Today, we bring you a giveaway from SouleMama Sponsor, Felt On The Fly . In Janet's words:
"Pure Merino Wool Felt for Sewing
and Crafting in an Abundance of 99 Colors. *THIS* is the good stuff!
Naturally environmentally friendly from a sustainable, renewable
resource. Certified safe and toxin-free. High quality pure wool felt
for a satisfying crafting experience."
SouleMama: Tell us about your background. What path led you to the work you do today?
Janet: Way back in 1998, I had the pleasure and good fortune to meet some ladies from Europe who were stitching tiny little stuffed animals for their children from a beautiful felt fabric the likes of which I’d never seen before. To this day I still recall with great clarity my ‘AHA!’ moment upon discovering this felt. Oh my goodness. It was simply….well…delicious! Eye candy for sure. The color. The texture. The weight and the hand. The European ladies laughed as I exclaimed my enthusiasm and curiosity and peppered them with questions. Pure merino wool felt – yes! 100% merino wool! I had to know where it came from. I wanted to know why I’d never seen such a fabulous felt. I wanted to know why it wasn’t being sold here in the USA. And I wanted that felt to be mine. Every single solitary color of it!
My simple little discovery that day led to quite an interesting quest for me. I began researching wool and wool felt. I researched the historical significance and the cultural impact of wool across the centuries and across the continents. I collected and compared wool felt from all over the world. I made amazing connections with people in countries I’ll most likely never visit. It’s been an incredible journey with lots of humbling life lessons along the way.
Researching the history of wool felt led to a greater understanding of art and craft in other parts of the world. It led to an enlightening realization about just how young our USA really is in comparison to Europe and Asia and how our own culture is largely driven by manufacturing and ready-made. I found the roots of handwork, a better understanding of the intricacies of stitching and how it was taught and used in long-ago times and far-away places…
It is inspiring for me, personally, to make available this truly environmentally friendly, toxin-free, high quality, pure wool felt that simply begs to be crafted into something wonderful. I've often said that selling this merino wool felt is similar to a performing a public service or an act of kindness! I didn't decide to sell this wool felt because I wanted or needed a job. My motivation was to share this valuable resource with other like-minded artists and crafters who appreciate the best materials and understand that when you commit your time and talent to a project, it makes sense to invest in quality. And along the way, this desire to share a beautiful resource has turned into the best kind of job I could imagine – the kind of job that doesn’t feel like ‘work’ at all!
Janet: The seeds of my business were planted long ago as I mentioned above. When my son was small, and with the new technology of the World Wide Web, I had just enough time to research and learn about wool. As my son grew and ventured further from the nest for longer periods of time, I realized that it would be a good thing to remember that motherhood wouldn't always be a full-time gig! My husband retired four years ago and took on many of the child-shuffling duties, dog-walking, grocery shopping, etc, allowing me more time to focus on my business in a more serious way. My son just graduated from high school and will soon be off to college. Yes, this nest is feeling empty already! That's something to celebrate, reflect upon, and even grieve just a little... and be grateful for this business that is going to sustain me through this transitional time with my son (it's tough having only one child!).
hindsight, at this ripe-ish age, I see that the path I've followed has
been a heart-felt and intuitive one. I never mapped it out, it wasn't
clearly laid, but rather it developed naturally and instinctively. I am
glad for the years I devoted exclusively to motherhood, I feel lucky to
have developed this business around something that held such appeal for
me, and I find a deep sense of satisfaction in calling upon all of my
life-learned skills to keep my business thriving.
SouleMama: Tell us what you envision and dream for the future of your business.
Janet: I'm planning to continue to collaborate with pattern designers to provide a variety of kits in my on-line shop. I always have new ideas for my Color Stories (the colorful groupings available in my shop) and plan to add more Color Stories in a more scheduled way. I'm also working on die-cut shape collections for a wide range of applications.
I plan to focus on a blog where I'll be posting tutorials and step-by-step 'how to's' with patterns that can be purchased from some very talented designers. In the spirit of supporting handmade, my motto is "Give someone a handmade item and you've given them a lovely gift. Teach someone to stitch or craft and you feed their creative soul for a lifetime". I'm hoping my future blog posts will help to teach and encourage the art of creating handmade.
I've been toying around with the idea of renting studio/shop space in my charming nearby downtown area. I would love the more social aspect of an open studio space, but the commitment to show up at set hours is a little intimidating! I always have new ideas percolating and with my son off to college soon I have even more motivation to keep myself busy. I am looking forward to the future and what it will bring my way!
For today's giveaway, Felt On The Fly is generously offering the following gift to TWO winners:
~ Felty's Signature Colors Sampler Set (a set of eighteen 6" x 8" sheets)!. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
To enter today's giveaway, please leave a comment (one entry per person, please) in today's post. I'll close comments by 8am EST on Monday, and announce the winners, chosen via Random Number Generator, shortly after. Comments closed. The winners are...
Oh, I love working with wool felt!! And Janet's felt is so beautiful! thanks for the opportunity!
Posted by: Jane@Buzzmills
My girls and I would have so much fun with these!
Posted by: MamaMaya
Thank you, Felt On The Fly!