Today we’re going to meet Lynne of cozycottagecreations , or as we call her Cozy! And “cozy” perfectly describes her lovely felted wool creations…along with warm, delightful, and fun! See for yourself…
Tell us a little bit about yourself and how and when did you get started with arts and crafts?
My name is Lynne and I’m a stay-at-home Mommy to two little girls, ages almost-8 and almost-6. I have always gravitated towards anything that involves creating something new. I love making stuff! Like a lot of people here on Etsy and on the team, it was my kids who led me toward doing what I’m doing now. My business really began when my oldest was 3 and I enrolled in the parent-tot program at a nearby Waldorf School. A few weeks into the session the teacher passed out yarn and knitting needles to all of the mothers. She told us that with our knitting, we would be doing our work while our children did their work, which was to play. I fell in love with Waldorf Education right then and there. I had learned to knit at some point in my childhood and I was so thrilled to be picking it up again. When I finished my knitting project – a little kitty cat – I couldn’t wait to make other. Pretty soon I had two families of four cats (which, five years later, my girls still play with) and was looking for what else I could make. It didn’t take long to realize I wanted to create a business making things for children.
What is the main thing you make and sell in your store? What else do you make and/or sell?
I make items for children and their families out of wool. All of my items are felted using various techniques. My knitting led me to try felting what I had knit. That inspired me to embellish my items with needle felted designs. From there I began making needle-felted sculptured pieces. And eventually I delved into the exciting process of wet felting. Basically it’s been one big experiment followed by another big experiment. I have found that the more I explore what wool can do, the more there is to explore! I like to try new techniques and create products I think a naturally-minded family would want for their home and for their children.
Who if anyone has been instrumental in helping you hone your craft?
No one person in particular. I feel very inspired by the work of my fellow teammates. Being on the NaturalKids Team makes me always want to do my best work.
Also, I seem to be following in my grandmother’s (my mother’s mother) footsteps. She was incredibly creative and was always making something. One of the first times I had my mother to my house after I had felted something, I apologized for the wet-wool smell. She said, “Oh, I don’t mind it – it reminds me of when my mother used to make hooked rugs out of boiled wool”. I never knew my grandmother had done that.
Where do you get your inspiration?
Mainly from nature, and also from the desire to create a home filled with natural goodness. I remember as a child going to my grandparents (my father’s parents) house. My father would refer to this house as “the museum” because it was filled with treasures no one was allowed to touch. As much as I loved my grandparents, I’m wanting to give my kids more of a “hands on” childhood. And I feel it’s important to honor and nurture their spirits with products that are from or reflect the natural world.
What are your favorite materials?
Wool – I’m obsessed with it. To me it’s a magical material. It can transform into anything you want. It’s so important to me for my girls to know that from this pile of wool, anything can arise as long as you have the vision and patience to bring it to life.
What advice would you give other Etsy sellers and those interested in opening up a shop?
Well, basically to go for it. When I first started I had no idea where it would lead me. I had no idea if I’d have any sales. Now I have a bona fide business and a wonderful camaraderie with like-minded artisans. The experience has been ten-fold what I was looking for. And with that in mind, it does take work. You get out as much as you put in. You can’t expect to open up a shop and be carried along by Etsy. It’s very true here that the more you contribute, the more you get back.
What advice would you give to beginners in your main craft?
Experiment with your materials as much as you can. If you have something in mind you’d like to make, you’ll get there if you allow yourself some mistakes and to learn from them.
And thank you Cozy!