Welcome to the Tacky Monkey Shop

Welcome and I hope you will follow our blog for the Tacky Monkey. Our website will have a Blog feature directly on the store site but I so enjoy the WordPress Community that I will post here as well when we have news, new products, and special events to highlight.

I am asked frequently how I came up with the name or why I chose to name the store The Tacky Monkey. The answer is, I really am not sure. I wanted to open a recycled jewelry, handbag, and specialty store that featured my love for vintage, antique and Bohemian jewelry. I also wanted to include a Conservation Platform with the site. I have always wanted to ‘adopt’ a chimp through the Jane Goodall site: The Jane Goodall Institute or through Dian Fosse: The Gorilla Fund. My plan is donate a percentage of all sales to conservation projects, featuring one a month. Shoppers can contribute to their favorite cause through store purchases.

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This most likely led to the desire to include a monkey as a logo. Once the name was chosen, I set the wonderful artists with 99 Designs onto the project. I have to say, as the project progressed, they really got into my vision. All of the designs were so wonderful, I was not able to choose just one and ended up with 4 logo designs. Each one is unique but completely embraces  the essence of the shop.

I am currently developing the web store and hope to launch by the end of the  month. Our product line will include new and previously loved jewelry, designer handbags, and whatever else I find that needs to be there. Prices will range from $1.00 to high-end collectibles. I promise – there will be something for every shopper!

I hope you will follow us here and watch for the web launch announcement. I welcome suggestions for causes near and dear to all of your hearts. I hope you will enjoy your experience here and we look forward to meeting all of our customers.

Thank you – Judith A. Ames, The Monkey in Charge


Chasing Handbags……

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I’m not sure EXACTLY when my handbag fetish began, it was late in life. As a teenager and young adult, I didn’t really care for purses – opting for a backpack or fanny pack, rather than lugging around a big bag.

It was a slow seduction, actually starting with shoes. I believe that desire came from watching all of the Sex and the City reruns. I hated that show when it was on originally, but find myself drawn to the characters now – for some reason… Gradually, I was drawn into the world of designer clothes by Carrie Bradshaw and I purchased my first pair of Michael Kors heels. Before I knew it, I was searching eBay for Jimmy Choo and Manolo Blahnik deals. Not quite buying into the full price requests from the top end designers, not quite yet anyway.

I graduated from shoes to dresses.  Vintage wear from the classic designers – Versace, Diane Von Furstenburg, and Chanel. After finding a few classic vintage pieces which I paired with my kitten sling-backs, I discovered I was missing the perfect handbag!

I was hesitant. I really knew nothing about handbags – who was who in the designers. Then, on a visit to California, my best friend, (I think I’ll blame her), took me shopping and we wandered into the handbag section. She immediately started matching me with bags. I trusted her lead, she seemed to be familiar. Before I knew it, I left with the cutest Hobo Bag by Kate Spade. That was it – I was hooked. I needed more….

The first thing I did when I got home was go through my closet and remove all of my Target Specials. I’m not dissing my Target bags, they are great, but once you’ve been bitten by the Handbag Bug, it’s hard to go back….

I started learning about the designers, their signature styles, and which re-sellers could be trusted. I had to learn the ‘lingo’ so I didn’t sound like a total newbie. My first collection came from a local company. I was thrilled with the handbags I gathered. And then I bought more…. Before I knew it – I had nearly 50: Christian Dior, Marc Jacobs, Chanel, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Chloe’, and more!

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My handbag obsession was and still is my inspiration for starting the Tacky Monkey Store! After all, a girl can only, really, use so many bags – right!? I needed an outlet to re-home my new finds!

Today, at 3:00am, I found myself seeking the last pieces for the store opening at my newest, favorite, auction house. The selection was tremendous. I tried to talk myself out of bidding, after all – I ALLREADY had over 50 to list. But I couldn’t. There was a Dior that would be an excellent addition, and the Gucci prices were extremely reasonable. In all – there were 86 I had my eye on….

My 3:00am venture did not start out on a high note. My first handbag opened four times higher than the noted opening bid. This was going to be a long auction if this becomes a pattern! The auctioneer started with Coach – Ok, I can miss these, I really had my eyes on Gucci, Prada, and Louis Vuitton. I made a run at a Jimmy Choo – but someone wanted it more than I did. Next was a Herme’s – yikes, those are pricey resells! I was able to grab a couple of canvas bags. One Gucci in particular, opened three times the original start price! Dang it! I really wanted that one. My color choices fall to the pinks, greens, and blues, and anything Denim – I’d knock people down to get to a good condition Denim bag, There was one Jimmy Choo that would have gone beautifully with the new summer hue choice of : watermelon, according to US Magazine.

After a few losses, it becomes a game. A strategic play – so to speak. A chess match against the other bidders. Who will win? Which one of us will come out with the ‘designer handbag’ prize?

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When all was said and done, I walked away with 12 new selections for the Tacky Monkey Store. Wait until you see the Gucci and Dior bags I was able to procure. I think my favorite is a flashy, Studded Patch Catena Prada bag. I think that one may be the keeper in the group! After all, a handbag chaser does need to reward herself with one of the prizes….. RIGHT????

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Thank you – Remember to watch for our launch!

Judith A. Ames, The Monkey in Charge