with Dan Barker
Founder of Monkey Gone to Heaven
Network For Creators to follow and connect with creativity and social innovation
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START MONKEY GONE TO HEAVEN?
I really started Monkey Gone to Heaven because I wanted to create personal freedom. I wanted to be able to dictate my own life, not working for anyone else.
Having a very strong creative streak from my mother, I needed to build things. So with my collective skills, furniture making felt very natural and 'right' for me.
WHEN DID YOU START YOUR PROJECT?
I officially started Monkey Gone to Heaven in December 2014. I prefer to celebrate the end of the year as the start of my business.
WHAT IS YOUR BACKGROUND?
I was a professional skydiving instructor for 11 years and very active in the sport. On the side I worked for a few different companies picking up skills in carpentry, french veneering and furniture building. While skydiving is an extremely exciting and adventure filled career, I get so much more personal reward being able to create custom pieces of furniture for clients.
HOW ARE YOU RE-INVENTING THE RELATIONSHIP PEOPLE HAVE WITH WOOD?
I aim to produce furniture that reveals itself over time. I want it to build a relationship with it's owner, to gradually reveal all its little secrets and intricacies throughout its life. I want my clients to fall in love with my work and anything less is not worth doing.
WHAT IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU HAVE FACED?
The biggest challenge for me was taking the leap from the security of working for someone and going out on my own. And sticking with my decision. The temptation to find a job and stable income was always there, but at 2 years old now, I'm not going anywhere.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?
Finding my passion, and knowing that this is how I will grow old.
FINAL WORD TO SHARE WITH OTHER CREATORS AND INVENTORS?
I am proud of you! Keep creating and inventing! Don't accept compromises in your work and hold on to your integrity.