MushTushy's sock monkeys are really sweet. I immediately fell in love with these very cute toys. They're amazing.
The owner of MushTushy, Emily, makes monkeys from socks in all kinds of patterns, colors and styles. I love that she has sock monkeys for girls and for boys.
I've asked Emily a few questions to find out more about her and her shop.
Where did you learn how to make sock monkeys?
Mushtushy started by accident in October 2010. After years of trying to conceive I was finally pregnant, but 5 short months later my world came crashing down when we learned my little girl wouldn't survive after birth. The recovery process was emotionally difficult, so my mom told me I should pursue a hobby to distract myself and help me heal. I majored in art in college and had been selling my paintings for years. My mother and I went to the book store and found a book called "stray sock sewing too" and it had a sock monkey in it. Although I had absolutely no sewing experience, the template was pretty basic so I decided to give it a try. I bought a pair of socks at Walmart for $3 and was terrified to cut them up and ruin them. I made my first monkey and posted it on Facebook for my friends to see. To my surprise everyone asked to buy it, and that's where it all started. Within one month my entire kitchen was overrun with socks, my antique Singer sewing machine, and monkeys. I signed up for a booth at Canton Trade days and started sewing as fast as my fingers would allow. I used the 50 year old machine to sew the parts, and would then hand sew the monkey together. Looking back, I'm very embarrassed by my first monkeys, and in time I tweaked them to what they are today. My first booth set up was a simple folding table with monkeys lined up across the top. Here's a photo of the first batch of monkeys I ever made.
When and how did you start on Etsy?
Shortly after this first craft show I started signing up for local school craft shows and stayed busy all winter. Since I was thrown into this "business" I didn't have time to focus on marketing or even a business plan. I came up with the name so I could order business cards and start my Facebook fanpage. I continued in this way for several years, selling from Facebook and at craft shows, and then eventually opened my Etsy store in March 2012. To this day I still don't have much business sense, or the time to focus on it. I still hand sew every monkey, with custom monkeys taking a couple hours each. I also successfully had a baby a year after the monkeys started, so it's hard to find the time to help this one woman home based business grow. Here's a photo of my daughter in the early days of Mushtushy.
What has changed since you first started your business?
I eventually had a logo made and better business cards made. My craft show display has improved as well.
What's your biggest strength?
One thing that sets me apart from the competition is my custom monkeys, and the colorful fun socks I use. When most people think of sock monkeys they envision the old tan and red rough socks. The ability to custom order down to colors, logos, and size has really helped my Etsy success.
What are your plans for the future?
I still struggle with growing the business, and social media marketing. I would love for Mushtushy to be a full time job that pays the bills, because right now it feels like a hobby. I am busy for holidays and during craft show seasons, but during the rest of the year my orders almost come to a halt. I absolutely love working for myself, staying home with my daughter, and making art. I can take my sewing anywhere, I've been known to sew in restaurants, the car, even at the pool! Each time I finish a monkey I feel great success knowing it turned out how I wanted, and will make the customer very happy. If only I could hire someone to sew with me, or run the business side, but I can't afford anything right now. I also have never figured out how to buy wholesale, so I buy my socks from target, walmart, and amazon. My dream would be to sell my monkeys in boutiques locally, and have my business keep my busy full time. I hope to continue to inspire my daughter to follow her dreams, create and use your imagination, and find joy in what you do daily! This all started because of the devastating loss of my daughter Sarah, but now her legacy lives on in Mushtushy and my blessing of a daughter, Brecklyn.
I love Emily's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle sock monkeys, they're fabulous!
The cheerful colors and open faces make these monkeys such a delight to look at.
The possibilities are endless which is such a wonderful idea.
All children will love these very cute sock monkeys that will brighten up their day. And if you haven't lost your inner child, treat yourself to one as well.
Emily's monkeys vary in size and there are several options you can purchase to personalize them. You can also request a sock monkey that's entirely made the way you want it.
The prices are really great, you can already buy one of Emily's sock monkeys for $12.
One very lucky reader of my blog will receive a lovely surprise sock monkey from Emily. Enter the rafflecopter below and good luck!
I will contact the winner on twitter or via email. If I don't get a reply within 60 hours the prize will go to someone else. All of my giveaways are international.