How To Start Your Own Craft Brand – Introducing Christopher Alan and Brutus|Monroe

We love working with designers, makers and creatives who have their own style, product ideas and a desire to bring those ideas to life.  Christopher Alan Cropp (Yes that is his name, how cool is that??) the founder and creator of the Brutus|Monroe Collection has a very unique style and is living the American Dream of starting your own business and making things happen.  He answers to Christopher Alan, so if you are looking for him out there, that’s how you find him.  He is overflowing with product ideas, loves inventing new things, trying new things and enjoys teaching and telling everyone about them on his social media network and one-on-one.

Christopher Cropp

Christopher demonstrating some of his newest paper designs and ink colors.

What do you do when you have an idea and are encouraged by others to bring it to market?  You do your homework like Christopher did.  He saw a few voids in the market, especially when it came to inks, so he started by researching other inks on the market to see if his idea was truly unique and if it did indeed fill a void in the market. He discovered that it did so he began reaching out to different manufacturers to see if what he wanted could be done and he found a match.  He then began to think about items that complimented the inks, so he started gathering art and bringing the concepts to life that he envisioned in his line, bringing the entire concept to life and he never gave up. 


One of the key components of bringing a new idea to life is having the passion for your product, collection, or brand.  That passion drives you in so many ways and keeps you focused on another important element: the vision.  Where you see your product going is your vision and Christopher clearly did this.  “I wanted to create a unique offering of stamps, inks, and craft products that were different than anything else on the market,” he stated. “Things that ignite my creativity and my excitement make it so easy to demonstrate, design, and sell the products.”  Christopher has a clear idea of the types of designs that he feels fit under the Brutus|Monroe product line and when the ideas are too far off of the vision he changes them or eliminates them.  Sometimes this is hard to do, but critical when bringing an idea or line to market.

While crafting with his Aunt Virg as a young person, Christopher was always trying new things, pushing the envelope of what could be done and looking for new ways to use things.  “Create your own ending” is the mantra for the products and collection and the quote is used often.

Create your own ending screen print

One area he felt had a void was inks that were used for stamping, mixed media, and other craft projects.  Sure there are a lot out there, but he felt they could be better…an ink that would adhere to any surface, hold a beautiful color and had uses beyond simply for stamping a design.  

Brutus Monroe Inks

Clever packaging and branding is the key to bringing a product line to life.

So he set out with the encouragement of others to find what he was looking for and sure enough he did it.  The inks not only do what he hoped, but he is discovering new things it will do all the time.  To learn more about the different ink pads available, visit

Brutus Monroe handmade card

Create Your Own Ending

If you have have inks, you might as well have Brutus Monroe stamps, but not just any stamps…something unique, something different, something fresh, something people want to add to their stamp collection.  Christopher created a line of stamps that range in size and design and are perfect for card making, paper crafting, mixed media, scrapbooking, art journaling and more.  The themes and designs are fresh, seasonal and fun to work with.  Not only are the designs strong, but Christopher loves to show fun ways to use them, especially on Periscope (@ChristopherAln) where he can be found often showing new ideas.

Brutus Monroe Craft Products

Here is a sneak peek into Christopher’s Demo Box – oh the creativity that comes from within.

What else to add to the line to make it a true collection…how about something to stamp on?  That is where Canvas Corp Brands steps in.  Christopher contacted us with an excitement to bring papers and surfaces into the line that were a compliment to his current products.  We took Christopher’s ideas and direction and helped to bring products to life that not only solved a need, but also look like they just belong.  

Brutus Monroe Paper Packs

Uniquely designed paper pads that coordinate with the Brutus|Monroe collection.

Here are a few of the items that we developed together:

Natural Elements Paper Pad – ok so it might be a little simple and a bit boring, but you have to have that as a base when starting something new before all the color and cool stuff is added.

Brutus Monroe Natural Elements Pad

Don’t forget the basics – they are always important

Mixed Elements Paper Pad – these fun 6×6 pads are all curated by Christopher with a vision and then gathering and creating art to meet that vision.  No two are alike and each one has a special assortment of designs, prints and unique elements that are like getting a gift for the creative one.  

Brutus Monroe Papers

Adult Coloring with Brutus|Monroe

You might not know it but these papers are prefect for foiling, this was found out by accident and what a happy mistake!  You can color the art in like above or mist them for an ombre look.

Brutus Monroe Papers with embossing ink

Embossing Ink looks amazing on these papers.

One unique thing that Christopher does is create quick in and out products that are not around for long.  You can see on the site the pads that are already sold out.  So staying in tune with the releases is a great idea with this collection.  

Screen Shot 2016-08-03 at 11.04.56 AM

Chalk Shimmer Sprays – the Brutus|Monroe inks are so versatile but they don’t do what a mist paint can do.  We worked with Christopher to create a chalk shimmer product that is semi-opaque and matches his seasonal ink collections so well.  Using the Chalkboard Mist formula from Tattered Angels and adapting it to work for this collection was so much fun to do.  These 1 ounce bottles can be misted from the applicator or open them up and dip in a brush to watercolor or fill in stamped or printed art.  The chalk shimmer paints are the same color pigment and have coordinating mica to add a touch of shine.  The are stunning when misted or watercolored.  

Chalk Shimmer Sprays

Coordinating Chalk Shimmer Sprays and Inks work terrific together.

New 12×12 Papers (coming soon to the website) – Vintage Textiles – these new papers are so fun to work with. Doodle art that is ready to be inked, misted, watercolored, cut out, folded, die cut, etc. Okay, so you can do anything with them!  There are 12 papers to kick off the line, printed on white heavy duty cardstock. He is offering an assortment of 2 each of the designs to create a pack of 24 total pieces.  

Adult Coloring paper by Brustus Monroe

Color in the art your way!!

Christopher is on the road a lot doing demos, classes, trade shows and more.  If you are interested in booking him to come to your store or event email him at

Brutus Monroe Classes

In class with Christopher

You can find the entire collection of Brutus|Monroe products in The Brutus Monroe shop .  

brutusmonroe kit

Along with his everyday and special releases, Christopher also offers a Monthly Stamp Membership where you will get a stamp each month with a free digital cut file and also a special seasonal collection that ships 4 times a year. If you are interested in joining the kit club send us an email –

Brutus Monroe Wholesale

Create you own display with the entire collection.

We love working with makers and designers to help bring their dreams to life.  Each vision is unique, each product mix their own, and each has something special to offer.  For those who have not met Christopher, we are glad to introduce him and his product line Brutus|Monroe through the blog, but please check out his website, follow him on Instagram – BrutusMonroe, BrutusMonroe on Facebook and find him on Periscope at @ChristopherAln.  

Brutus Monroe Papers and Chalk Inks

Start with the basics and let the color fly!!!

Here is a great video interview of Christopher Alan by Shannon Green that will give you a bit more insight into how Christopher’s creative mind works.

Happy Creating!!!


Canvas Corp Brands is the home of Tattered Angels, 7Gypsies and Canvas Corp (Canvas Home Basics). We are a manufacturer of surfaces, paint and vintage reproductions coming to you from Springdale, Arkansas.

'How To Start Your Own Craft Brand – Introducing Christopher Alan and Brutus|Monroe' has 1 comment

  1. August 13, 2016 @ 11:01 am Melissa Fromm

    I have been a fan of Christopher for a long time. Thank you for sharing this!!


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This blog is a compilation of inspiration from the Canvas Corp Brands family including Canvas Corp, Tattered Angels and 7Gypsies.