Funding Felt: Why to invest, according to Jo

Jo Drysdall, Felt's customer support officer

Our first personal story from Felt HQ is from Jo, our tireless support desk operator. Jo Drysdall joined Felt in 2012 and her background includes working in museums, libraries and galleries, running her own corsetry business, and exhibiting at World of Wearable Arts. Since joining the Felt team, she has established her own Felt shop, Big Bunny, specialising in organic seeds and gardening goods. Along with highly tuned skills in organisation and information retrieval, Jo’s superpower is an encyclopedic knowledge of a diverse range of topics, including horticulture, craft, medieval history, rabbits, and of course, Felt.

When did you join Felt?

Way back in the beginning… seriously, I did! Lucy told me in a cafe catch-up about her great new website idea and I said “Sign me up!” I joined Felt as its Customer Services Officer five years later, and I love my job – Felt has such a great community to be interacting with everyday. I’m also a Felt seller these days, so it would appear that I simply can’t get enough of Felt.

Why did you join Felt?

As a member, because I really felt (ha!) that Lucy had come up with a concept that filled a need, and filled it very well – a way to present New Zealand makers online to the world that highlighted the quality of their work. It allows us to market our products for what they are worth, without being subject to the vagaries of auction-based systems or being lost in the crowd on vast international sites.

I remember saying to Lucy at the time that Felt looked like a high-end boutique store, which presented New Zealand makers’ work in the way it deserved to be presented. I came on board as an employee and a seller for pretty much the same reasons – I believe Felt is a much-needed forum for enabling Kiwi makers and crafters to present and market their work in the 21st century and I have great respect for Lucy’s abilities as a businesswoman.

How will this investment help?

Felt’s made a strong start, on almost entirely organic growth and word of mouth publicity. We’ve established a brand with integrity, that’s here to stay through thick, thin and earthquakes! But we’re nearing the limits of what we can do with what we’ve got. With investment from you, we can build on what we’ve started – we can make Felt’s usability better for mobile users, which will increase sales for our makers. We can also make sure that Felt is up at the cutting edge of marketplace website technology and usability in other areas. And we’ll have more budget to tell everyone about Felt and its talented maker community, which will again reap rewards for the Kiwi artists, designers, craftspeople and creative small businesses who sell their products through our platform – it’s a win for everyone!

It’s really exciting working with Lucy and Marcel, and seeing the possibilities for Felt. I’m really hoping we can do this and I’m putting my money where my mouth is, investing in Felt too.

It’s part of our dream that the people investing in Felt are our community, giving you a bit of ownership in Felt’s future. Every pledge gets us closer to our target, so please invest if you can. And if you can’t invest, you can still be a vital help by spreading the word: link to our blog posts and the PledgeMe page, like our posts on Facebook, share our tweets – it only takes a moment and it’s a huge help for us. Thank you so much!

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