This week for Feature Me Friday, we have Molly Kay of
Rags by Sock Monkey and Petite Dancer 25 from Chicago, IL
and Minneapolis, MN.
Who is Rags by Sock Monkey?
Rags by Sock Monkey is a eco-friendly, recycled clothing design
mini-business run by the one and only Molly Kay. It was inspired
by my sock monkey, Ginny, who really “embodies”, as much as
a sock monkey can embody something, the philosophy behind
my business. Sock monkeys were created from old socks to give
enjoyment and comfort. So, Rags by Sock Monkey is about taking
a piece of clothing that could end up as a rag and make it into
something beautiful and enjoyable to wear.
What’s the first thing you remember making?
Ooof, that is a hard one. I’ve been creating things since before I
can remember. One thing that sticks in my mind is a little drum
made from an old cardboard oatmeal container, which I painted
blue with red stars. I also still use the first thing that I ever created
from old clothing- a bag made from a pair of old jeans. I made it
in seventh grade but I still get compliments on it everyday.
Why work with recycled materials?
I think that recycled materials, besides from being good for the
environment, give specific parameters which I can work within.
Having parameters actually allows me to be more creative. It’s
easy to become overwhelmed with choices, but when one is given
a t-shirt and asked to created something new from it, it suddenly
becomes more of a puzzle-solving challenge. That gets my creative
Where do you work?
Right now, in Chicago, IL! That is, in my tiny studio apartment
in Chicago which I share with my fiance, Brandon. My workspace
consists of a desk which we found in the lobby of our apartment
when we first moved in. I don’t know what I would do without this
How do you get from A to Z?
Right now, I travel on my Freespirit cruiser bicycle most everywhere. His name is Baby Blue. I like to think that he is a dreamy movie star with sparkling blue eyes. Yes, I did just call my
bicycle a dreamy movie star...
What are your favorite tools?
My favorite tool to use in my work is a tiny pair of scissors originally intended to cut thread, but which is now used to cut out the patterns that I sew onto my shirts, skirts, and other items. However, I also enjoy my large pair of shiny fabric scissors. I think I just enjoy chopping up fabric in general! It’s my favorite part of what I do.
What music do you listen to while you’re working?
It’s always different. I’m currently inspired by The Bird and the
Bee but often just turn the radio on to NPR and listen to the news
as I sew.
What are the five best things you’ve purchased on etsy
and where did you find them?
An urban holster (really, a fancy fanny pack) by Utilitywear, a shaving brush by craftiness as well as an Atari ductape wallet by jDUCT both for my fiance (he’s a lucky guy), a sparkly headband (the most comfortable headband EVER) I wore as a bridesmaid by chastina, and my absolute favorite are a pair of wood and pearl earrings which I wear everyday by my good friend, Allison, at potpourri4.
Read any good books lately?
YES! Everyone must read Eating Animals by Johnathan Safran
Foer, he’s changed my life forever. Whether you do or do not eat
animals, you must read this book!
Been to any great exhibits?
I’m not much of an art exhibit person. I’m more of a
music-in-the-park-free-event kind of girl... However, I love
museums, and particularly loved seeing the Adler Planetarium
in Chicago, IL. Super informative and fun!
Who inspires you?
My grandmother, who was born the year the Great Depression
began. She knows how to make something out of nothing, and
also makes some delicious canned peaches!
What do you do for fun?
Dance, a lot, and take yoga classes. I also love seeing movies in
the theater with my fiance. And, I'm also part of a burlesque
troupe in Chicago called A & M Burlesque. I love performing
with them for fantastic audiences!
Besides Etsy, where can we find you work?
In a lovely new shop in Seattle, WA called Reconstructed Clothing, Inc. Check out their website at http://www.reconstructedseattle.com/, and if you are in the area, you should definitely stop by! You can also find me on Facebook and on Twitter- just look for etsysockmonkey!
How do you promote your work?
Usually on Facebook, on Twitter occasionally, and on Etsy through an occasional showcase. I do like to put new items that I've created on my blog as well. And I wear my stuff around town.
I think that is the best way to promote it, show everyone how great it is to wear!
Have any words of wisdom?
Believe in what you create, but also have the sense to receive
constructive criticism. Always strive to be better in what you do!
What’s in your future?
Moving home to stay with my mother and father, so that I can
sew more and work less!