. I mean, who wouldn't love a game that combines strategy and luck, all while sipping on a delicious drink?
After college, I received my first mahjong set as a graduation gift. But, unfortunately, life got in the way, and it ended up collecting dust in my cabinets for the next twenty years. I know, I know, it's a tragedy.
But then, COVID hit, and everything changed. One day, I was chatting with a good friend about how we were all stuck at home with our families, and how we needed something fun to do. And that's when it hit me - why not bring mahjong back into my life?
I recruited two other moms, and we started playing every Wednesday night. Let me tell you, it's the highlight of my week. We rotate between each other's houses, and it's like a wild circus every time. With three boys running around, there's never a dull moment.
Now, you might be thinking, "Megan, that's all well and good, but why stop at just playing mahjong? Why not make your own pieces?" And you know what? You're right.
See, I had an acrylic manufacturing business where I printed my art on trays. One night during our Wednesday night mahjong sessions, we were chatting about acrylic boxes for the tiles. And that's when it hit me - why not design my own box? But not just any box - a box that also had a slot to store your mahjong league playing cards underneath. That way, you could store all your mahjong goodies on display in your favorite spot in your house.
I posted my designs on Instagram and bam! They were an instant hit. I mean, I already had a small following thanks to my painting skills, but that's a story for another day. People couldn't get enough of my mahjong boxes, and I knew I was on to something.
But I didn't stop there. Oh no, that's not my style. I teamed up with one of my mahjong groupies, Jen, who helped create a mahjong mat to show all the basics. You know, things like the direction of play, the Charleston, joker rules, and all the other nuances that can make this game more confusing than a Rubik's cube. I got the mat manufactured and let me tell you, it was a hit. People loved it.
And that's when I thought, why not take it to the next level? Time to create mahjong tiles! I mean, what's a mahjong game without the actual tiles, am I right? I started by creating a set that emulated the original set I was given as a graduation gift. Gotta give a shoutout to that set, since it basically started all of this.
But I didn't want to stop there. I teamed up with the fabulous graphic designer Anna Nguyen out of California to create even more amazing tile designs. I mean, this girl is a graphic design extraordinaire and a mastermind behind all the tile designs that you know and love. Together, we've created so many amazing tile designs that will make your eyes pop out of your head.
Designing the tiles has been a blast. Anna and I work together to bring my ideas, and plenty of hers too, to life with our tile designs. At Oh My Mahjong, we want to pay homage to the traditional Chinese symbols that represent the game, but add a modern twist to them. I mean, let's be real, we all love a good classic, but sometimes you need a little sprucing up to keep things fresh.
Don't get me wrong, I have mad respect for the OG symbols. They've been around for centuries, and I'm not about to mess with that kind of history. My designs are meant to complement, not replace. A flower will always be a flower, bamboo or sticks will always be sticks in some form. But adding some color and new designs has been so much fun, and you guys seem to be loving it too! So thank you for being a part of the Oh My Mahjong family and embracing our unique take on this beloved game.
It's funny, because I never really saw myself as a designer. I mean, I've always been into art and creating things, but making mahjong tiles? That's a whole different ball game. But thanks to COVID and the endless hours spent at home, I had to find something to occupy my time. And what better way to do that than to dive headfirst into a new project?
And let me tell you, once I started, I was hooked. There's something about seeing your ideas come to life that's addicting. And then when people started buying them and giving us positive feedback? Game over, I was officially obsessed.
But don't worry, I'm not about to let this go to my head. I mean, come on, I'm just a mom from Texas with a passion for mahjong. I'm not exactly designing couture fashion here. But it's still pretty damn cool to see something that started as a little idea turn into a full-blown business.
Oh My Mahjong is not just about creating cute tiles and boxes, it's about celebrating the rich history of mahjong and giving a voice to the people who have played it for generations. I mean, have you guys ever talked to someone who has been playing mahjong for decades? They have some seriously cool stories to tell.
And don't even get me started on the different forms of mahjong! Did you know that there are different variations played in different cultures and groups? It's like a whole world of mahjong out there! I could talk about it for hours.
But let's get back to Oh My Mahjong. One of my goals with this business is to support and empower women and moms. I mean, let's be real, who runs the world? Moms. Who gets stuff done? Moms. And that's why I'm all about supporting my fellow mompreneurs out there who are trying to juggle it all.
And let me tell you, the backbone of my business is made up of working moms who are kicking butt and taking names. They inspire me every day to keep pushing and creating. So, to all the moms out there, keep doing what you're doing and never forget how awesome you are!
And at the end of the day, It’s not just about selling tiles and mats and boxes, it's about bringing people together through a shared love of the game. It's about creating a community where people can connect and have fun, whether they're playing in person or online. And if we can do that while making some kick-ass designs along the way?