Success Stories – Feel Felt
I found this beautiful range of laptop and device covers while browsing Etsy and loved the aesthetic, textures and simplicity of the designs. I had to find out more about the makers of Feel Felt, Karolis and Milda and their journey from idea to full-time creative entrepreneurs. The couple are beautiful and are on the same page with their entire business which makes for a happy synergy and some incredible beautiful products.
Can you take us on the journey of your creative career path so far?
Feel Felt was born just before my twentieth birthday – I got a new a laptop and wanted a case to protect it from scratches, so I started sketching designs. Then on the morning of my birthday, Karolis surprised me with a wool and leather case, which he had made based on my sketches.
After receiving lots of compliments from friends and strangers, we borrowed some money from our family and started designing and producing more products.
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve overcome so far in your business?
Originally we had a lot to learn and understand.
During the experience, where each mistake costs money, everything we learned quickly. In the beginning buying the skin in large quantities was a challenge – we had to knock on the door of a huge factory and try to introduce ourselves as creatives, not crazy people who just passed by.
Being such “small and dummies” wasn’t easy to set up at such a good first impression, but with time even large leather selling corporations started to see us just as seriously as the Bentley car representatives who buys the skin in the same factory as and we do.
What has been the biggest ‘fist-pump’/successful moment for you so far?
Milda: It makes me happy when we receive ‘Thank you’ letters of Feel Felt owners.
When people evaluate our products, and leave comments, then my heart sings. Then it seems that you really are on the right path.
Karolis: The largest handicraft platform online in the world “Etsy” chose our shop and presented it as a “featured Etsy shop” and this spread the word about us to America and Canada.
This created even more advanced markets and opened the door to the world. Also we are very excited that ELLE magazine developed plans to put items in their blog.
Milda: Starting from the cases for phones and computers, we now have and backpacks, handbags and wallets.
I can see that our goods have become increasing favorites for buyers, and then creative inspiration comes and visits again.
Do you ever have doubts as to your future creative direction? Are there things you yearn to achieve, but haven’t yet found the time for?
Although we do both – design and manufacturing, we do not call ourselves artists (who are required to have a muse). We are ordinary people who are producing for people who are looking for comfort, the finest materials – just people like us.
We do not search for super deep meaning in all things.
Inspiration is in our customers, so if it seems like everything is slipping, it is enough to read the messages, comments, criticisms and praises, which were written by our customers and a new strength comes and we continue to work with double power.
Are there times when your creativity and inspiration seem to disappear? How do you handle that?
Wavering in our work and daily routine is not very common- we both believe in our design, communication and product, so we solve even the smallest doubts by talking with one another. This is one of our greatest strengths.
We have lots of ideas and secret desires – we would like to show Feel Felt design to larger audiences, produce bags, backpacks, furniture, but we believe that in the future we will have a clear niche and, more time and a common understanding for everything.
How do you balance your work with the rest of your life ~ what does a typical day in your life look like?
I think that we are a different brand – quality is the most important piece of the puzzle piece of our business.
This is the best fact which adds much more confidence to our customers.
We try to engage quality from A to Z, and Z is the following statement of our journey to the customer’s home. We want to feel the first emotion and hear first comments about the unpackaged fresh miracle.
What is one piece of advice you’d like to give fellow makers about running a successful creative business?
Milda: Think less! Because the more you think, wondering, trying to calculate, the less passion you will have. When you’re doing something it is done!
Karolis : My mom saw our business growth and also started to sell her crafts on Etsy. So, Milda’s advice applies not only to young people like us.
Milda: Firstly I was a little scared by the fact that both are young, inexperienced, totally green – from the collection of materials and ending with the election of the sewing machine needle.
But we believed in our product and were not afraid to make a mistake – this is the most important in any business.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Our aim and dream is to expand the Feel Felt business. Expand production applications, expand our client base and expand the Feel Felt presence map.
We believe that in 5 years we will grow and mature – we will have shops – and what I would like the most? Personally projecting the message about the Feel Felt miracle while travelling around the world with a Feel Felt case in our hands.