I am Holly Johnson, Owner and Designer at Cheeky Monkey Home, where we design, cut and stitch decorative pillows and handmade accessories using colorful, unique designs and our own wool felt applique technique. My purpose is to bring joy to our customers with small batch, locally made, beautiful and durable products using a business model that employs and empowers other women.
Everything we do at Cheeky Monkey Home is about:
- creating beautiful, artistic felt applique designs that evoke joy and a sense of style
- delivering artistic, handmade, hiqh-quality products that are 100% New England made and sourced locally
- developing unique home decor and gifts inspired by timeless handwork techniques and design traditions from around the world
- supporting women: mothers, women in need, immigrants and refugees by providing mentorship, training, flexible work and community through our Sew@Home program and employment in our studio + shop
Visit us in person at our studio and shop located in Belmont, MA, or on our website (open 24/7!) and through our wonderful shopkeepers and resorts around New England and beyond!
Thank you for visiting us and please let us know how we can help bring joy to your home, wherever it may be!
MATERIALS + TECHNIQUE
At Cheeky Monkey Home, we design, cut and stitch all of our pillows in our studio to ensure our standards for quality and beauty are always maintained. We have perfected a richly layered applique technique using 100% wool felt in radiant color combinations set against 100% cotton or linen base fabrics. Our pillows come with a 10/90 down/feather insert and every piece is finished with decorative topstitching details, a hidden zipper and custom trimmings.
Our collection is growing and changing all the time, reflecting the discoveries we make during the creative process. We are a made-to-order company and in order to ensure fresh and inspired designs, we do not mass-produce or carry huge inventory, and our materials may change as we discover new materials and trims.
Through our Sew@Home program, we achieve the very best quality and craftsmanship with the help of incredibly talented sewers who are recently resettled people and women in need in the Boston area. Sew@Home began in 2017, when I had the timely good fortune of meeting a fantastic sewer who was looking for flexible work from home. She and her family had fled from Iran, and had just settled in Massachusetts after three years in a refugee camp in Indonesia. While she left her life and family in Iran behind, she brought with her many skills, including an incredible creativity and talent for sewing. I was so fortunate to meet her at this moment, and she has been working with me to manage growing orders at Cheeky Monkey Home ever since. After this eye-opening experience, I began the Sew@Home program to support all of Cheeky Monkey’s operations—committed to training, mentorship and providing work for women in need who seek flexible work from home.
After an early career in museum administration, I was drawn back to the studio to pursue my artistic passions. As a new mother, I found a gap in the marketplace for unique children’s décor, and thus began painting murals and sewing pillows for young families and kids.
The idea for Cheeky Monkey Home was sparked by an old set of floor cushions that my toddler boys played with every day. Seeing how intrinsic (and threadbare) these cushions became in fort-building and jumping games, I was inspired to reinvent them in durable fabric with fun designs.
Soon thereafter, I met the founder of a wool felt company and learned about the amazing qualities of wool felt (durable, fade resistant, eco-friendly and gorgeous) and knew this was the perfect material for my pillows and floor cushions. This was the start of Cheeky Monkey Home, which launched in 2012 with a small line of unique pillows and floor cushions-- using felt applique in endless color combinations and design themes.
Today, we continue to perfect our design and applique technique—drawing on the endless inspiration found in traditional crafts and cultures from around the world, and in the everyday beauty of coastal New England, right in our own backyard.