I designed my first needle felting kit in 2008 and have since added an entire collection of kits designed for the beginner in needle felting. I have many specific goals in mind when designing a kit and I want to give you a little behind the scenes peak at my process. I just launched my newest kit, the Polar Bear a couple days ago, and several months, research and planning lead up to this launch.
- 1st, the idea of what I want to make for a kit comes from years of requests from customers. I keep a list of requests and love to hear what you are interested in learning how to make.
- I go through the list and choose the projects that will be easy to make and teach and use colors that will be easy for us to produce and keep on hand long term. Easy assembly of the kits is important as well. Some of my kits take a long time to assemble and I have since realized that mistake.
- The most important part of going through the list is what motivates me, which one am I excited to make and learn more about. Which one will be popular and increase business. If I have an idea of how I’m going to make them, what position etc. and I can see it in my head that is also a plus.
- In the Polar Bear Kit in particular, the fact that it is white was a huge selling point. We had recently been struggling with dyes, some of our favorites had changed and we were in the process of trying to figure out how to consistently make the proper colors for the kits. So that moved the Polar Bear to the top of the list.
- Another factor that played a roll in my choosing the Polar Bear was the amount of snow we have been getting here in North Dakota. At the time of my deciding on the Polar Bear we had received over 30 inches of snow, it was beautiful. I looked out my window and expected to see polar bears in fact! If you ask me now how I feel about the snow 2 months later you would get a different reaction. We now have a ridiculous amount of snow and blizzards every week and I’m definitely ready for spring.
Once I make a decision on what my kit/course is going to be I will make several of them. I do a lot of research and stare at a lot of pictures, I started following Polar Bear IG Daily on Instagram, saved several pictures on my Pinterest boards, watched the Polar Bear movie etc. I made 5 different polar bears in the process of designing this kit, some big, some small, adults and babies.
While needle felting these polar bears I try and come up with easy ways to teach how to make them. I used a different method in this kit/course when making the head because of the polar bears sleek long neck and head.
Once I’ve made several prototypes and have a plan of how I’m going to teach it I will start the process of felting and filming as well as taking pictures of each lesson.
Photography was a long time passion of mine, but filming and editing video has been a huge learning curve. I’m happy to say that it is something I now enjoy doing and take great pride in. I film and photograph one lesson at a time, edit the video lesson and write the written instructions while everything is fresh in my mind. I set aside several days to work solely on the kit/course so that I can remember what I’ve said in the previous lesson and what I need to say going forward. My creative mind works best when I can be fully immersed in the project until it’s complete.
Writing the instructions and adding pictures has gotten easier over the years, since I’ve developed a template to speed things up. I have several people proofread my instructions before printing. We now have our own printer in house which makes things so much easier.
Once the videos are edited, I add them into the academy as well as any pictures that may be helpful.
I let Mary (who keeps inventory organized at Bear Creek Felting) know what we will need for materials for the new kit and she makes sure we have them on hand. Then it’s time to work on social media marketing and getting the word out about the newest kit.
Everyone at Bear Creek gets excited over the first sale! I look forward to seeing amazing pictures of what my customers/Academy members have enjoyed creating from my kit/course and celebrate!
If you would like access to a complete library of video courses for beginner to expert needle felters join the Academy today. A friendly group of amazing needle felters would be happy to welcome you!