While Elita Caldwell said she enjoyed her time as a school administrator, she wanted to be able to spend more time with her two young children than her career allowed.
That desire, along with an interest in consignment, led Caldwell to taking ownership of The Funky Monkey in Friendswood.
“I’ve always loved consignment,” she said. “I just like the nature of consignment: getting good, quality things and then being able to use them again.”
The Funky Monkey opened about 13 years ago, Caldwell said, and had two previous owners before she bought the store in June 2013. Caldwell had been a longtime consigner at the business.
Previous ownership focused much of the store’s space on consignment, but Caldwell decided to divide the storefront to make more room for boutique gifts and clothing.
“People in this area are looking for new, novel gifts that are under $25 that they can give for any occasion,” Caldwell said. “That’s kind of the field that we’ve gone into.”
The Funky Monkey features upscale clothing for children and women, including maternity wear. The store also sells designer purses, baby supplies and children’s furniture.
After rolling out new boutique items last December, Caldwell expects a defining holiday shopping season this year. She said the store offers a wide variety of gifts under $25 that can be customized for people of all ages.
Owning a Friendswood business not only allows Caldwell to be closer to her children but also gives her the opportunity to get to know customers in the community to hear feedback. Caldwell said she thinks of specific customers when she is at the market looking for new items to carry at The Funky Monkey.
“I love having a store here,” she said. “We’re close to everything that’s going on, so I’m able to hear what people are saying locally and what they want us to bring in.”
As a former school administrator, Caldwell said she has an affinity for education. To continue helping children in the city, Caldwell partners with Friendswood ISD to participate in a workforce training program for special-needs students.
The Transition Center allows special-needs students ages 18 to 22 who have completed high school requirements to work at small local businesses to prepare them for the general workforce. Caldwell said she meets with teachers and the program director to form a list of duties suited for the students.
Caldwell said the training program has helped some participants find jobs elsewhere.
“The more the community can find out about [the Transition Center], the better the program does, the better the community does and the better the businesses do,” she said.
607 S. Friendswood Drive, Ste. 27, Friendswood
281-996-5007 • thefunkymonkeyfriendswood.com
Hours: Mon.-Thu. 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Fri. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-4 p.m.