It started with a boat motor lamp. When Lamp Monkey owner Lee Kendrick first laid eyes on a lamp made from an old boat motor, he thought, “I can build that.”
Despite his lack of experience in welding, crafting or electrical work, Kendrick said he spent the next few weeks toiling away in his garage to build a similar lamp.
“If you know me, once it’s on my brain, it’s done,” Kendrick said.
Building rustic lighting fixtures quickly became Kendrick’s hobby, but when the hobby began taking over his family’s garage, Kendrick’s wife suggested he sell his creations. Kendrick founded Lamp Monkey in 2012 and began selling his industrial yet urban lighting fixtures, furniture and home decor at nearby trade shows.
As the sole designer and creator at Lamp Monkey, Kendrick said he strives to turn ordinary items—such as vehicles, old bicycles and fans—into one-of-a-kind pieces. Popular items include couches from tailgates and tables from old bikes.
“I like the reaction that people have whenever they … see something that has been in front of them their whole life, but they never thought about it in that way,” he said.
In June 2017, Kendrick purchased a historic building in Humble to be his showroom and workshop, and two months later Hurricane Harvey hit. Although the storm did not flood the showroom, he said it slowed the build-out because costs skyrocketed.
“We couldn’t find any workers, and if you could, their prices were super high because you’re competing with insurance companies,” he said.
After two years of slow-moving renovations, Kendrick opened his showroom in downtown Humble on June 28. Local residents can shop the showroom floor, which currently opens the first weekend of every month, or place a custom order.
Kendrick, who is a Humble native, said he would like to see the showroom be open every weekend to the Humble community in the future.
“I would like to see Lamp Monkey become a major fixture in Humble,” Kendrick said. “I hope Humble takes us in and we really become part of the community.”
114 N. Ave. A, Humble
Hours: Fri.-Sun. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on the first weekend of each month, or by appointment only