It's hard to believe that Marley's Monsters has been around for 10 years! It feels like only yesterday that we were founded with the mission to create reusable, eco-friendly products. In the past 10 years, we've come a long way!
We've grown from a small passionate & talented team to a thriving business with a global reach. We've seen our products make a real difference in the lives of people around the world. We're so proud of everything we've accomplished in the past 10 years, and we're excited to see what the next 10 years have in store for us!
The day Marley's Monsters was founded
On January 30th, 2013, Marley’s Monsters began when Sarah Dooley opened her Etsy store and listed seven stuffed monsters she had made for her daughter Marley, before she was born. None of them sold, except one which her mother purchased, who became the first customer for Marley's Monsters. This set back was temporary. By February, Sarah listed Cloth Wipes in her Etsy store and sold her first 12-pack to a customer on February 27th, 2013. Afterward, she started focusing on reusable baby goods rather than stuffed animals.
Within two years of the founding, Marley's Monsters was a thriving business, moving out of the home and into a 1,000 SF shared studio space. That year, Marley’s Monsters hired the first employee, acquired industrial equipment, and started selling at the Eugene Saturday Market & Holiday Market. The team was driven by the desire to create reusable and sustainable products for families, and 10 years later, that passion still drives the company. It was a challenge to get the company off the ground, but the tireless dedication of the founders paid off. They developed the first prototypes of their signature product - the UNpaper® Towel - and tested them with family and friends. After months of hard work, the first batch of Marley's Monsters UNpaper® Towels was ready to launch.
Our early days of production and retail
Starting a business from scratch was no easy task. It required hard work, dedication, and a whole lot of problem solving. Looking back, the early days of production were a flurry of activity. We experimented with different materials and techniques to find the best way to craft the perfect UNpaper® Towel. We scoured the market for unique patterns and materials to make our products stand out.
In 2016, Chad Dooley, Sarah’s husband, joined the company full-time as they added wood products to their product catalog. This growth necessitated the addition of a larger facility to handle the increased production needs. By the end of 2016, with bustling storefront and website traffic the company’s sales were at an all time high. Marley’s Monsters released a number of new, sustainable products this year, including Bowl Covers, Dusters and Sponges.
The growth of Marley's Monsters
With strong wholesale interest and a growing staff, by 2018, Marley’s Monsters was bursting at the seams. When they finally moved into a 4,500 SF space during the busiest time of year in November 2018, Marley’s Monsters spent the rest of the following year searching for a new home because they knew that outgrowing the space they were in was inevitable. There was strong growth on social media that year, which led to increased sales, a growing team, and a headline feature in the local paper. By the end of 2018, Marley’s Monsters had 21 employees. In 2019, their team grew from 21 to 35 and moved from one facility to three. In 2019, they surpassed $1M in sales for the first time.
As their reputation grew, so did their business. They saw an incredible response to their UNpaper® Towels, and started to expand their product range. They launched new products like Pail Liners and Sandwich Wraps, as well as eco-friendly bath and skincare products. They also upgraded their production process to ensure that all our products are made using only the highest quality materials and best-in-class processes. As their product range expanded, so did their reach. They started to partner with retailers to make their products more widely available and started to ship their products internationally, so that families around the world could benefit from the Marley's Monsters difference.
Continuing to grow
Marley’s Monsters met the needs of the paper products shortage that the global pandemic created. Marley’s Monsters sales rose as stores ran out of single-use disposables and their Toilet UNpaper® and Washable Masks were hot commodities. Marley’s Monsters struggled to produce enough items to satisfy demand and so hired 20 sewists and added a new 20,000 SF facility to keep up with production. As a measure of caution to protect their team, they ran operations out of four distinct buildings and added a night shift in order to extend production. Despite this strange and challenging time, business kept increasing which led us to bring on more people. Even crazier was when Marley’s Monsters signed a lease shortly afterwards for their retail store at the 5th Street Market while physical retail was shut down.
Marley’s Monsters won the Bold Steps Award, which is local to Eugene Oregon and awarded by the mayor, in 2021. They opened their first stand-alone retail storefront (not attached to their production facility), combined all manufacturing into our new large warehouse, and relocated the woodshop into their third flex-space location. They added a Felt Loom machine to their operations to reprocess our fabric scrap waste into useable products and ended 2021 as a team of 75 people.
What's next for Marley's Monsters?
As we look back on 10 years of Marley's Monsters, we are excited about what the future holds for us. We are continuously innovating and developing new products to meet the growing needs of eco-friendly households.
After nine years of exponential growth, we had an opportunity to take stock and expand in a more deliberate manner. We kept up production and improved our approach. We put new processes in place, set objectives for the future and enhanced collaborations with local businesses. It was our first full year running smoothly without having to shift operations and the result is a firm foundation which will ensure sustainability for years to come.
In conclusion, we are proud of everything we have accomplished at Marley's Monsters in the past 10 years. We are excited to continue innovating and expanding our product range in the years to come. Thank you to all of our customers, supporters, and partners for your continued dedication! As we celebrate 10 years of Marley's Monsters, we want to thank all of our loyal customers, supporters, and partners for their hard work and dedication. We wouldn't be where we are today without you! We are proud of all that we have accomplished in the past 10 years, and we are excited to see what the future holds for Marley's Monsters!