Alumni create, sell calendars for educational grants

Anna Taylor
Assistant Features Editor

Melissa Ruhlman/The News

All you need to succeed in business is a good idea. This is what motivated David and Amy Jones, Murray State alumni, to create the Sock Monkey Theater Company.

Sock Monkey Shakespeare is the name of the 2012 calendar that David and Amy created as a possible fundraiser for local schools and organizations. The idea for the calendar occurred when Amy was sick and had a unique dream last January.

“I had a high fever and I had a dream of a sock monkey as ‘Hamlet,’” she said. “I woke up and woke David up and said ‘I have got an idea and it’s silly and I think it could be pretty cool — sock monkey Shakespeare’ and he said ‘Yeah’ and started planning right away.”

The couple started the calendars at the beginning of the year and were finished by March. After looking for printers and publishers, they had some calendars printed by May.

Both Amy and David made the monkeys for the calendar. They ordered the socks, hand-stitched them together and stuffed them.

“David did most of the set design and we watched every Shakespeare movie we could find,” she said. “I did the research and we did the photography pretty much together — he took most of the photos and I did the editing in Photoshop.”

For each month in the calendars, there is a different famous scene from one of Shakespeare’s works. Included in the calendars are scenes from “Hamlet,” “Romeo and Juliet,” “Othello,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” and “Macbeth” among others.

“On each page we’ve got a quote from the play and what the scene is about,” David said.

By selling these calendars, their goal is to help schools, performing arts centers and other organizations generate funds by offering their calendars as a fundraiser. The couple even offers to customize their calendars based on what an organization requests.

“We can put their own logo and do their own dates,” David said. “If a community theater wanted these we could put its show times on them, too.”

Organizations can purchase calendars to sell in orders of 25 or more. The profit increases for groups fundraising with the calendars when they sell more of them.

When someone buys a calendar from David and Amy, $1 is donated to a fund that will provide educational grants to public, private and home schools. Individual calendars cost $18 online and $12 in person.

While the calendars are favored to people interested in Shakespeare and theater, they are made for anyone in need of a calendar.

“You don’t have to like Shakespeare to enjoy these calendars,” Amy Jones said. “If you do, there are lots of little hidden nuggets for people that like Shakespeare but the sock monkeys are super cute for anybody, whether they like Shakespeare or not.”

Along with the calendars, David and Amy are also selling prints of the Shakespeare scenes shown in the calendars.

They hope to create a new calendar every year. Some other theme ideas David and Amy have for potential upcoming calendars are Grimm’s Fairy Tales, American History, Famous Inventors, Favorite Nursery Rhymes and the Works of Charles Dickens.

For more information or to purchase a calendar, visit facebook.com/sockmonkeycalendars.

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