Sunday, October 4, 2009

Interview-Monkey & Squirrel

Todays interview is with Jenn of Monkey & Squirrel

how long have you been on etsy and how did you choose the name of your shop?

* i had another shop on etsy a while back and i was a shopper for a long time before i became a seller. i opened up Monkey & Squirrel this past april and decided to give selling a go. Monkey & Squirrel is named after two of my cats. my husband and i do have a third cat, but the name Monkey, Squirrel & Juan just didn't have the same ring to it.

what kind of items do you sell in your shop, and what inspired you to start selling them?

* i have a bit of variety going on in my shop. cast iron home decor, frames, hair accessories... i make what i like and that usually doesn't fall in one category. it may sound strange, but my biggest inspiration was moving out of NYC two years ago. i was so caught up in the day to day craziness that i never just let myself sit and make things. now don't get me wrong, there are definitely things i miss about living in NYC. being vegan, there is no place in the world with as many options when choosing a place to eat! this southern living works well for my though.

do you donate to any charities or do any volunteer work?

* i give 5% of my monthly profits to North Mecklenburg Animal Rescue ( they are one of the few rescues here in NC that will take in abandoned or abused pitbulls who would otherwise be euthanized because of the laws regarding them here. they are a wonderful organization! my husband and i will also be taking part in the walk for farm animals this oct 3rd ( it's to help raise money and awareness for the farm santuary. yet another great organization!

what are some of your favorite things about etsy?

* favorite things about etsy... everything! i love how much it's helped spread the word about how fantastic buying handmade can be. it's done a lot to legitimize crafting as more then just a hobby, but as a profession. i love that amazing items, that i would otherwise never know about, are available to me with just a click of the "add to cart" button. i buy all my gifts on etsy now and i feel really good about it, supporting people who are just like me.

do you sell your items outside of etsy?

* etsy is the only place i sell online. i do have a couple of shops in the U.S. that are currently carrying Monkey & Squirrel items and i'm always looking to expand that. i do some craft shows here and there. actually, if you live in or around NC you can find me at Craft Attack this oct. 10th ( it's being put together by the hornests nest etsy team. it's the second year and we're hoping it will be as successful as the first.

have you been featured anywhere?

* i've been really lucky to be featured in a few different places. this week i actually scored a spot in a storque article! you can check it out... that was really exciting! a number of different blogs have also been so kind as to give shout outs to Monkey & Squirrel. there are so many great blogs out there that do a wonderful job of highlighting different etsy sellers. i think much of my success is in large part due to them.

do you have any future plans for your shop?

* well i've recently just started doing Monkey & Squirrel full time. at any given moment i have at least 10 different things i would like to be adding to my shop. my mind is a very busy place to be. i would like to start doing more larger pieces, furniture and other home decor. yeah, you can say i've got future plans!

do you have any animal companions?

* my husband and i have three cats as i mentioned before. we also have a very new addition to our family. his name is barkley, and he's a 4 month old boxer shepherd mix. he's quite a handful! i get most of my work done while he naps and i think this must be what it's like to have a toddler. he keeps us on our toes!

how long have you been vegan and what made you decide to go vegan?

* i've been vegan for 4 and a half years now. i was vegetarian for 8 years before that and it just seemed like a very natural progression. how could i be against animal exploitation in one way, but condone it in another. it's a huge part of who i am, and i wouldn't have it any other way.

do you have any favorite vegan things? books, websites, stores...etc?

* oh, i have LOTS of favorite vegan things! vegan with a vengeance, and the garden of vegan, are my two favorite cookbooks. red bamboo in NYC for crispy soul chicken. mooshoes, also in NYC for cute shoes. vegan treats in bethlehem, PA has the greatest vegan donuts in the world. that little bakery was sent here from heaven i believe, to keep us vegans sane. and etsy is my definitely my favorite website for all things vegan. it's now so easy to get everything in one spot!

what are your favorite foods?

* falafel... falafel... falafel!!!

anything else?

* i want to thank everyone on the veganetsy team for just being all around awesome! there is such a sense of community that goes along with veganism and it's great that it's no different when it comes to the etsy team. everyone is really supportive and i'm so happy to be a part of it. thanks!


Anonymous said...

I have bought several items from Monkey & Squirrel and have been so happy with everything. I always go back to see if there is anything new! Great service!
Signed, A very happy customer :-)

melissa bastian. said...

Hey, don't know if you noticed but Vegan Treats tweeted your interview. :)