This week we are excited to present Jenn of Monkey & Squirrel! This is definitely the gal you want to have with you at a rummage sale - she has a gift for making something old new again. But of course she also has a talent for creating simple yet beautiful objects from unexpected materials. Now, a window into her art and craft...
When did you open your Etsy shop, and how did you choose its name?
i can't believe i've now been open one year and two months! it's gone so quickly and i'm loving every minute of it! i named my shop, Monkey & Squirrel, after two of my fabulous little kitties. they're so proud!
What kinds of items do you sell in your shop, and what inspired you to start creating them?
i've got a bit of variety going on in my shop. cast iron wall hooks, hand sewn wall decor, brooches, headbands... i like to think of Monkey & Squirrel as a little gift shop where you can find something for just about anyone!
Do you donate through your shop to any charities or do any volunteer work?
i certainly do! a percentage of my profits go to North Mecklenburg Animal Rescue. it's a wonderful dog rescue that i work with here in NC.
What are some of your favorite things about Etsy?
oh so many! i love the pounce feature, i love reading every single blog article, i love the treasuries, and i especially love the feeling of community here on etsy. in so many ways it's made the world feel a lot smaller. gotta love that!
Do you sell your items outside of Etsy, either online or in retail shops?
i do have a few retail shops that carry my goodies. you can now find Monkey & Squirrel in colorado, brooklyn, atlanta, chicago, and even canada!
Have you been featured anywhere?
i've been so very lucky to be featured on some fabulous blogs. i know for a fact that my shop wouldn't be nearly as successful without the blogging community, and for that i can never thank them enough!
How long have you been vegan, and what made you go vegan?
i have been vegan for 5 years now. i was vegetarian for 8 years before going vegan and it just felt like a really natural progression. once i realized that the dairy industry was just as evil, if not more so then the beef industry, it was really not a hard decision at all. i love being vegan! i know that it's something great i'm doing for animal rights, for my body, and for the environment.
What are your favorite foods?
right now i'm obsessed with raw zucchini pasta. i could eat if for every meal! i'm also a huge fan of falafel. i always say that if i had to chose one food to live of off for the rest of my life, it would be falafel!
Do you have any favorite vegan things, like books, websites, stores, etc.?
i love what the vaute couture line is doing for vegan fashion. it's getting a lot of attention in the fashion world, and that can only do more to spread the word about veganism. that and their winter coats are amazing! any vegan who has ever lived in a seriously chilly town knows about the lack of warm, cute vegan winter coats.
What kinds of hobbies and interests do you have?
bike rides, yoga, game nights with friends... these are high on my list of interests!
Do you have any animal companions?
of course! i have three cats (monkey, squirrel, and juan) and one dog (barkley). they certainly keep life interesting!
What is the vegan community like in your area?
charlotte, nc is actually lacking somewhat in the vegan department. we just got our first 100% vegan restaurant (thank you zizi's!), and i'm hoping more aren't far behind. don't get me wrong, there are some wonderful options here. i just wouldn't call charlotte a must visit place on a vegan food tour. if you are vegan and you find yourself here, these are some of my must haves: buffalo chicken sandwich from zizi's, zucchini bread from central coffee, crystal veg roll from pisces, tofu & tater salad at the flying biscuit, and any of the tofu dishes at lang van. my personal favorite right now is the lemongrass tofu... delicious!
Do you have any future plans for your shop?
definitely! i would really like to fine tune everything. i would love to create specific collections, either by season, or by theme. this way people who wanted to decorate their home in a specific style, could find it really easy to shop by collections. that's just one of the many many plans in the works for Monkey & Squirrel's future.
Is there anything else you would like to add or share?
a big thanks to the VET team. you guys are all so supportive and i couldn't be prouder to call myself a member! oh and... GO VEGAN!