Let’s set the wayback machine to winter 2004, shall we?
Young(er) Monk, encouraged by the response of folks interested in the rope he was making for his own personal use, decides to try his hand at selling his jewel-toned hand-dyed rope to the public. This, in a time when the term “rope vendor” was practically unheard of. When available options for bondage rope were Home Depot, a handful of sites selling nylon, or if you were lucky, a friend-of-a-friend could be commissioned to process a batch of hemp for you.
Through good fortune, or perhaps divine intervention, the folks at Seattle’s Center for Sex-Positive Culture didn’t bat an eye when I applied to sell rope at their upcoming winter Vendor Fair.
Now I needed a name. All artisans need a good name, something catchy that you hope will connect with folks. People had been calling me “Monk” since my teens, and the rope I was selling was twisted as opposed to braided, Twisted Monk seemed the natural way to go. I gathered up my few hundred feet of hand-finished rope, took a leap of faith and...
“The Twisted Monk” was born.
Every inch of rope I’d brought, sold. Not to mention the orders from folks who wanted more. I was on to something. A few months later I decided to try my luck at a larger event.
“Wait, you sell *just* rope?!” was a common response by folks back then. That same event, now in 2015, hosts some 5 different rope-only vendors. Oh how times change!
When we first started, Amazon sold only physical books and compact discs. Paypal was still in its infancy. Sites like etsy? Still years away. Taking credit cards for in-person sales was rare, few merchant banks would have anything to do with “adult businesses” and the few who did were expensive at best. Wireless credit card readers? Yet to be invented.
But I digress (and sound alarmingly like one of those “kids these days! why back in my day…” types).
“I” became “we” as the business grew beyond the confines of my back-yard. We did a lot of shows back then, lugging our wares cross-country, making converts and developing a following. With each show, our reputation for quality and ethics grew. Online sales expanded, employees were hired to help manage the growing demand until eventually we reached a tipping point— Take the rope we just finished and send it to the customer who placed an order online, or pack it up to sell at an event several days travel away? And that is why, aside from the occasional local class, we have not done an in-person vending event since 2007...
Personally, I do not miss the stress, the travel, and the bad airport food that are part and parcel with road shows. What I do miss is the people. Nothing brings a maker quite as much joy as seeing someone who is utterly thrilled to use your creation. Happy, excited customers are, and always will be, the backbone of our success. And frankly- I miss seeing that in person. Call it nostalgia. Call it Monk having a soft spot for where it all began with that folding card table at a vendor fair some 12 years ago. Call it what you will, but on December 5th 2015 we are bringing The Twisted Monk BACK.
I’m proud to say that this time there will be no shared card table. We are opening the vaults and bringing limited edition rope colors and styles that have never before seen the light of day. Come for rope that no one else will ever have. Come to see our revolutionary new MonkSak bags in action. Come see what all the buzz is about with electroconductive rope. Or just come to share your favorite The Twisted Monk memory. Whatever your reason, you won’t want to miss this.
I invite you to join us from Noon-5pm Saturday, December 5th at the Center For Sex-Positive Culture (located in the Interbay region of Seattle).
For more event information: http://thecspc.org/2015/11/12/553766/