Lessons from my First Year of Mug Collection

Last year via a post on this blog, I officially announced my desire to collect Starbucks City Mugs (the Global Icon edition). I only had seven (7) mugs then. One year after, my collection is now more than a hundred. 

My goal then was to collect from cities I have been to. Then it progressed to collecting all cities, I spared the countries and states. Eventually, I decided to just collect them all. I wanted to see how far it would get me. 

Through the help of family and friends and even people I hardly know, my collection of mugs is now 130.

My entire collection may be found here.

Now what did I learn after a year of collecting and trading?

  • I obviously needed help and cannot do it on my own.
  • So surprised to find generous and thoughtful people out there. Half of my collection were gifts.
  • The world of trading mugs is very interesting, For the most part, it is fun. I enjoy meeting people from all over the world and some ended up as friends. 
  • I am now a hoarder of boxes, bubble wrap and packaging tape. 
  • I know more about geography now more than ever. You have to check out these wallpapers created by a fellow collector. They are educational.
  • When I travel now, one suitcase needs to be dedicated to the mugs I will trade or have collected/purchased.
  • Practice generosity and sharing. Greed will get you nowhere. I love helping out new collectors. I'm paying it forward. People have been good to me. 
  • Honor your commitments. Replace broken mugs. 
  • Do not trust easily. There are a lot of vultures out there. Keep your guard up.
  • Give credit where credit is due. Show your appreciation to your mug sponsors. Post about successful trades especially for newbies who need exposure. It is a way of helping them get more collectors to trade with them.
This is the part where I thank the generous and thoughtful people who helped me grow my collection. I would not have this much if it weren't for them.

> My dearest husband who brings me back mugs from his travels
> My siblings who I forced to get me mugs
> My soul sister Neyza who got me my first few mugs and encouraged me to collect
> My Kuya Eric who just out of the blue collected for me 
> Another cousin, Ate Viv, who was generous from the very start 
> Jackie, you hardly know me but you helped me a lot
> Marsha, for trusting me to trade with you. You started all this momentum for collecting.
> Marty, a fellow collector from Canada, who decided to send me all of his extras
> Our good friends here in Bangkok - the Lius, Clauds and Tais - for helping me with my collection.
> Ethel, for thinking of me when you visited Starbucks very first store
> My new Thai friends, Annop and Khun Boon, who are my mug mentors here.
> To each and every person I successfully traded with

Now let's see where the second year will bring me.

To my fellow collectors, have fun collecting!

To my family and friends, you can show your love by helping me out. I am not even halfway with the collection, there are over 300 mugs released of the Global Icon series. My list of mugs I need may be found here.

To IKEA, would you like to sponsor my shelves? Hahaha!

Have a great weekend everyone!

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  1. Happy anniversary, Irma! I've had the pleasure of following your blog during my journey and I feel like I've been collecting right by your side the whole time! I can only dream of when I'll have such a fabulous collection like yours. I'm looking forward to trading with you in the near future. :)

    1. Awww....thank you for being a loyal follower. Only a fellow collector understands my excitement over a new acquisition or this entire craziness. Here's to hoping for many more rare mugs for the two of us.

  2. Hi,
    I liked your blog and I personally invite you to join http://www.coollectors.com - The World's Free Collectors Zone.
    We will also be happy to cooperate with your blog such as adding its link to our site.
    All the best,


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