From Sadness to Syd: Ellen Atkins' Improbable Journey from Corporate-World Boredom to Suburban-Monk Booming
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NEWARK, N.J., Aug. 10, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Ellen Atkins ditched corporate success for a crazy sojourn, and ultimately replaced her sadness … with Syd.

"I was living, but I was in my 50s and didn't really know how to be alive," says Atkins, founder and CEO of The Suburban Monk. "Then a cute little statue wearing a mop and sunglasses showed me how to be truly happy for the first time in my life. Syd became my cheerleader."

A successful CPA for almost 30 years, today Atkins is the driving force behind the burgeoning company selling a unique and inspirational collectible: "Syd".The Suburban Monk's portly persona, Syd – an androgynous moniker for Siddhartha Gautama, the original Buddha – is a jolly monk statue with a big belly, bigger smile and enough magic to spread larger-than-life happiness and blossom into an international phenomenon.

Since Atkins applied its finishing touches in 2012, Syd has grown exponentially by channeling the comforting companionship of Castaway's "Wilson" and the fun, whimsical spirit of Elf on a Shelf. The Suburban Monk offers a knick-knack "Little Syd" in 14 meaningful colors, a "Big Syd'' perfect for homes and gardens, and a 4.5-foot tall, 65-pound "Monumental Syd", perfect for gracing parks, yoga studios and the lobby of children's hospitals.

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Syd has spread its infectious, unique and universal spirituality to happy customers in 35 countries.

"I made it my mission to find my happiness, to find my calling," Atkins says. "Syd is it. Now I want to see Syd in as many places as possible. The possibilities are endless, because Syd brings a smile to every face that sees him."

Despite her thriving corporate career, happy marriage and vibrant family, Atkins wasn't smiling – much less laughing – in 2007.

"From the outside, it looked like I had everything," she says. "But I had this constant internal nagging, this yearning to do something else that really, truly made me happy. I finally admitted that life wasn't my answer."

In September of that year she quit her job, without a logical explanation or a hint of a Plan B.

"I gave up my whole identity," Atkins says. "I was Alice in Wonderland, falling down the rabbit hole."

Delving into meditation and manifestation, Atkins ultimately earned an awareness of little things that made her happy. A quote here. A color there. And, yes, a statue of a jolly monk that immediately prompted a smile. Soon she ordered several and began adorning them – via duct-tape –with motivational quotes, mops for hair or even silly sunglasses.

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"They always cheered me up," she says. "Reminded me to enjoy life. It was a fun diversion that became a hobby and then a passion."

Atkins discovered her own happiness. Now she's committed to sharing her story and Syd's spirit.

"You can say that I made Syd," Atkins says. "But the truth is that Syd made me."

Inspired and spawned by the nagging, internal unfulfillment of successful CPA Ellen Atkins in 2010, The Suburban Monk – led by its portly persona, "Syd" – has blossomed into an international phenomenon. Today there is knick-knack "Little Syd" that comes in 14 colors, "Big Syd" which is perfect for homes and gardens, and 4.5-foot tall, 65-pound "Monumental Syd", perfect for parks, yoga studios and the lobby of children's hospitals. As Syd spreads its infectious, unique and universal spirituality to happy customers in 35 countries, Atkins is continuing her journey through peace and joy.

Media Contact:
Michelle J Lamont
[email protected]

SOURCE Ellen Atkins

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