Alex Phillips, Karen Mahood and their 4-week-old baby Georgia sit inside the family’s Mukilteo where the production and television sales of Zippered Stockings take place. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Alex Phillips, Karen Mahood and their 4-week-old baby Georgia sit inside the family’s Mukilteo where the production and television sales of Zippered Stockings take place. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

From Mukilteo living room, Zippered Stockings get a national audience

They hit it big on shopping channel QVC. The handmade holiday stockings with zippers and handles sell for $20 to $30.

MUKILTEO — Live, from a cramped, festive living room, it’s the Zippered Stockings show.

What’s up with that?

On Thursday, the Mukilteo couple went on shopping channels QVC and HSN to promote their holiday stocking with a top zipper and side handle.

“You can take it places. You can use it as a holiday handbag. They’re also great for shipping,” Zippered Stockings co-founder Alex Phillips said on the live TV show with millions of viewers worldwide. He wore a floppy Santa hat.

His wife Karen Mahood was out of the glare of the webcam, holding their 4-week-old daughter Georgia, who was too big to fit in the stocking. The stockings are one size and hold a bottle of wine standing up.

Their website, zippedstockings.com, lit up immediately with orders for the stockings, priced $20 to $30, minus the 20% QVC promo code discount.

It was a break the couple had been waiting for after two years of peddling the stockings at craft fairs, with Phillips at times in a full Santa suit, driving around in their “Zippered Stockings” Land Rover sleigh.

Those days aren’t over. They’ll be back on the fair circuit starting with the Nov. 5 Edmonds Holiday Market. They hope to get on “Shark Tank” in 2023.

The functional and fun stockings are one of those things that make you go, “Why the heck didn’t I think of that?”

The couple cut, sew and ship from their home that doubles as the Original Zippered Stockings Co.

The living room is the production room with stacks of fabric and sewing machines. In the corner, the makeshift TV studio. On the floor, barely noticeable, a basket of laundry waiting to be folded. Christmas decorations cover the walls.

Mahood sews and curates the stockings with prints such as cats, dogs, unicorns, penguins, mushrooms, avocados and Friendsgiving.

A contractor in Texas makes the traditional red plush stockings, which are personalized here with names, logos and photos.

Ready to ship: A big family with first names that all start with K.

“I’ve gone through two sergers,” said Mahood, who grew up in Monroe.

Two years ago, she’d never used a sewing machine.

Mahood, 27, said she loved Christmas and crafting as a little girl, but never planned to make a career out of it. Phillips, 36, a lanky attorney raised in Bothell, never planned on dressing as Santa, either.

The pandemic changed that.

Alex Phillips holds a Zippered Stocking. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Alex Phillips holds a Zippered Stocking. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

The couple had been living in Texas. After Mahood lost her job in corporate housing leasing, she made masks and zippered makeup bags, using a needle and thread by hand.

She advanced to a sewing machine. He showed her how to use it.

“My mother taught me how to sew,” he said.

To get through the long summer of 2020 in Texas, far away from family, she made a Christmas stocking to cheer herself up. It was similar to sewing makeup pouches.

That led to, “Well, why not put a zipper on holiday stockings?”

The handle came next. Being a bag, it needed a handle, right?

“He said, ‘You can’t tell anyone about this until you have a patent,’” Mahood said.

Phillips specializes in real estate, but knew a few things about patent law. The patent is pending. These things take time.

Dozens of finished Zippered Stockings line shelves in the home of Alex Phillips and Karen Mahood. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Dozens of finished Zippered Stockings line shelves in the home of Alex Phillips and Karen Mahood. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

The stockings have been a learning curve.

“We made all of $1,300 the first year,” Mahood said. “I started out with all sorts of weird fabrics that nobody wanted to buy. I got whatever was on sale.”

The discounted “Mystery Bags” are fabrics not featured on the website.

In the spirit of giving, there is an option to buy a stocking for $30 that they will fill with toys, treats and crafts for your charity of choice.

A stocking holds 40 pounds.

It was put to the weight test by YouTube holiday reviewer Charlie on his “Christmas on Crestline” channel. Charlie put dumbbells in a Zippered Stocking and hung it by the side handle from a tree limb. It held up. The top hanger held a 20-pound dumbbell.

Fill it with cash: $500 worth of quarters weighs 25 pounds.

Use as a travel carry-on bag with a shirt and socks. It doubles as a neck pillow on the plane.

The list goes on for Santa’s swag bag.

What’s the next genius idea out there?

Andrea Brown: 425-339-3443; abrown@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @reporterbrown.

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