We had the good fortune of connecting with McKenna Hansen and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi McKenna, is your business focused on helping the community? If so, how?
Hi! My name is McKenna Hansen, and I am the creator of Felt Cute. My business specializes in needle felted baby toys and mobiles. My product is made from 100% real sheep wool, which is an incredibly eco-friendly source. A sheep’s wool is the fluffy coat of fleece that sheep grow on their body. Regularly it is sheared, in order to avoid it from become matted, heavy, and hot. Regularly shearing is necessary care for sheep as it reduces overheating, disease (caused by dirty wool that could be ingested by baby lambs during feedings), blindness (as they are unable to see because of the amount of wool they have), and rigging (which is when sheep become caught on things or stuck on their backs, which can even make them vulnerable to predators). There are so many reasons to shear a sheep that are necessary for their hygiene and survival. Not only is it needed, it is also a wonderful opportunity to recycle a material that would otherwise be discarded. As any hair does, once this coat is sheared off, it grows right back. It is an incredibly sustainable and environmentally kind way to give back to nature and its bounty it gives to us.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I began my needle felting journey after watching a thirty second clip on Pinterest of someone else needle felting.

I had been on a hunt to find the perfect baby mobile, and decided there wasn’t any that truly liked enough to buy. I planned on making my own, and I soon found that I liked the look of needle felted objects, such as animals and stars, much better than the cheaper, traditionally sewn felt mobile hangings. What intrigued me most was the seamlessness of the object. I could not fathom how it was made or even what it was. After searching Pinterest, I discovered the needle felting process and gained the inspiration to try my hand at it. I gathered the suggested basic items at hobby lobby and went to work. Without any idea of what I was doing and without any real tutorial, I was eventually able to needle felt my daughter’s mobile. Ever since, I have undergone a trial and error process of experimenting with different styles, different materials, and different methods to create whatever new piece my imagination craves to create. It has been equally frustrating and disheartening as it has been fun and challenging (in a good way). While I don’t know everything there is to know about the felting world, I feel more confident in my learning, and that makes me excited for the future of my business. I feel like I can finally start growing my business in a big way.

Needle felting is a unique practice. All you really need is a sharp notched needle and some wool. With the needle, you poke or stab the wool, and it eventually starts to tangle the fibers together. With enough agitation, a free flowing piece of fluffy wool miraculously becomes a solid object. It is quite fascinating, and I still can’t believe it sometimes. It is exciting and humbling to know that I could literally create anything out of nothing! I am beyond excited to see what I learn to create, and I have big plans in store. I have only reached the tip of the iceberg, and I am always anxiously trying to speed up the ongoing learning process.

What main lesson I have learned, is to love learning! It is okay not to be perfect at something right now, but rather to find joy in the journey. The ultimate and best job, in my opinion, is to have a job where you are having fun, and challenging yourself to be creative and better than you were yesterday. It becomes a game! For me, being able to stay at home and be a mom and being able to work whenever I want has been the biggest perk of the job. I want stay-at-home moms every to know that you can and deserve to have something you can do that is for yourself, and for your own improvement. When you are allowing yourself to have fun growing and learning, it is showing your littles how to have fun growing and learning. I feel as humans we are destined to be creators, and tapping into your creative side, no matter how that looks for you, is the secret solution for feeling stuck or bored and the key to underlying happiness and life satisfaction. Nothing is impossible if you have the desire and the resilience to keep trying! So keep trying! There’s only one you and your contribution is unique.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I live in Queen Creek, which is a little far out from the hubbub of the city, but there are plenty of quaint small town spots that are full of family fun. I’m a little bit partial because I come from a long line of Schnepf’s, but my go to recommendation is Schnepf Farms! Depending on the time of year, there is always something happening on the farm! Whether its summer and we’re picking peaches and riding the Ferris wheel, or its fall and we’re at the chili festival, picking pumpkins and running through the corn maze, there is always something fun on the schedule for the whole year!

For dessert, Jeremiah’s Italian Ice wins (especially in the Arizona summer). I’m not always a fan of shaved ice but boy, oh boy this place is so yummy. The mixes of shaved ice and soft serve are just the right amount of creamy and refreshing. They even do chocolatey shaved ice/soft serve combinations, which I had never had before but was truly game changing! I will definitely be there this summer, for sure.

And a little further into town, off of Power and the 202, one of my favorite spots ever is Caldwell Country Barbecue! It is the best, Texas-style barbecue I’ve ever had! Must haves are their brisket and any of their amazing sides (my personal favorite is their spicy Mac and cheese). Seriously, it is mouth-watering good.

Another one of my favorite spots in Gilbert for lunch is the always classic, Joe’s Farm Grill. You can ask anyone, this is the place to be! It is a fun ambiance, with fun outdoor seating and farm fresh food that they grow next door in Agritopia! It’s a beautiful place and the food is divine.

Another spot that not too many people seem to know about is called The Gilbert House in Gilbert. It is literally a house that is converted into a super yummy breakfast/brunch spot. It is so charming and the food is always so fresh and yummy. The service is always so nice, and any friend or family member would love it there!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’d like to give a shoutout to my daughter, Ivy Rain. If it weren’t for her existence, this business would be nonexistent. She is the reason I show up and keep trying to create new things! My motivation to keep going is to show her that anything is possible when you believe in yourself!

Instagram: @feltcuteco

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