We do pop-up shops … a lot of pop-up shops. So we thought … why not share with you some of our inspirations and interactions with the people that we come across during these events.
Pop-up shop, trunk show, vendor market, guerilla retail … these are all terms that we’ve learned to embrace in the past couple of years and have really come to enjoy. Every month you can check out our EVENTS page and find out where we will be next and when you can get your next dose of Monkey & The Bee (+ Glenn and “The Lady Debra”).
With this being the first, of what I hope to be many posts, we are going to share just a few of our favorite stories.
Domita Debaun Sanchez wearing custom Bear Hugs
We chose TRBU as our first MAJOR event because each and every year “The Monkey” would come home from his “real job” boasting about what a great group of guys the TBRU guys are. We often do “BEAR” themed shirts and what better place to showcase them then at Texas Bear Round-Up. So we put together our first major display and headed out to see if we were “onto something” with our shirt line.
One of the best feelings during our first TRBU, was watching the doors open on the first full day and having customers from all over (including Australia) make a B-LINE straight to our booth. They seemed to really like our designs, the quality of the t-shirts, and the fact that we often offer sizes up to 4XL.
Another stand-out was this past TBRU, Miss Domita Debaun Sanchez took one of our Bear Hugs Tshirts and customized it for her drag aesthetic and hung out in the booth with us. She took pictures with customers, helped sell some shirts, and even helped do some folding. Domita has become a great customer, promoter, and best of all friend of Monkey & The Bee! #domita4bears
After our second year with TBRU, we knew that this would be an annual event for us. It’s already on our calendar for 2019 … and we are working on having new shirts, new accessories, and some new ideas for the weekend. We can’t wait to see everyone again and can all agree that these guys know how to have a good time, shop, and are a very supportive customer of ours.
Pogonophile … ??? What’s a Pogonophile? Where did you come up with that?
“The Bee” was set up at the Dallas Eagle for Bear Lockdown in the pouring rain. Luckily, we brought our tent and everyone was keeping in good spirits. The best thing from a vendor stand point about having the rain is that everyone crowds into your booth. Well, this was just the case. The patio at the Eagle was getting pretty packed. We had probably 10 people browsing our merchandise while shielding themselves from the rain. This one woman kept look at the “The Bee” and finally approached him and asked:
“Can I touch your beard?”
Thrown off a little, “The Bee” hesitantly replied … “Are you gonna buy a shirt :P?!?”
“I can’t help it … I’m a total pogonophile?”
The woman explained that a pogonophile is an admirer of beards. “The Bee” let her touch his beard and continued chatting with the woman for a while. She was very sweet and after a long talk … “That’s going to be our next shirt!”
“The Bee” always tries to come up with something new when he’s out at vendor markets. He often gets inspiration from his surroundings and interactions with customer for new designs.
So who knows? Maybe next time you see us at a pop-up shop … something you say or do might become the next Monkey & The Bee tee!
Honey, Kiss Me Tee
Last but definitely not least … Dallas Pride! Talk about an amazing event to really boost your confidence.
2017 was our very first Pride event and we were completely unprepared. Tommy and “The Bee” arrived at set-up at 8:00am and began unloading all of our typical pop-up shop stuff and taking it to our designated area. When we arrived we noticed that all the other vendors had TENTS! You would think that this was something we would have in our inventory. But, since most of the events that we had done so far were all indoor events, we never even thought about having a tent.
Luckily Tommy decided that we would make the best of it! He convinced “The Bee” to set up our shop as a pass through between the different vendor rows. This allowed for people to walk through the middle of our row instead of having to walk all the way down to the end of the aisle of other merchants to move on to the next aisle. As a pass through, we probably got more attention that we would have if we were just set up as we normally had.
BUT … That’s not the story!
During the day, we met a ton of people and sold a lot of shirts! One of the best things about Dallas Pride is that there is a TEEN PRIDE AREA and we noticed quite a few younger people with their parents doing a little shopping and having a good time at PRIDE. This one kid kept walking through our shop. He’d stop and look at the designs, chat for a minute, and then move on. Really nice kid … but he didn’t purchase anything, he just kept coming back … would chat for a bit … and then move on. Towards the end of the day, the same kid comes back and is REALLY LOOKING at our PRIDE FOX design. He asks “The Bee” if we had it in an XS. Luckily, we still had one left. He said “GREAT!” And then LEAVES!!!
Tommy and I were both a little surprised by his departure but decided it was about time to get ready to pack up and load up the truck. We start breaking down the shop, putting away merchandise, and taking down our signs when we hear:
“Wait! Stop!” coming from a female voice.
The kid and this lovely lady are speed-walking toward the booth! Of course, we stop packing things up and wait for them to get over to the booth.
The mom asks, “Do you still have that Fox shirt in the XS? It’s the one my son REALLY LOVES! This is his first pride event and I want to be the one to buy him his first pride shirt!”
UGH! My heart melts and I wanted to just GIVE her the shirt. She insisted on paying for it, which as a small business … I appreciated. I hand the shirt to the boy and he immediate takes the shirt out of the bag and throws it on.
Who knows? Maybe next time your story will end up as part of our INTERACTIONS & INSPIRATION!