Welcome to our first Saturday Artisan post of 2015.
Say hello to Justen, the owner and artist of Ovella Wool. Natural is always better. Saving energy is even more fantastic.
Get to know Justen and her amazing wool dryer balls, shall we?
Tell us a bit about yourself and what arts/ crafts that you make?I am a mom, first and foremost, to three, Aiden 8, Carly 4, and Parker 2. I have been married for over 10 years to my high school sweetheart, and while it has been a rough going, we always come out on top. We live in Midland Michigan, not far from the small town we grew up in. I work full time at the post office delivering mail. Ovella wool is relatively new, while I have been working with wool for a few years, the company was basically formed on a whim! I currently make wool dryer balls and am working on adding felted soaps to my store. My specialty is hand dyeing with natural dyes. It has become an addiction!
What is the story behind your shop name?Ovella is Galician for sheep. I am a huge Outlander fan and had originally wanted to incorporate Gaelic words in the shop, but "Caora" wasn't what I was going for. I believe my finger slipped to Galician and before I knew it, I had a name. I also use Galician words for the dryer ball collections.
Who is your target market?My targeted market is anyone who is looking reduce their carbon footprint on the plant, wants to save money, wants to reduce chemicals in their home, and who is just looking for natural products.
Which part of creation process that you enjoy the most?My favorite part is packaging the dryer balls up and sending them out! I hope that people are happy with their purchases and enjoy using my product!
Could you share on how your organize your products, we all can use a little tips here and there in this department?The organization of Ovella is evolving. All of my supplies are currently located in the closet in our bedroom! They tend to take up a lot of space, and even more so when I return home from the wool processor! 12 pounds of wool tends to take up half the closet!
What is your best seller?The Crema Collection is my best seller. It is a natural ivory color and requires the least amount of overall time so they are the cheapest collection for Ovella.
What sets you aparts from your competitors?My dryer balls are soft! From my understanding, most of the name brand balls are small and dense, mine are soft and light!
How do you balance your personal and work life?I am currently in the process of learning this one! I tend to work six days a week at the post office, so my evenings include helping the kids with homework, getting dinner around, cleaning up the house, laundry, and finally getting the kids in bed so I can work with my wool!
What inspires you?Working with my hands. I have always enjoyed the hands on approach to everything in life, and have always wanted to own my own business. This is the best of both worlds to me, and I get to make money by doing it!
What was your goal for 2014? And are you on the right track?My goal is to get my name out there! I believe that is happening. I have held fundraisers for a local charity, and have had multiple giveaways. Most customers are impressed with the quality and performance of my dryer balls. I also have had the pleasure of supplying wool dryer balls to two stores here in Michigan. Also, to work even more with natural dyes. The colors are amazing and am happy that I have been able to create them without any extra chemicals!
What is the key to success?Any advice for others running their on-line shop?
Be patient. Sales are still slow for me, but I believe that just like anything else, good things come to those who wait.
What does handmade mean to you?
Handmade means taking pride in your work. You want you work to be a reflection of you, and that is what I try to do. From the packaging to the quality control, I inspect each and every dryer ball to make sure that it is perfect.
Please check and like her FB page: www.facebook.com/ovellawool