Every now and then…
you come across a story that moves you, something that makes you take a look at all you have and find a moment of gratitude. Recently through friends of friends I stumbled on a brave and inspirational young woman , whom had started up a unique craft business in the whirl wind of treating and ultimately losing her partner to Cancer.
Oliver found the strength to stay long enough to marry his love and departed this earth on 02/03/19 at 4:50 am with his bride by his side. Katie Weaver has now vowed to continue her beautiful craft store as his legacy.
The quality and craftsmanship that goes into each felt make is superb, Katie’s makes are not only cute and gift-worthy but made with a deep and profound love in her heart for her husband that many of us couldn’t fathom.
We caught up with Katie to ask about how it all began….
How long have you had Hartfelts?
“I started felting back in November, giving my felts to patients, families and nurses at the Christie NHS hospital, I only labelled it as a ‘business’ just before Christmas, when a family insisted on buying a few of my felts instead of me giving them away. I never expected them to be worth anything but a few smiles from people that needed them – but families wanted to pass them on as presents for Christmas, and it made me realise that i could actually do what i loved as a living.”
Why did you start felting ?
“I started felting to distract myself from stresses and hospital talk whilst i supported my husband at The Christie. It was so addictive I would stay awake silly hours which worked in my favour if my husband needed something, he didn’t need to call a nurse. I felt useful in an awful situation.”
Have you always loved crafting?
“I originally studied photography at B&FC, when me and Oliver my husband bought our house I turned the spare room into a pop up studio and i would invite people round for photo-shoots – to build up my portfolio. It wasn’t soon after we moved into our lovely house in Lancaster that we had to move into the Christie, so that was put on hold. I love anything crafty as it takes me away into a different world. I can express myself in more than just words. Although i am a very bubbly outgoing person I feel i’m not the best at expressing myself verbally as i have a slight stutter. So crafts work great for me.”
How did you become interested in your craft?
“Although the Christie is a great hospital for Teenagers and young Adults, there’s only so many music and crafts sessions you can go to! Whenever Oliver wanted to just relax, we would sit together watching videos or films and it was You-tube that jogged my memory of felting, i tried it once a few years back – just a simple kit i bought online. My first ever make was a little cats head for Oliver, I still have it! (somewhere)”
How many pieces have you created?
“Since starting in November ‘18, to date I’ve made around 200 pieces, the majority have been given away at the Christie – I felt little love hearts called ‘Happy Hearts’ and whilst at the hospital i would hand them around to people i saw needed a little love without having to talking about it, something simple but meaningful. I’ve been back to the Christie once since Oliver passed away and i donated another 40 key-rings for nurses to hand around, just like i did!”
How can customers buy them?
“All of my felts are sold through social media, mainly my Facebook page. I am looking to do a fair this Christmas, so at the moment i am designing and stocking up on all the christimassy colours!!”
Whats the best part about Hartfelts?
“This business has saved me from falling into complete sadness, yes I miss Oliver and it’s hard only being able to talk to my dog and cats all day but I can always turn to the lovely people on my page, most have gone on this journey with me and have supported me along the way and i know i can turn to them for anything. If I didn’t felt I don’t know what i’d be doing with myself right now, it keeps me busy, takes me mind off everything, is a great stress reliever and keeps me connected to a lot of lovely people!”
Is there anything New that you have in the pipeline?
“My newest creations are my Oliver Owls – Oliver wanted me to create him an owl back in January but I felt I couldn’t do it justice at the skilled level I was, I’m annoyed I didn’t but I feel he’d love the little owl chicks I have created for him now. I’ve also just created some little adoption certificates so for every felted animal purchased, you will be informed of what kind of wool was used, who adopted them, who created them and on what date. Making my felts that little more special.
I am planning some larger pieces – hares, bears and birds with armature limbs! It’s just finding enough hours in the day as each felted piece can take anywhere between 2 hours to 30+ hours to create!”
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- June 24, 2019
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