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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

An interview with Monster in the closet

Sarah May

Name of shop:  
monster in the closet

Explain the name of your shop:  
well, It kind of came about by accident.I had come up with a name but wasn’t totally sure of it…(I can’t really remember what the original name was now!)…so, I did a google search for a comparable word and in one of the descriptions was “monster in the closet” and it caught my attention.  The friend that I
was with saw it too and we both thought 
it sounded so cool.  I liked the fact that 
it reflected children and fun and silly…
what I wanted my company and products to display.  It went on from there and people always seem to remark or have a story when I reveal the name, I like that.  I also like that I am showing monsters in a fun, friendly way!

You can find me here-

When did you open your shop?  
February 2007

What is your Craft?  
Printmaking, Linoleum, Collage, Mixed Media….or anything I can craft!

How long have you been practicing it?   
I’ve been practicing craft since I can remember.  I can remember loving carving linoleum in elementary school as well as the smell of it when you heated it with the iron!!
I can also distinctly remember my very first set of rubber stamps…um, I still have them!  

 Monster in the closet Give-away!

Favorite materials to use?  
Linoleum, Ink, Gocco, Paper, Glue, Ribbon, Markers, Caran D’Ache water soluble crayons, colored pencils

Where do you get your Inspiration?  
I think from my childish mentality/humor and my love of children.  I love toys and children’s books and the colors and patters of children’s clothes. 
I worked in a toy store for many years.
I am constantly looking at colors and artwork and design.  My own children inspire me daily.  
My 4 ½ year old is full of awesome ideas! My mind races with ideas and creations yet to be made.
I love art history as well as pop culture.  I
think I tend to let the pencil and linoleum cutter do the rest.

Top 5 favorite sellers on Etsy? 
StrawberryLuna  -  her illustrations are so fun!!!  And she has done posters for such awesome musicians!!!
FinleyandOliver  - such fun fun shirts!! i have one for me and for each of my kiddos!!!
ParksideHarmony  -  have you seen these amazing books?!
AnnaCote (modern printed matter)  -  fabulous, just fabulous.  Love her “printed matter”!!!
EnglishMuffinShop – oh man, I just adore her sweet sweet creations and love her blog!!!
comments from craftomania: This is how you spread the love, Yeah!
Top 5 favorite items on Etsy ?
Bowl MADE TO ORDER- these are beautiful fun bowls!
Block Printed Drum Pendant-   I adore this lamp shade!!!!!!
ALIEN MONSTER BEANIE- I totally have to buy this for my son!
Chipmunk Holding an Acorn Black Canvas Belt- I have this belt and wear it all the time!
It's Time to Hide- these are just the sweetest prints!!!!

What will you buy next on Etsy?
Any one (or all?!) of the above!!!!!!

What do you like most about Craftomania toolbar?  
I think what I like best is the availability of so many amazing tools and resources right there!   I have found so many websites and blogs that have given me such great ideas and tools.  I love the tool bar, plain and simple.
comments from craftomania: :%)

Your favorite color?
Impossible to choose. I love color.

Lefty or righty?  

Favorite Song?  
If Bono is singing it, I Love it.  My ipod is essential in my life….i love music and have such a variety of it.  Thank goodness for the ipod…I don’t have to cart a million CD’s and mixed tapes around anymore!!!
comments from craftomania: get into monster in the closet mood

Favorite Movie?  
Cinema Paradiso

Favorite Season?  
comments from craftomania: mmmm...Summer

Favorite Day of week?  

Favorites from my store-

What is your favorite piece of work?
This is a print I created for my Masters Degree Solo Show.  It’s hanging in my kitchen now.
comments from craftomania: outstanding !

Practice any Sports?  
Before I had children, I played soccer, lacrosse and golf quite a lot…I’ll get back to it someday.

Host any Pet peeves?  
Well, I have a list of words that I cannot stand!!!

What is your Dream vacation?
That’s a tough one!! I’d say a villa in Italy for a month or a month long stay on a beautiful tropical island…can I do both?!

First item sold?  When and what? ( can be both at Etsy and outside)
I actually don’t remember the specific person or shirt I sold…isn’t that awful?!  I just remember selling a bunch of shirts to people at work as they were seeing my work evolve.

What would you order for your last meal?
Nothing specific comes to mind immediately…I’m sure it would be some kind of carb-loaded meal…probably some kind of pasta.

Do you have a good business advice?
Of all things I’ve heard and read , the one thing that sticks out in my mind is “love your product.” I think that is so true, how can you whole heartedly sell something you don’t believe in or trust or have passion for.  I’d say another piece of advice that I try to follow, keep  things fresh…try new things, be open to new ideas, don’t settle on what you have done already.

What advice would you give to a new artist\ Seller?
Seeing as I’m fairly new to etsy, I don’t know if I should be answering this or receiving this but I guess I would have to say two things…1. Be patient and 2. Get your name out there.  I carry business cards with me everywhere and try to communicate with as many sources as my time allows.

What do you do to boost your sells on Etsy?
I’m still waiting!!  Ha ha ha!!!  I would LOVE to boost my sales…I guess both of the above are true for this one.  Specifically, I’ve been interacting with more blogs, participating in forums, convo-ing with other artists (this one is so fun because you meet so many great people!).  Any one have any advice for me now?!  :)

How to win monster in the closet's give-away:

  • Heart (favorite) monster in the closet and the give-away items.
  • Become a member of Craftomania Tools Team
  • Scream about this give-away ! (We'll be watching :) )
  • And lastly, comment here and tell us about your endeavors; brag with the links you posted (twitter/facebook/blog and so on..) and share your thoughts.

*All members who will help spread the word of Craftomania Toolbar will participate in the raffle; the winner will be chosen from the list of members comments below.(make sure to leave us your member name(shop at Etsy))
Ready. Set. Go!
You can get as involved and industrious as you feel like but here you can find some of the things you can do to get a head start & increase your chances significantly.

Craftomania Tools Team


  1. Sarah, your website has a very clean look to it, refreshing really, with the colors. We are one of your newest shop fans (lil'Ashley's Closet), looking forward to what you come up with next:O)

  2. Your shop is beautiful, so than your items!
    Nice interview!

  3. Sarah, This is all so adorable, I love the fact that we all should make monsters to be characters who children is not afraid of. They are so prone to be scared at night so raising children as your doing makes you a very smart mommy! By the way your 3 children are adorable too. flutterbyby

  4. I heart the Rockin Monster Journal! Thanks, Craftomania, for a great interview - I had to go heart the shop immediately. Then I fanned them on FB, and then posted about it, and THEN I had to go tweet about it. It's so much fun to find such creativity! -- Sheilah from http://ssheilah.etsy.com

  5. thank you so much to craftomania!! also, thankyou to AshleyMom and Sofisticata and flutterybyby! I appreciate your words!!
    :) and sheila, wow, thanks for the immediate support!!

  6. what an imagination! Love all your stuff, can't wait to have little ones around again to buy cool stuff for.

  7. I love the paperboard suitcase. Very sweet.
    Great interview.

  8. Very interesting.
    You have lovely imagination.
    Love all your stuff.

  9. Great interview!!~ Love those onesies.. So so cute!~~

    I am hearting her and the giveaway items now!!

  10. Great interview! The print is awesome!

  11. All the Monster in the Closet items are so cute!

  12. Great interview! I love to see other artist's work space and hear how their work develops.

    Sarah- Your art work is beautiful and fun! Thanks for sharing your experience :) The shop title is perfect!!

  13. i love etsy shop interviews! thanks for sharing such an interesting artist with us:)

  14. I love your shop! You sound like you have so much fun!!!