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​Hey, Rusty! Where did you get the name The Green Monkey?

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We get that question all the time. And we never get tired of it!

This crazy thing called The Green Monkey started many, many years ago. Can you believe it actually started around 2003? I had heard about this crazy little online place where you can sell and buy crazy stuff. Perhaps you have heard of it. It’s called ebay. I’m sure at least 1 or 2 of you have heard about it. That’s where all this monkey business started.

I began selling used albums on ebay under the name MusicMax65. I actually started with $20 going around to yard sales buying old albums. Then I expanded into other used items such as CDs and DVDs. As the ebay marketplace began to be flooded with sellers of the same items folks suggested that I set up shop at Raleigh Flea Market. Finally, in January 2007 I decided to give it try at the market.

You are probably wondering when I will get to the answer to the million dollar question. Don’t worry I’m leading up to a very dramatic climax! Hold on. I just needed to document everything so when the producers for the lifetime movie channel approaches us they will have documentation. Ha!

As I began to set up shop at the market, the winds of change starting blowing. There was this little thing called an iPod and iTunes. Hmmm. Downloading music and movies. Well I saw the writing on the wall with such a flood of used music sellers on ebay and at the market. I began researching other products.

At the time in Raleigh, there was only one store that offer Gay Pride items, The White Rabbit. However, some of their products were not family friendly. I had a Mom, whose daughter came out as a lesbian, tell me her story of attempting to purchase a gay pride item from that store. She told me she was mortified because the first thing she saw in that store was a shirt that said, “I Munch Carpet”. She told me she left and never returned.

Her story got me thinking. (That’s very scary by the way. Drew quivers when I say, I’m thinking!) Why isn’t there a gay friendly store that’s not about sex? Being gay isn’t having sex. It’s being true to yourself, being who you were born to be. As I researched, I found that there were some really cool products that allowed us to express our pride and celebrate our differences without being sexually charged. So, the transition began.

Friends began telling me that the name MusicMax65 doesn’t really go with gay pride. At first, I was reluctant. I loved that name. Did you know that I came up with that name because when I began using ebay it asked me for a sign on name? Since I was looking for music and at the time our cat, Max was lying beside me on the floor. (He was always beside me, on me, or in front me. I loved that cat! Not to get sad and all, but I know y’all are going to ask. Max passed a few years ago. I still get misty eyed when I tell this story. But don’t worry, the Green Monkey doesn’t have a sad story!) The number 65 was the year I was born. MusicMax65 was born. That’s not really the story you came here to find out about is it?

The moment you have been waiting for! Since that name related to music I knew I had to change even if I didn’t want to at the time! I wanted the new name to have an animal in it. I mean if the only other store in Raleigh that sold similar product was named after an animal why not? Purple is one of my favorite colors. I came up with The Purple Squirrel first. Then I came up with The Green Monkey. I started asking friends which one they liked. You know several liked the name Purple Squirrel but they said it didn’t roll of their tongue like The Green Monkey. My dear friend, Jeanette Burlock at Fairway Printing said if I chose The Green Monkey she had a great idea for a logo! Well, the rest is history! Did you notice how she incorporated the color purple into the logo! I absolutely fell in love with this logo the first time showed me the proof. There was no changes or anything! I loved it!

You probably didn’t know or care facts:

  • As a kid, my Mom and I used to love to watch the monkeys at the zoo. We still do. So it was a natural fit for us.
  • All the green monkeys you see in our display window and around the store were given to us as gifts! They reside at The Green Monkey store watching over us when we are there and keeping the merchandise safe when we are closed.
  • Our first website url: www.musicmax65.com
  • We deleted the musicmax65 url two years ago
  • The Green Monkey was a name of a famous race horse.
  • Our current ebay name is GreenMonkey65
  • Our current website address is www.thegreenmonkeyonline.com or www.peacelovemonkey.com
  • We were the first Gay Pride store at the Raleigh Flea Market
  • There is a bar in downtown Raleigh called The Ugly Monkey. A restaurant at Crabtree Valley Mall called The Red Monkey Tavern.
  • Our current dba name is The Green Monkey at Royal Mart because the space we now occupy on Hillsborough St was a mom and pop food mart called Royal Mart for over 25 years. This is our way of showing respect for their great accomplishment of being independent small business for over 25 years! We salute Jai and his wife for a great job!
  • Hope we will be open for 25 years! Hell, get me through this first year! Ha!

  • green monkey
  • gay pride
  • small business
  • shop local
  • independent retail
  • downtown raleigh
  • shop small
  • lgbt
  • retail
  • monkeys

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