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Shop Talk :: The Felt Menagerie

This week we’re talking to Mel from Folksy shop The Felt Menagerie

“The Felt Menagerie! – needle felted birds and gifts”

Felt bird Felt bird Felt bird Felt bird Felt bird

These needle felted birds are wonderful.  Mel has created a really fantastic shop with great product shots.  They make lovely gifts all year round but these little birds (especially the robins with Father Christmas hats) make lovely Christmas decorations.

The felt menagerie

Could you describe your shop?

I make and sell needlefelted birds, needle felting is a dry felting process which turns piles of fluffy stuff in to cute critter using only a barbed needle, lots of patience and a Big imagination! My shop is an Emporium of cute!

Who does your Folksy shop appeal to?

Most of my customers are female, probably the cute factor, but of all ages. Bird lovers and people who keep pet birds are big felty fans too.

Christmas Robin decoration

Is this your day job?

I run 2 shops Feltmeupdesigns and Inkmeup (http://www.folksy.com/shops/Inkmeup) but I also work in a bookshop to help pay the bills and to keep me in touch with reality. I did try leaving my day job recently but found I wasn’t ready yet so settled for decreasing my hours… so now I work 3 days at the book shop and 4 on my businesses… so I guess my businesses are my day job now!

Have you been into craft and the handmade lifestyle for long?

I grew up in a crafty family, my mum and dad have been doing craft fairs for years but I only really started making craft my career about 4 years ago. My business is only online at the moment but I have fond memories of travelling the country on weekends to sit in draughty tents and muddy fields selling my mum’s bears! I loved it, I think when I was 10 I thought I was a Gypsy because of all the travelling!

Where do you promote and sell your stock?

Facebook and Twitter (@feltmeupdesigns), I also occasionally use Project wonderful and I hand out business cards like candy!

Do you have plans to expand your business in the future?

The eventual goal is to quit my bookshop job, but I know I am not ready yet, I am currently thinking about learning to drive so I can take the feltmeup/inkmeup show on the road and do craft fairs… but for now I have all I can handle juggling 2 shops and a day job!

Lets get crafting

Visit Mel’s blog to learn more about her crafting – Felt me up designs

What advice would you give to someone thinking about opening up a shop here on Folksy?

Have patience… you need to build your network and promote in other venues off folksy if you are going to be successful. The best, best thing you can do though is to focus on your craft, keep improving your work, develop new lines and designs, work on your photography… or if you suck with a camera (like me!) buy some cheap photo editing software and learn how to use it so your product images are the best they can possibly be.

Folksy is your shop window, the better it looks the more chance you have of luring a customer in!

We’d love to hear your comments!

Get in touch and let us know who you would like to see interviewed in our Shop Talk series, or if you have an idea for an article you’d like to see on the Folksy Blog – hilary@folksy.co.uk

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Brenda Cumming December 1, 2010 - 7:21 am

fabulous work…..I do needlefelting too and it is very time consuming but fun….well done

Victoria December 1, 2010 - 9:37 am

Beautiful work, I love how cute your photos are! They all have such character.

Natasha Hutchison (Modiste) December 1, 2010 - 10:13 am

Amazing robins…my son would love a name sake in felt – one for the stocking perhaps

Pipkyn December 5, 2010 - 7:32 pm

I love these!

I’m a big fan of birds and this felting is just beautiful. Great tips too, I’m really new to on-line selling and I’ve quickly realised it needs a lot of patience and focus too!

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