Cape Breton’s Monkeys and More have put a new twist on the classic sock monkey.
And they are catching the attention of plenty of Canadians!
These adorable little sock monkeys and sock moose are taking on a life of their own.
Monkeys and More caught my attention recently via my Twitter feed. There was just something about those cute little creatures looking up at me from my computer screen. I had to find out more about them!
In the few weeks that I have been following Sherrie and Dale Kearney’s growing success with these whimsical, handmade sock monkeys, I am getting a very strong sense that they are truly on to something great.
Starting with their Canada 150 officially licensed “William the Canadian Sock Moose”, who proudly sports the Canada 150th birthday logo.
Just like Canada, it looks like William is set to have a very exciting year in 2017. In a matter of a weeks, William has become so popular, he is flying off the shelf, so to speak.
It seems Canada just can’t get enough of William the Canadian Sock Moose!
Of course, I just couldn’t resist William, so I had to purchase this sock moose for myself.
And guess what? He’s even cuter in person!
I recently spoke with Dale Kearney all about Monkeys and More. I asked him to give me a little background on this business, and a little insight as to what’s in store for these Cape Breton sock monkeys in 2017.
Here’s my interview with Dale…
1. Tell us about the first Monkeys and More Sock Monkey ever made. Where did the idea originate for this cute product?
“Our first sock monkeys were made in Digby, Nova Scotia. We were looking for something to take to a craft show and Sherrie, who owns Monkeys and More, was talking to her dad. He suggested that she make sock monkeys. She told him no. She looked them up online and said they were too scary looking. She redid the design and put on a happier mouth, and different eyes, and our first monkeys were created. We made a dozen of them and went to the craft show and sold none. Sherrie came home and we decided to put them online for sale. We sold 2 in 20 minutes and thought we may have something.”
2. How many different varieties of Sock Monkeys do you have? Are you open to customer suggestions or custom orders?
“We have around 45 different monkeys that we rotate throughout the year. We have biker monkeys, mermaid, fisherman, provincial monkeys, and much more! We also create custom monkeys. If it is themed, we can usually do it. If it is a licensed product, we require permission from the owner.”
3. Where is the furthest a sock monkey has traveled?
“We have had sock monkeys go all over the world. We have had them in Guatemala, New York, California, Germany, Australia, and Afghanistan, to name a few places.”
4. Tell us about some famous people who own a sock monkey. What celebrity would you love to get a Monkeys and More sock monkey to?
“We have had a few celebrities with our monkeys. We have had Jann Arden, Rick Springfield, William Devry from General Hospital, and even our Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, has 3 for his kids. We would love to get a sock cat to Katy Perry. She is a huge cat person and we think she would like ours!”
5. What big plans do you have for Monkeys and More in 2017? Anything you can share with us?
We are currently creating sock Moose and Monkeys for Canada 150. We have the license to make them and sell them. We also just obtained the license to make CBC moose. We would love to do NHL monkeys, and to be on Dragons Den, which we plan to apply for.
6. Tell us a bit about the team behind Monkeys and More.
“Sherrie is the owner. She started the business mainly because she had 2 heart attacks and a stroke. This was why she decided to start the business so she could stay at home and work. Myself, I do the online promotions for her, and I help her with her sales, as I have a sales background. We have a graphic artist in New York who does our graphics, and a voice actor named Ben Patrick Johnson, who does our commercials. Our daughter Nicole does our website, and works with her mom too.”
7. How long does it take to make a sock monkey from start to finish? Can you describe the basic steps of how a sock monkey is put together?
“From start to finish it takes about 4 hours to make each monkey/moose. We cut them in the certain pattern that Sherrie designed. They are sewn by machine, and stuffed by hand. They are then hand sewn, put together, and Sherrie checks every one of them to make sure it is perfect before we mail them out.”
8. What do you envision for the future of Monkeys And More? World domination? A Monkeys and More sock monkey in ever country?
“We would love to have a huge presence in the market place with hiring quite a few folks to make our monkeys. Our main goal is to have employment of handmade items made entirely in Canada. We would love to have a storefront some day but, that is down the road.”
9. What advice do you have for other small business owners with handmade products that can help them overcome some of the obstacles you’ve faced with Monkeys and More?
“My advice is, if you are selling handmade items, make sure they are perfect before you post them for sale. Handmade products sell well as most products these days are made in factories or overseas. The handmade aspect is what does it for us. People love handmade. Don’t over price your products either. People will pay for them, they just don’t want to pay a fortune. We never factor in our time because if we did, our monkeys would be about 3 times as much and no one would be buying them!”
10. We see that you have named some of your sock monkeys after people. When will you be putting out the “Sandy Sock Monkey”? Ha! All kidding aside, how do you decide what you are going to call your sock monkeys, such as “William the Canadian Moose”? (I happen to like that one – that’s my dad’s name)
“It depends on who we talk to, and then we look at the monkey and decide the personality. William the sock moose is named after our friend William Devry. He was, and still is, a huge help for us, along with his wife Rebecca. So we named the moose after him.”
11. I met you on Twitter. The Monkeys and More team are fantastic on social media. It was your social engagement, and great images you use on Twitter, that caught my attention. Do you think Twitter has played a big part in your success with Monkeys and More?
“Twitter is huge. Social Media is a great way for small businesses to advertise and connect with customers. If more businesses used social media, there would be a lot more local products sold. You can be seen by a lot of folks you never would engage with in the normal ways. You can also showcase your products for free!”
William the Canadian Sock Moose stands approximately 15 inches tall, and is incredibly well-made. The stitching on the sock moose I received was perfect. The attention to detail is evident. The logo tag is attached to the back end of the sock moose using yarn that simply slips out once you untie the loose knot. Not a mark is left on the sock monkey. The excellent quality Canada 150 logo image is eye-catching on this sock moose.
These sock monkeys and moose have become so popular, there is currently a 6-7 week wait time to receive your order.
That’s ok…they are worth the wait!
My sock moose has found a great home…with 2 new friends…
For monkeys…and more information about Monkeys and More, be sure to follow them on Twitter and like Monkeys and More on Facebook!
Give Sherrie and Dale some suggestions! Like the Canada 150 Sock Moose, what version of sock monkey would you love to see them produce next?