Nitia Musico is the owner of Rugs & Stuff in Denison, but is finding her current shop on Main Street is quickly being taken over by a variety of “little monsters.” So quickly, in fact, that she’s separated half her shop into Monsters on Main, creating an entryway of colorful, quirky fun that delights children and adults alike.
Musico was born in Beaumont, TX, and moved to Nigeria as a newborn, where she spent her early childhood. At the age of eight, she travelled to England to attend boarding school. She went on to attend Bradford Art College (located in an old textile mill) to complete her BA (HONS) degree in furniture and textiles. Due to health issues, she took a yearlong break from college but was fortunate enough to apprentice with a furniture maker who taught her everything about frame making and upholstery.
“My parents were always very supportive of my creativity,” Musico said, “and I consider myself very lucky to have gone to a high school which allowed me the opportunity to pursue my interests and encouraged work in all techniques and mediums. (I was) helped and encouraged by some excellent teachers.”
Less than six months after graduating, Musico came back to Texas. She interviewed with various designers, furniture stores and other creative business people who all suggested she create her own business so she could continue making children’s furniture, the niche she was focused on at the time. But with no money, Musico became a nanny until she was settled and able to start her own business.
At Rugs & Stuff, she currently works with designers who focus on new multi-family complexes, with projects that include many communal areas. She oftens makes custom upholstered furniture, built-in seating areas, upholstered walls, cushions, pillows and headboards. These projects usually leave her with a wide variety of remnants typically too small for larger upholstery projects.
“Throughout my life I have always used remnants to make things,” she said. “I actually made my first monster at about the age of six from my mother’s scraps of fabric. I prefer the brighter, simple, non-specific toys that bring out the imagination in all of us.”
While making monsters is not really a new project for her, sharing them with the public is. Last October, she decided to make them for her window display for Denison’s annual Monsters on Main trick-or-treat event.
“The response was incredible — I couldn’t make enough of them,” Musico said with a laugh.
Since then, she has been challenged to keep up with the demand. She wants people to be able to have several to choose from and with a never-ending supply of remnants, they will always be unique and limitless in creation. Busy with her other projects, time is her only enemy, as she can’t make them fast enough.
“I just love all my shelves full of fabrics. I see the colours and patterns and I just want to put them together to make something,” Musico said. “Unfortunately, most pieces aren’t actually big enough to make pillows or cover a piece of furniture, so the monsters are perfect to be able to use up my fabrics and share the joy I feel.”
Denison is focusing on making their town a travel destination, and Musico feels her monsters have a part to play in this. Monsters on Main touts itself as “the only store in the country that takes designer fabric remnants and upcycles them into the cutest, most creative, funky monsters in Texas.” Rightfully so, as she was recently featured on The Texas Bucket List, a weekly syndicated television program.
For now, she wants her store to be full of all things monster. She is focusing on using remnants, which keeps yards of fabric out of landfills, and helps her to make unique monsters. She is also bringing in more monster-related items with her style (non-scary, quirky, happy, googly-eyed creatures) including books, tattoos, stickers, cards, key chains and even lollipops. She even plans on having holiday specials like Easter baskets in the near future. Everyone will be able to leave her store with something pertaining to monsters. The monsters, she says, aren’t just for kids— in fact, she’s sold more to adults who keep them for themselves.
“I want everyone to feel the happiness I get from my monsters,” she said.“There is something about them— they just seem more sophisticated and can happily fit into your living room decor without seeming like a toy.”
Monsters on Main is located at 408 W. Main Street in Denison. You can also find them on Facebook (@monstersonmainn) and Instagram @monstersonmain. She has new monsters published weekly and accepts messages for purchasing and customization by email at email@example.com. Everyone is always welcome to the store, as many items available for purchase are not yet available online.