By Nick Eustis
Pittsburgh Current Contributing Writer
Located in the heart of Green Tree, craft supply store Brutus Monroe is a craftmaker’s paradise, replete with paper, paint, glitter of every color, along with many other products. Founder and creative director Christopher Cropp opened the craft supply store in 2016, which manufactures and sells Cropp’s own line of craft products, as well as third party products.
What inspired you to open Brutus Monroe?
I worked for another craft company and I was never really satisfied with selling someone else’s products. Anytime there were questions about other people’s products, I could never answer them because they weren’t my own. So I went out on a limb and started designing a couple of things, created a couple of products, and opened our first office a little over two years ago.
We realized that we were growing very, very quickly, so we opened up our new 8,000 square foot facility. Now we can have all of our products here, as well as our offices, as well as fulfillment. It just kind of snowballed!
Why did you decide to locate in Green Tree?
I grew up right down the street, very familiar with Green Tree. I’ve worked in Green Tree when I was younger, in high school and college. This space was just always so cool, it was a floral shop when I was growing up in Green Tree. Never in a million years did I think that this building would be where my business is, but now it is.
What inspired the business’ name?
It’s actually named after my late dog. He was a rescue dog and his name was Brutus when I got him, and I gave him the middle name Monroe. When I was naming the business, I didn’t want to name it after me, everyone names things after themselves, so I used his name. It just kind of caught on, because Brutus is obviously very masculine, and Monroe is extremely feminine. The name caught people’s interest because the name “Brutus Monroe” is very unique and different.
Have you had any particularly memorable or crazy projects come in?
We’re very fortunate because we manufacture things here as well, so with our manufacturing and fulfillment, there’s never really a project that’s too strange. I can think up something crazy at 10 a.m. and we have it ready for production by noon. There’s never been a task or a project that’s too weird. Weird is fun here!
What are your plans for the future?
We’re always talking about expansion. We’ve grown exponentially since we moved to this space. When I first walked into this building, I thought there was no chance we would fill it up. We would never ever be able to make this place look like a full storefront, but as you can see, it’s filled up very quickly.
Now that we’re moving more into the manufacturing side of it, we are going to need to expand at some point. We’re always gonna have this space, I’ve always said we’ll never let go of this location, but we’ll probably have to expand to something next door or very close by for our manufacturing.