Thursday, April 27, 2006

Only in America: Stupid Sock Creatures

Editor's Note: On 5/30/06 I am issuing a clarification and correction about the price of the Stupid Sock Creatures made by John Murphy. The body of my blog entry now contains more specific and correct fees and more information to underscore that I am happy that John Murphy's business is a success.

I was re-reading the art zine "Art and Life", edited by Teesha Moore.

In the article I read that John Murphy began a business--get this! Only in America can a person have such a wild idea and actually make money on it! In the beginning, a person would send him a sock, at their expense, and a $15 deposit, and he’d transform it into a stuffed ‘stupid sock creature’ and (after an additional fee was paid) he'd mail it back to them. What an idea!

I thought it sounded amazing and jumped online to see if I could find any images of these creatures. (These are basically a funky twist on sock monkeys.)

Fast forward to 2006, it costs $65 for a custom sock creature to be created now! Wow! The success of the business was not mentioned in the article. I am glad that John Murphy is making a business with his Stupid Sock Creatures. There are also some already-created creatures available for sale on his website that range in price from $49 to $59.

John Murphy has been so busy he has hired an assistant to help craft the creatures, named Ian Cameron Dennis. A book has been published to help anyone who wants to make these at home.

I admire this artist who is obviously also an entrepreneur. I bet if he had ever made a business plan and pitched this as a business, I bet no white-collared business people would ever have thought this would catch on and he would have failed to get a loan or whatever he may have asked for from ‘the business community’.

I am very happy that a profit is being turned in this business venture. John Murphy has contacted me by email to discuss his pricing and my blog entry. So I am updating it to be more clear about the prices.

I am a capitalist and I feel that prices should be what the market can bear. If enough people have the money to afford Stupid Sock Creatures then good for them. (I hope to have the money again someday to spend on fun and whimsical things like this.)

After looking at the crazy sock colors used to make some of the creatures (see the gallery) I was reminded of the wall of socks available at the dollar store and think they would make affordable materials for sock creatures.

John Murphy has published a book which tells all that we need to know to make these stupid sock creatures ourselves. There is a book called "Stupid Sock Creatures". I would like to buy this book and teach myself to make Stupid Sock Creatures.

There is also a kit with supplied and the book available to buy.

If this ever catches on to the mainstream, I can see it now, outsourcing to China and sock creatures being sold for $7 or less (compatible with Beanie Baby prices). The crazy thing is that I can imagine it now, now the businessmen would like to see the company’s history of sales and the marketability of these creatures and the notion of selling them for $65 each would make little cash registers go off in their heads (ka-ching!) and they’d give that loan out and start mass producing these in China. I can just see it now.

You have to check out the gallery! The gallery shows stupid sock creatures that are in stock and ready to be sold and shipped as well as containing photos of creatures who have already been adopted. Make sure to scroll down to see the thumbnail photos. Click on any photo and a larger image will pop up—it is better to see the detail, I think. I noticed that if the thumbnail was blank but a name was there, that if I clicked on it the large image pops up.

If I had the money I’d be a customer…that is the crazy thing. My husband would think I was nuts if I ever bought one of these. (He doesn’t get any kind of outsider art or alternative art anyway, oh well.)

I showed these stupid sock creatures to my children and they thought they were hilarious. I bet children would love to make these at home. Perhaps they would make a good sewing project for a beginning sewer (child or adult!). Hey, the book or book and kit would make a great birthday gift!

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