One day I was home sick in fourth grade I decided I wanted to learn to knit, right then and there. My mom must have taken pity on sick little me, because shortly after that a skein of yarn and a set of knitting needles appeared and she taught me how to knit.
And then I didn’t knit again for another 10 years when I was in college. For the next 12 or so years I would pick up knitting needles on and of for years, accruing quite the collection of yarn and needles, starting dozens of projects and finishing about 1/5 of them.
One year my mom bought me a book of beautiful felted projects. I LOVED looking through that book, imagining all the things I could whip up. Handbags and sweaters, scarves and mittens. The possibilities were endless! And guess how many projects I actually made in that back?
Zero. Zip. Nada.
Clearly, all things related to knitting and felting are not for me. BUT, that’s not to say I don’t appreciate them. In fact, you will often finding me ooohing and ahhhing over all things made with yarn, including the work by today’s featured maker, Sharon of the Felterie. Sharon makes the most adorable tiny hand-knitted and felted bowls, perfect for holding onto your odds and ends.
How did you get started making felted bowls?
After I taught myself to knit, I quickly fell in love with it and began knitting scarves and hats for all my relatives and friends. Eventually, I ran out of people to give my creations so I started attempting other knitting projects. I learned how to felt wool from a book and discovered that knitting and felting bowls was really fun and not as time consuming as, say, knitting a blanket or sweater. I’ve made over 1500 bowls to date, and still love making them!
What is the story behind your shop’s name?
I spent months trying to come up with a name for my shop, because I didn’t like the name I initially used. I finally decided on the Felterie because it is fairly descriptive of what I am making, and I like the sound of it.
What do you like most about having your own creative business? What do you find most challenging?
I like being able to dictate every aspect of my business – from the hours I work to what I make. I find it challenging when I have periods of not selling much – I always stress out that I have suddenly lost all relevancy and will never make another sale again. Also, I would love to have more time to work on my business, and sometimes find it challenging to pick and choose one project over another when I want to make so much more than what I have time to make.
What inspires you to create?
I’ve always loved to make things. I think it’s because of the way I was raised. My siblings are both very artistic, and my mom and grandmother are as well. We had some awesome craft projects when we were little, and would always proudly display our tie-dyed shirts, friendship bracelets, and homemade decorations. I always get my inspiration in nature – there are so many beautiful things out there!
What do you think motivates others to buy handmade?
I think that people like purchasing handmade items because they know that someone put a lot of thought, heart, and intent into their work, and it is more meaningful and personal than something that is mass-produced.
What is your favorite handmade item you have bought or received?
I have two – When I was little, my mom (she’s got her own shop too, now) sewed me this enormous stuffed little girl doll that was bigger than I was. I adored that doll! More recently, though, I purchased a mug from BackBayPottery on Etsy, and I love starting out my morning with a cup of coffee in that mug. I loathe washing dishes by hand (I’m a bit of a germaphobe), but will make an exception so I can use that mug every morning!
When you are not working on your business, what do you like to do with your time?
I have two little kids, so I don’t really have enough time for my business as it is, so I really cherish the time that I have to knit, sew, or embroider. Besides that, I really love to be outdoors, and love to garden and go hiking. Also, I’m an avid reader and love to read or listen to audiobooks as much as I can.
What is something people might not know about you?
That I have a completely irrational fear of frogs!
What is one piece of advice you would offer to others with their own creative business?
I think that it’s really important to sell items that you LIKE to make, and not try to create something that you think will sell, because the ultimate goal is to be happy, right? I believe that if you put your heart into a project, that it really shows in the finished product, and that there will be people out there who will really appreciate the love and passion that went into it.
[Tweet “Sharon of @theFelterie makes beautiful #handmade felted bowls for your home! #homedecor”]
Thanks for joining me on my blog, Sharon, and be sure to check out her shop!