I’m hoping to every once in awhile have a fun 10 questions with some of our contributors to the Indie Craft Sampler. Some serious, but mostly fun questions. Our first installment is with Anne from MyMonsterHat.
1. So…why monsters?
I love Godzilla, so I’ve been a monster fan for a long time, and I think monsters are kind of cool. I always imagined the particularly cute monsters who are a little shy but are just kind of figuring out that you can be a cool, rad monster, and not always have to be a scary monster, you know? I teach kids a lot, and so there’s a lot of that influence in what I make: I want to make kid-friendly hats and such, but also remind adults that they don’t always have to be so Grown Up all the time — sometimes it’s fun to cut loose a little.
2. How did you start making things?
I needed a hat and didn’t like anything I saw in the shops. New England winters are known to be brutal and dreary, and I came up with a basic fleece hat design and started wearing it. A friend saw it and said, “Hey, could you make me one of those? It’s awesome!” So I did, and then kept getting calls from him every time he was on the street and someone asked, Where’d you get that hat?!
…and then I started a website and opened an etsy shop.
3. What is the best advice another shop owner has give you?
Xerox every check before you put it in the bank! She was stressing the importance of good records and good paperwork, which I’ve found to be super-important over the past few years of monstermaking.
4. Do you have any advice for others?
Don’t overthink it. Especially if you’re just starting, make something you really love making. But at the same time, price it fairly if you’re making it to sell, and don’t be afraid to network and promote!
5. Since you are from Massachusetts, have you ever said “park your car in Harvard yard”?
I teach at Yale during the summer, so we generally try to avoid saying the H-word! (Also, parking in Cambridge is nigh impossible.)
6. What is a sound you love?
We get a number of sudden rainstorms here during the summer, and I love the sound when the skies open up and rain starts falling suddenly and heavily.
7. What are some things you were obsessed with when you were a child?
Sherlock Holmes — I read everything I could get my hands on (which is part of why this BBC reboot is so delightful) — and, of course, monsters. I must have read through my copy of Bunnicula so much I had to get another copy because all the pages fell out.
8. What is your favorite word? Least favorite?
This is a tough question! I teach non-native speakers of English, so we talk about words a great deal. I like words that are fun to say (like ‘booty’ — which is why my autobio comic’s called booty), but it’s also how they’re said. That clip of the Minions from Despicable Me, where they’re sitting around xeroxing one of the Minion’s butts, and one of them just says BUTT! and cracks up — I can’t watch that without laughing, and I’ve tried, hundreds and hundreds of times. BUTT! I also know German, which is an often-hilarious (however accidentally) language.
Least favorite word? Hmmn. I’ll have to get back to you on that. (Probably something to do with expensive auto repairs.)
9. Do you have any weird nicknames?
I guess my only ‘weird’ nickname is probably my derby name, which is Anne Persand. I’ve encountered a few people who don’t know what an ampersand is, so that’s something.
10. Why should people visit your shop?
I like to think it’s a range of cute, fun stuff that also won’t break the bank. It’s also things I’ve made, which is a neat experience to see them out in the world; hats on heads, art in homes, etc. I also like to add new things, so it’s always changing; it’s not the same shop month-to-month and there’s a bunch of different, quirky things in there. I hope people have fun browsing through it!
Anne has 50 monster finger puppets that are waiting in Sampler Town right now for new homes so make sure & buy a box and hopefully you might be one of those 50 that will receive one 🙂
Meanwhile, check out Anne’s shop which has hats, zines, cards, buttons, stickers, etc. All in all pretty darn cool 🙂