Purple-Monkey-LogoMeet Michael Shoemaker, owner of Purple Monkey Design and New Orleans Mini Maker Faire partner. We sat down with him to find out more about what makes this maker tick.

What do you make?

Purple Monkey Design produces shirts, bags and posters. Our clients submit designs or ask us to produce designs for them. Once the design is approved, we create screens that are layered together to form full color images.

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve made?

We’ve printed fabric that was huge. The fabric was sewn together and draped in a theater in Brooklyn. Very Cool project for us. We took black and white photos of Mardi Gras Indians and printed them on a scale of 3 feet by 5 feet. They were displayed at Jazz Fest, too.

Every maker experiences failures. Describe your most memorable one.

We printed about 1,000 bags for the city of New Orleans. Everything looked great as far as the print was concerned but the scrape of a fingernail would cause the ink to smudge and eventually be removed from the bag. We had to replace them all.

Name someone who inspires you in your maker pursuits, and tell us why.

My Dad always inspires me. He asked me to start this business when I thought I was too cool to do so. Once I was ready, he co-signed a small loan for our business and I never wanted to let him down after that moment. It’s always great to share our successes and failures. It has definitely brought us closer together.

Do you have any advice for aspiring makers or makers who are just starting out?

When you are thinking about making something, don’t just consider the work you are doing at the moment. Consider all of the future work you could get from doing a great job. People talk and you can only benefit from providing quality work.


Purple Monkey Design is the official t-shirt sponsor of the 2017 New Orleans Mini Maker Faire, which will be held on Saturday, April 22 from 10am-5pm at Delgado Community College (916 Navarre Ave).