originally posted 2/16/15
Banner made by Benzie customer Little Skunk Co.
It all started with a monster made with felt. A stuffed, red monster made for my son, it had a pocket on it that held a little love note from Mom. But something happened to that most loved critter... It started to pill and fuzz. A lot.
This failed craft started the journey to find a better felt -something that was made to last, crafted well but still affordable -and our shop Benzie Design was opened on Etsy in February of 2010.
We've been offering wool blend felt for 5 years and what a fun adventure it has been! We started out with 59 colors in just the 9x12" and 12x18" size but in just a few months we moved up to 70 colors. At this point I was processing all orders on the small cover of my ironing board! By the end of the year we found a demand for yardage and started offering all 70 colors by the yard -and I got a bigger work table too!
Around our 1 year anniversary we started offering 6x9" sheets -we were the first of felt internet shops to offer this size; we found that these sheets were perfect for sampling colors, small projects -and were a great fit for those using manual die cutters too! Our Etsy peers quickly followed suit and also offer this convenient size as well.
We coined the phrase "felt-fetti" in 2011 -bringing oversized felt confetti to party planners in our handmade shop and felt die cuts to crafters in our felt & supply shop. Our handmade shop also includes our "felt like a party" line of garlands and mobiles!
In 2013 we introduced DMC embroidery floss to coordinate with our felt colors -we find this to be immensely helpful and convenient to our stitchers and color enthusiasts -and as always a crafters favorite. We also started working with Lifestyle Crafts / We R Memory Keepers to bring you tutorials that combine Benzie's felt with fabulous scrapbooking supplies.
Over the past 5 years we developed our photography style -going from a rustic wood background to a crisp linen one. We continued to add more colors (to our current 90) and more color pallets and love discovering pattern designers to collaborate with. We continue to find more efficient ways to ship and organize our inventory -based on sales we have become Etsy's larges wool blend felt supplier. We have appeared on numerous blogs including Babble and Apartment Therapy along with appearances in HGTV magazine and Pregnancy & Newborn magazine. Benzie has grown along with my family -it started out with my husband and two small children and have now included our sweet foster child. Balancing family and business has been tricky -I first hired a mothers-helper and then moved on to hiring two employees to oversee packaging and orders. You may have said 'hi' when they answer your questions.
Just this past year we introduced felt pom poms in 4 different sizes and 34 colors. We also worked closely with a manufacture to introduce two new colors of wool blend felt -exclusive to Benzie. Meanwhile our handmade shop on Etsy grew to 400 sales and our supply shop just landmarked 20,000 sales!
These past 5 years have been a wonderful adventure for Benzie and we have some fun one year goals and some even bigger five year goals. I can't wait to introduce you to one of them this summer! Keep updated with our social media and shop outlets below -we want to get to know you more!
Follow us here:
Handmade shop: www.benzie.etsy.com
Felt & Supply shop: www.benziedesign.etsy.com
We want to celebrate with you and are offering 10% off our Felt & Supply shop and 20% off our handmade shop using code HAPPY5, expires February 21. Also -comment below to win one of three $20 gift cards -let us know what products or services you would like to Benzie to offer and leave your email so we can get in contact with you if you are one of the winners! And thanks again to all you wonderful crafters out there -you have made my heart so very happy! -Giveaway is now closed & winners have been contacted, thank you!!!