Stumbling onto an Idea:
In 2013, I was planning a Disney vacation for my family to take in 2014. MagicBands were in beta testing at the time, and scheduled to be released to all resort guests in early 2014. Only solid colors were available at the time. I designed some printable stickers to decorate our future MagicBands, and posted some digital mockup images to my personal Instagram account. My post went viral overnight and I had hundreds of requests to purchase my stickers. I instantly knew I was on to something. I spent the next several months deep-diving into market research and product development.
I opened ‘My Fantasy Bands’ in the summer of 2014 with only 10 designs. ‘My Fantasy Bands’ was the first shop to offer adhesive skins to decorate the Disney MagicBand. I did extensive research into the type of printing process and material needed to withstand all the wear-and-tear of a Disney vacation. I worked with a professional decal manufacturer to develop my MagicBand skins. My stickers were extremely durable, waterproof, sweat proof, scratch proof, and fade resistant, all while still being removable if desired without damaging the unique flexible rubber material that the MagicBands are made from.
Disney blogger and Podcast host Krista Joy contacted me within a few months of launching MFB. She wrote an article about my shop for ChipAndCo.com, which catapulted MFG into the Disney fan limelight! I’m forever grateful to Krista for that early boost!
The ‘My Fantasy Bands’ brand became a very successful project for me, with hundreds of designs featuring my own illustrations. My shop was open for more than 5 years, with a combined social media following of more than 200,000 over the tenure of the brand. I shipped my decals to Florida-bound clients on 6 continents. Many copycat shops sprang up in the years following the launch of my business, but none could boast the quality, durability, and 100% original design library of’ My Fantasy Bands.’
A re-designed MagicBand 2.0 was announced in November or 2016. I quickly got my hands on one of the first models that was premiered at a D23 Expo, and launched my new MagicBand 2.0 decals in January of 2017.
During my time owning this shop, I was privileged to work alongside a number of incredibly talented artists. Among them are retired Disney Imagineer and puppeteer Terri Harden. I partnered with countless other small creative business owners to collaborate on coordinating projects such as wearable Mouse Ears, MagicBand bows, hair bows, fabric for apparel, as well as BitBelt security bands. I was interviewed and featured on numerous Disney blogs and podcasts.
Hanging up the Ears:
I made the difficult decision to close my shop when Disney closed in 2020 for COVID. At the time of closing my shop, ‘My Fantasy Bands’ was the largest MagicBand decal shop online. I have since chosen to work on other projects rather than re-open this shop. The years operating ‘My Fantasy Bands’ remain a highlight of my career. I learned so much about myself and about my craft, and also made many lifelong memories and friends.