Creating felt wearable art is far more than just creating something beautiful to wear. It has the ability to transform people, start conversations for the wearers and make the wearer reflect their unique personality and feel amazing. After I first met felt and fiber arts as an organic farm volunteer on Vermont Grand View sheep farm and B&B, I knew this art was going to be a big part of my future.
After I completed my year of farming, I faced a huge cross road in my life regarding my profession. I could go back into my former career in Public Relations and Marketing which was very enjoyable and successful. Or, I could do what I loved most. I could do that one thing that I was so crazed and excited about, it literally kept me up at night. But, could I make a living off of this passion? Could I live the life of an artist, spending endless hours on art pieces that I had no idea people would even buy!?
Over a few months, as I contemplated my path, there were many influential people who offered me their wisdom and encouragement. I spoke with a local fiber artist at the Boise Capitol Saturday Market who had sold her woven shawls for decades. Perplexed about my life direction, I asked her, “Is it worth it to do what you do and can I do it?” She replied “You will never know if you can do it until you try. Just do your best and it will sell.”
I took her advice and let me dreams take flight.
In July 2013, I committed to 6 months of selling my felt art. I drafted a business plan and set goals. If I met my goals by the New Year, I would continue my career in felting. If not, I was sure it’d be a great learning experience and I could do something else.
I was juried into the Boise Capital City Public Market in Idaho, one of the best Farmers Markets in the country hosting many accomplished local artists and farmers every Saturday along 6 blocks of downtown Boise. Thousands come to the market including locals and tourists. As I set up my first booth, EVER, of felt art, I was so proud of my collection of (maybe) 20 scarves and a few vests and blouses. The reactions from my booth visitors was overwhelming. Over 95% of those visiting my booth had never seen felt art before. They were in complete disbelief when I told them that this was all created without sewing, using the most ancient textile method of rubbing wool together with your hands, soap and water. My first day, I made several sales! I was beyond elated.
The months at market went on. I experienced 100 degree weather in the peak of summer and mounds of snow with 20 degree weather in winter. Surprisingly, wool sells better in 100 degrees than 20 degrees. Go figure.
I participated in other Boise art shows including Boise Art in the Park and out of town shows in Seattle, Washington and Sun Valley, Idaho. I met thousands of amazing people who have inspired and supported my work and fueled my passion for creating. Words cannot express my gratitude for each person I have met along the way and all of the life lessons I have gained. In the end, what gives me the most meaning and drive for creating are my customers.
Creating felt wearable art is far more than just creating something beautiful to wear. It has the ability to transform people, start conversations for the wearers and make the wearer reflect their unique personality and feel amazing. Many buy my work to celebrate important milestones in life such as overcoming cancer or losing weight. Most who buys my work have a special reason for buying it, as I have a special reason for creating it.
The New Year came and I exceeded my business goals. I continue my felt journey.
This year, I will continue selling my work at the local market in Boise and will also expand my audience in various corners of the United States. Stay tuned for details.