I saw a photo on Facebook around Christmastime, of this adorable little critter and . . . I fell in love! (Sorry, honey, I am now devoted to this whimsical little creature . . . but can you blame me?)
I immediately checked out the Etsy shop that sells these beautiful little things: Bossy’s Feltworks. I just had to find out more about the folks who make such whimsical creations.
Three moms and artists–Kari, Amy, and Mandy–run a needle-felting cooperative on Orcas Island, a 57-square mile creative Eden north of Seattle in Washington state.
I think I want to go visit this magical creative place, Bryan. Like, yesterday. Growing up in windy, land-locked Nebraska, I’ve always harbored (“harbored,” *snort*) a fascination for island living. I place the blame firmly on the shoulders of the author Robert McCloskey–the author of such delightful books as Blueberries for Sal, Make Way for Ducklings, A Time of Wonder, and One Morning in Maine, for this nagging yearning.
Who says that the books you read when you are a kid don’t change your life, or shape your thinking*? But that’s entirely another post. 🙂
When their children were very small, three creative ladies started getting together and making these little creatures out of felted wool. A business was born, in the loveliest way–around the kitchen table, amidst cups of hot tea and with plenty of conversation and laughter and children.
And on a beautiful island. *sigh* Out in the sea, Bryan. That kind of an island. The very kind I love.
I contacted Kari of Bossy’s Feltworks and she graciously answered my questions, and offered an adorable chicken on a nest pincushion for a giveaway (stay tuned to enter!).
First, tell me about “Bossy,” and your inspirations to start this business.
Our influences have been beautiful children’s books by artists such as Patricia Polacco, and Alice and Martin Provensen, and the many delightful requests of customers young and old. We also must give a nod to the beloved critters in our own lives, which include dogs, cats, chickens, ducks, horses, sheep, and most recently cows! The “Bossy” in Bossy’s Feltworks refers to Bossy the sheep, who for many years was the “matron” of the Lum family’s flock.
How did you get started in this business?
Once upon a time, Kari and Mandy were looking for creative work from home, and Amy had a basement full of raw wool from her sheep. They took on those bags of wool and learned to wash, card, dye and felt. The learning curve was steep and often entertaining. All this while a posse of small children and critters whirled around the kitchen table. A small and thriving business was born.
Tell me a little more about Bossy’s Feltworks.
Over the last nine years, Bossy’s Feltworks has grown and evolved right alongside our families. We have a booth at our local Farmer’s Market for five months of the year. We run our Etsy shop year round, with a focus on the holidays. We also attend a couple of craft shows each year and dabble in wholesale. We are loving teaching workshops here on the island. And we’ve graduated from the kitchen table. We have a small studio just outside of town that is a clubhouse, shipping station, and work space.
Now a selfish question: I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of living on an island. What’s it like?
It’s true that you must be deliberate about choosing to live on a 54 square mile rock in the ocean. The island offers an “alternative” lifestyle that our families have each embraced. We love knowing our neighbors, our shopkeepers, our farmers. A trip to the grocery store can take on a life of its own as you bump into one friend after another. The scenery is spectacular, and you are more likely than not to see eagles, deer and other wildlife on any given day. There are no malls, no fast food–no stop lights, even. And yes, there is no place we would rather be.
Sounds dreamy to me.
Looks dreamy to me.
What plans do you have, for the growth of your business?
We’ve been fortunate to have lots of opportunities to grow our business. And we’ve said no to most of them! With each potential growth spurt, we ask ourselves: Is this good for our families? Is this good for our friendship? Is this good for our business? We’ve continuously reassessed and reconfigured, with a “Bossy Summit” each June. So we might do a book, or kits, or more workshops- when the time is right. Or we might not. We’re taking it as it comes.
In the meantime, we know this: Bossy’s is our favorite job. Ever.
The nice ladies at Bossy’s Feltworks generously agreed to do a giveaway with me! So, Gentle Readers, you are in luck today. This is what they will send you, if you win: this adorable pincushion.
But you can’t win, unless you enter! Jump in and enter now, using the widget below. It couldn’t be easier, and hey, you can enter every day with two of the options. Just think how much your mama would love this little chicken pincushion . . . or your sister . . . or maybe you’d just like to keep it for yourself. 🙂
P.S. This giveaway is only open to residents of the U.S.
Enchanted? Read more:
♥ Join Bossy’s Facebook page for fun updates and new products.
♦ Here’s Bossy’s website with even more details.
Hey You! Thanks for reading, honestly, I just love you for it!
*P.S. Thanks, Mom and Dad, for making sure that we had great books around to read, when we were kids, including all those books by Robert McCloskey. *hugs*
- “Pecos Bill” at the Warren Opera House in Friend
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