Hello dear friends! My name is Jana, and I am the founder of the Jana Toys community. This community is for people who are passionate about felting wool toys. When I started my journey in felting, I didn’t have people who were fond of it, but I wanted to discuss my ideas with someone, learn something new or help someone with my knowledge. At that time, there was no such platform, and I decided to create such a community myself.
I`m an engineer ecologist, and I have appreciated nature since childhood. My passion motivated me to pursue ecology as my major and reminded me that protecting the planet is more than just a job.
Creating something with your hands from natural materials is a deeply satisfying experience – and it’s just one more way I’m contributing to the more significant environmental effort! Working with my hands, surrounded by natural fibers, I can make beautiful items while helping preserve our planet at the same time. It brings me great joy to use my skills to protect the environment in this small but meaningful way.
How it all began?
Once I was flipping through the feed in social networks and noticed a toy made of incomprehensible material and was amazed. There was not a single seam visible on it. The limbs were not sewn or glued to the body but as if they grew out of it. It looked very realistic. I immediately went to the page of the girl-master and spent several days there, looking at her work, reading posts, trying to find at least a little information about what these toys are made of and how it’s all done.
About me and Jana Toys
I wanted to try it so much that the next day I ran to look for materials I learned about from the master’s page and searched a little on the internet about dry felting.
I went around all the shops in the city, but there was no wool and tools anywhere (a little later, I already found wool and tools in online stores). Then I decided to go to a store where they sell knitting threads, and finally, I found the materials I needed.
It was a small set of wool in three colors and two needles of different sizes. And two pages of instructions. On one page was a photo of a collie dog, and on the second, a small diagram and a completely uninformative description.
I had to search for information on the internet. Unfortunately, at that time, there were no instructions. Only a few videos showed how to make a ball and other simple shapes.
The first question that comes to mind at the start of this work is, “Is it needle felting – is to poke a needle into a lump of wool?”. And indeed, yes!
The process was exciting – you need to poke needles into a piece of wool, and first, you get a lump, then a muzzle looms, and then a finished figure.
This process had a calming effect on me. The more I poked this needle, the calmer I became. No other exercise like punching a bag has had such a calming effect on me. The anger left and dissolved in the air. Nothing annoyed me anymore.
The feeling of warmth is one of the factors why you want to take wool again and again in your hands. The material’s naturalness and the wool’s characteristics have a positive effect on the circulatory system.
At the end of the work, you understand that this is no longer a soulless thing but a piece of your life, thoughts, and work.
The toy seems to come to life, and the warmth from the wool only enhances this feeling.
So, armed with the knowledge gained from the video, I began to make a toy.
The process was fascinating, and I completely immersed myself in it. Then I did everything possible: cats, hares, bears, aliens, koalas, and sheep.
I also tried to make different home decor and wool jewelry: bracelets, brooches, and rings. But I don’t have a soul for this, as for toys. Very cute and warm miniatures are obtained from wool.
How I started making money from my hobby
Having seen enough of the famous masters, I wanted to start making money already on my first toy. But it turned out that sales began only somewhere with the tenth toy. I gave the rest to friends and relatives. Sometimes I sold them to friends for next to nothing. I note that from the beginning, I understood that this could bring money because I saw the success of other craftswomen in this area. It only remained to get my skills to a result I would not be ashamed to put up for sale.
I posted my work on social media wherever I could. Sometimes I had to spam a lot, like people, subscribe, hoping they would subscribe in response. My first sale online was through Instagram. It was a personal order for a guy from another country. It was a deer.
That’s how my little business started. So my hobby turned into earnings, at first meager, then quite worthy.
About me and Jana Toys
I am very grateful to fate that I have this wonderful occupation. The support of loved ones is really important, but without felting, my life would probably be incomplete. This is the only activity that brings me joy in any situation and inspires me.
So, if you are still wondering whether it is worth starting or not, feel free to start. I’m sure you’ll love making toys. Nothing is more beautiful than watching how a cute figurine is born from a shapeless ball of wool. You can fantasize endlessly and do whatever you want.
I wish you good luck on your way. You will succeed!