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Monkey Muster II: Primate Empire After Action Report

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One off, custom Ryk Maverick, Starlingear dog tag. Copper, silver, and brass.

History:

In late 2012, after 15 years of being in business, we were lucky enough to finally be able to purchase a commercial building. A couple of my goofball buddies said: “Hey, we should have a party to celebrate.”

Which to me meant: “Hey Brady, buy a bunch of drinks and food, and we will come over and dispose of them.”

Well, word started getting around, and knifemaker buddies started saying they would come and bring some knives. At some point, it turned into a full on event and was a great time. We had incredible support from knifemakers in bringing out great stuff. After our first Muster in 2013, people were asking about “next year”.

I had no intention of ever putting myself and/or my staff, through this again… but being gluttons for punishment… we threw caution to the wind and thus the Annual Monkey Muster was born!

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Monkey Muster II 2014: PRIMATE EMPIRE

This year, we wanted to raise the bar and make Monkey Muster II even better. The theme was Primate Empire, derived from the Prohibition Era show “Boardwalk Empire”.

Attendees were encouraged to dress up, and prizes for best dressed were given out.

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From the beginning, I never wanted Monkey Muster to be a “knife show”.  Knife shows are great, but there are far more qualified people to put them on. I really wanted “a party that happened to have some knives.”

And, if I was going to throw a party, I wanted it to be free to attend and free for the knifemakers. The people coming are our guests, and we want them to have a great time. This means a full open bar, fully catered, some entertainment. The works man!

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The event was scheduled from 2 – 9pm, but people arrived early.  The Monkey Crew got them all registered while we put up a few last minute touches, and we opened up around 2:10.

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The Monkey Muster is free to attend. Eat and drink all you want.

However, in attempting to limit the amount of Mega Monkey Lotto participants, there was a $25 donation to Fisher House Foundation.

100% of the Mega Monkey Lotto entry fees were donated to the Fisher House Foundation,  who does great work for the families of the US Military.

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In keeping with our Primate Empire theme, the parking lot was fenced off with vintage posters on the outside.

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As the guests arrived, we had an outstanding DJ (spinning real vinyl and not just some dude with an iPod) rolling out some Americana tunes.

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While the tunes were spinning, we had some awesome performers roaming the crowd. The magician left people scratching their heads.

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We wanted to wait till most arrived to open the Mega Monkey Lotto. The guests were free to mingle and have a cocktail. We had a couple signature themed drinks that seemed to be a hit.

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Of course, the bartender and cocktail waitresses were decked out!

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Mrs. Monkey and I were  fashionably late to our own party!

Well the truth is we were running and sweating trying to get things all set, and had to run home and get cleaned up and ready. We finally arrived to a sea of people and greeted everybody.

Seeing how the Monkey Muster is not quite the norm, I wanted to be sure to explain the Mega Monkey Lotto rules.

 

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Of course we had to keep it classy, so we had Andy the shoe shine guy all set up in the showroom lobby giving out free shines to dial in everybody’s footwear.

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Guests were encouraged to buy, sell, trade, while they hung out.

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And if that wasn’t enough, the entertainment continued…

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Many folks have been asking about the racing pictures that have been popping up on Facebook etc.

I have started racing a vintage Formula Ford car and the Prime 8 Racing car will be decked out by some of your favorite knife-makers as sponsors. The car was on display (although the body is not finished yet).

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We had a merchandise  booth set up outside with some gear. People could flip through our apparel book for T-shirts etc.

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Of course, the Monkey Showroom was also open for folks to take a look at.

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The Monkey Crew was on hand and could pull out anything anybody wanted to see. Except for what was in this case, which is part of my personal collection.

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Mr. Doug Ritter of Knife Rights was on hand. Knife Rights has been in the trenches at both the state and federal levels to roll back some archaic knife laws.

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For the second year, US Congressman Matt Salmon stopped by to say hi.

Congressman Salmon is not your typical politician and is a down to earth and super nice guy. He is also super pro gun (including NFA) and pro knife. Plus, he likes bow ties!

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It was awesome to have the support of top manufacturers and individual knife makers. Josh Lee from Strider Knives and Jack Roman from Tuff Writer can always be counted on to step up!

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As the sun started to set, dinner was rolled out. Behind the scenes the Monkey Crew was drawing cards for the Mega Monkey Lotto.

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Of course, being dark makes it great for FIRE!

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The Mega Monkey Knife Lotto:

We attend plenty of knife shows and love em. The thrill of lotteries, etc.

However, normal knife shows are not conducive to hanging out and talking with your buddies. Sandwiched in a sea of people struggling to hear your name. Or, everything stops while the lottery is going on. We had some of the best makers in the biz bringing incredible knives, but still wanted the party to go on.

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We wanted to change things up a bit, therefore The Mega Monkey Knife Lotto worked like this:

-All of the knives from various makers are  in the same lottery and on display for attendees to see.

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-All the knives are sold for the makers designated “table price” and not marked up at all.

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-Participants were issued 50 cards with their unique number on them to enter for the chance to buy a knife.

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-The participants could “spend” those cards among all the knives in any manner they want. They could put all 50 in one knife if they wanted.

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-The event started at 2pm, so at 6pm while dinner was being served, the Monkey Staff collected the knives and conducted the lottery.

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-Winners are notified via text/phone call and then come in to pay for their knife.

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Over 100 knives, and the party just kept on rolling with no interruptions!

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As the night rolled on, the vibe changed a bit and the violin player added to the mood.

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We really set out to change the dynamic of how a show feels. We wanted the makers free to interact with each other and the fans without being chained behind a table.

Mick Strider and Mark Mummert were shooting the breeze.

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One of the other goals of Monkey Muster was to raise some dough for the Fisher House.

In addition to 100% of the lottery admission, we held an impromptu auction of some cool stuff. I grabbed some cool things from the Monkey Vault. Knife makers on hand were literally pulling their own carry knives out of their pockets to auction off!

All in all, I am proud to say that Monkey Muster II raised $10,300 for Fisher House! Thanks to everybody for their generosity!

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What a whirlwind! It was my goal to shake each persons hand and thank them for coming out. I think I got to just about everybody.

We at Monkey Edge are thankful for the support of our customers and this party is kind of a way to say “thanks and have a drink on us”. We are not professional event planners, but have learned even more this year to make it better next year! If you missed out this year, keep late March/early April 2015 open. I can promise you will want to be there!

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A very special, heartfelt thanks to the companies and individual makers that have supported the Monkey Muster:

Jens Anso

Michael Burch

Jim Burke

Lucas Burnley

Duane Dwyer Custom

Brian Fellhoelter

Aaron Frederick

Les George

Rick Hinderer

Jeremy Horton

Mummert Knives

John W. Smith

Brad Southard

Starlingear

Strider Knives

Mick Strider Custom

TuffWriter Pens

An EXTRA special, sincere, “I’d take a bullet for you guys” to Strider Knives, Starlingear, and Hinderer Knives.

From the very beginning of conversations about Monkey Muster I (before it was even named in fact), these guys simply said: “We’ll be there and will bring cool stuff”. We did not even have to ask. They have gone above and beyond in supporting the Monkey Muster and it would not have been possible without them!

 

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