Taylor Nees and Garret Lamp (aka Earl and Buddy) are two all-American, down home country boys from Holstein, Iowa, a small town with fewer than 1,500 residents. Growing up, they loved fishing and hunting, playing sports and generally just loving life. They still love all those activities, but have branched out into drinking beer and chasing girls! (To give credit where credit is due—they also work for a living and have respectable jobs!)
Given those basic fun-loving interests, it’s not surprising that the “aha” moment that led to the creation of Muff Waders occurred at a local bar. Earl explained it to Tim Gallagher of the Sioux City Journal on December 26, 2018, saying that the idea came to him while he was at a bar with some buddies, and we “drew it up on a napkin.”
Muff Waders are essentially a pair of hefty bib overalls designed with an insulated cooler pouch sewn into the chest area, one large enough for a six-pack of beer, soda, water or energy drink. On each leg there’s an insulated pocket for a bottle of beer or water, and a koozie with a magnet on the back, which sticks to a piece of metal at the chest, a piece that doubles as bottle opener.
After coming up with the idea, Earl teamed up with Buddy and sought a manufacturer, contacting over 80 companies with no luck. But Earl and Buddy were chasing the American Dream of starting a business and never gave up, eventually securing a manufacturer in Twin Cities for their unique overalls.
The initial funding was sought through a Kickstarter campaign initiated in November of 2018, but the campaign missed its goal of $135,000. However, this setback didn’t stop Earl and Buddy either. By September of 2019, the overalls had been manufactured and were advertised on a Facebook page. The page included a video and the site got 101,000 views in the first week.
In September of 2020, Earl and Buddy came up with another unique idea, this one designed for the more formal and upscale events like weddings that sometimes interrupt their hunting and fishing trips. Muff Spenders—black suspenders with pockets on each side for a beer or bottle of water suitable for wedding guests and even groomsmen!