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Living Felt was born when our founder, Marie Spaulding, pursued a calling to help others learn how to felt what “they” wanted to make. Marie began felting around the turn of the century :), and fell in love with all manner of felting: needle felting, wet felting and nuno felting.  She was happy to felt and create what ever her heart desired, and teach others how to felt in her local area as well. But it was her desire to “share” felting that birthed “Living Felt”, the company. 

2002, Marie and Lira the Guardian Dragonfly.
Marie sent her off to a Handweavers Conference
and was surprised to receive her back with a blue ribbon.
It was her one of her first needle felted sculptures.

It all started with one little booklet, then another, then a kit, then another… until here we are today:  Living Felt is a leading supplier, manufacturer and education resource for all manner of felting in the United States, with friends and customers all over the world, we lovingly call them our BFFs :). We love sharing supplies, tutorials, and workshops for needle felting, wet felting, and nuno felting. Oh, and we LOVE seeing what YOU felt, and we love hosting workshops in our retail center, too! 
 
Our slogan, since our company’s birth, has always been:
Learn, Share, Teach, Create, Felt.

We love doing that and sharing that and empowering others to do the same! In fact, in our very early years,
we set a goal to Teach the world to Felt!  And we are having fun pursuing it!
 
 
Humble Beginnings
Our business started in a spare bedroom of the owners, Marie and Rodney Spaulding.
Well, really, it was Marie’s craft room…er uh, “studio” ?? OK, it was a spare bedroom, but it had no bed and LOTS of felting supplies. Marie held tiny classes for friends, but mostly she felted happily all by herself. Until one day, the teeny little needle felting yahoo! group she belonged to(it had whopping 14 members when she joined) had new members wanting to learn how to needle felt a miniature bear.   Cute little needle felt bears were just coming on the scene, and they were selling on ebay for around $150 each, and people really wanted to learn how to needle felt them.



At the time, Marie did not needle felt bears, but the teacher and creative explorer in her was excited to take on this challenge! Back then…way back in 2004, there was no “youtube”, (can you imagine?!)  and no camera phones (we are serious!),  so her bestie (and dear husband), Rodney Gene JR bought her their very first digital camera for her birthday. That first camera cost a lot for them, it was $200 from the local drug store, and for her, it was oh so fancy!  They didn’t even have the funds for the camera, so Rodney actually sold a piece of his music equipment to buy it.
 
Marie set out to needle felt the bear and photograph every single step.
Her first instruction booklet had over 70 step by step photos.
There was nothing else like it available - so they went like hot cakes!

Living Felt – previously Marie’s studio name, became Living Felt the company and started an ebay shop offering its very first product: Needle Felting a String Jointed Bear Instructions, download or snail mail for $10. Well that was the beginnings of many years of work, and joy and adventure to come. 

Circa 2005 ... large items still needed to be wet felted outside. Speedy (rip) hangs out in the sun.

In 2005, Marie was invited to put together a segment for HGTV Uncommon Threads.
She invited some friends that she met online in the North America Felter's Network. (no longer active)

In 2009, Marie shot her first youtube video with the help of her bestie and husband, Rodney Gene.

The business grew slowly and organically, making one new friend at a time. Our friends told us what they wanted us to teach or carry and we listened. By 2010 our need for products was overwhelming some of our suppliers, so it was time to go all in
and take over the manufacturing of some of our key products. In 2011, we launched our MC-1 Felting Batts, our signature line of felting wool designed for both wet felting and needle felting. (As of today, it comes in over 90 colors)

Manufacturing means bigger volumes, lots bigger, and that also meant
it was time to move out of the house, garage and storage unit!

 
a little glimpse into our first warehouse
 


 
Our First Holiday Needle Felting Ornament Party w/ a few friends


Megan Nedds taught her first ever workshop at our shop 
 
 
We leased our first commercial space with the goal of just housing our online orders. Marie still worked a full-time job (conveniently in the business park next door) and Rodney oversaw manufacturing, staff supervision, and daily operations
while she handled the marketing, product development, and accounting. 

In 2013 Marie left her corporate job and was able to dedicate all of her time to Living Felt. By 2014 we offered our first felting workshops and fiber art happy hours, and began inviting guest teachers to come and share their skills. 

We held our felting workshops and set up a little retail shop
in the same room as we packed orders,
it has always been known as “The Heart Room”.
 

  
In 2017 we launched our Live Show Wooly Wednesday, and that, along with our amazing group Living Felt Friends on facebook, brought us really, really close to our BFFs all over the world. Our guest teachers in the shop would then also be our guests on our live show. And we could share all manner of photos and stories from our in person workshops. 

 
Joyce Hazlerig, a long time Living Felt BFF shared her needle felted dragons in the first year of our show

The whole show was "live" on Marie's phone
(hee -- hee! Thanks for sticking with us through all that!)

But our friends who could not travel due to time, or kids or finances had a bit of a feeling of “missing out”. Marie really understood this and empathized. During all the years of growing Living Felt, Marie could not travel either…. due to both time and money. 2012 was the first ever felting workshop Marie took; even though she had taught many herself. It was very memorable and fun, and a great learning experience and fun road trip. But trips can be expensive and not everyone has the time and money to do so. We really get it!
 
 
Dawn Edwards ecoprint workshop

 
Wet felting hats workshop with Kate Koprowski

 

  Needle Felting Pet Portraits Workshop with Dani Ives
 
 
Building Our New Home
By 2019, Living Felt grew out of its leased commercial space, (actually…we had way outgrown it and felt a bit like sardines :), but Marie & Rodney had been planning for this, and they bought the company its own space. It was nothing more than a shell when they bought it… more like a “blank canvas”. 

Marie had been drafting floor plans (and daydreaming of this moment) for a great many years. They planned every inch of the space, specified every feature and fixture and made it happen. Together, they managed the entire process, and Rodney was on the building site and crew every single day until it was done. Within the building is our retail store, classroom, order fulfillment, warehouse, and a dedicated media studio, where our live broadcasts and the filming of our online classes take place.

This move not only gave Living Felt a new home, it helped make FeltingTutorials.com another dream on its way to coming true.
 
 
 
A blank canvas 

The real deal

 
 
 
Total poser :)


Marie & Rodney Gene Jr.,  two sides of the same coin
 
 
In July of 2019 we opened the doors of our brand new home, and began hosting our guest teachers and BFFs right away.
 
 
 
Getting ready for the doors to open July 2019

Peta Korb traveled over 10,000 miles to come back for a visit,
and gifted Marie her very own Aussie walk about hat.
 
 
The paint was barely dry when we hosted our first needle felting workshop in our new home with Kiyoshi Mino
 
 
We call it… Wooly Wonderland
 
 
Retail shop and creative center
 
 
Fall 2019 Open House
 
 
Open house guests, felting for the first time
 
 
Open house feast 
 
 
Pam de Groot wet felting workshop
 
 
Dawn Edwards nuno felt scarf class
 
 
Charity vd Meer nuno felt dress online workshop
 
 
Jean Gauger nuno felt shawl workshop
 
 
Kate Koprowski Felt Hat Workshop
 
 
Eva Camacho, nuno felt vest workshop
 
 
We feel so grateful and happy to be right here, right now: able to bring you fantastic felting workshops online and on demand.

These felting classes are taught by talented artists who are also generous enough to share their knowledge, product designs, tips and tricks. The online classes offer benefits that in person instruction cannot, such as, learning at your own pace, starting when YOU are ready, pausing, speeding up or freezing the lesson to see exactly the part your are focusing on. Plus, it is a lot more affordable than travel, food and lodging for a multi-day class. We DO hope you will come visit us in our retail space one day, and maybe even take an in person workshop, but until then, our mission of helping to unleash your creative genius through felting has birthed this resource:
Felting Tutorials.com Felting Tutorials for Everyone 

LF Fairies on the set of Wooly Wednesday
 
 
Our crew as of Christmas 2019
 
 
Marie Spaulding, in the studio
 
 
Every time you support your creativity by shopping at Living Felt, you also support many USA families, women in business, artists, students, the environment and of course you support our mission as a company to provide creative inspiration, exceptional products, unsurpassed customer care ... and to top it all off: you help to support the creative genius in everyone!
 
With our deepest gratitude we say, THANK YOU!!


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