Many faces are passed in the halls of Carroll Community College each and every day; most unfamiliar, some recognizable, and some that other people are very well accustomed to seeing. But there’s more to each and every individual that one may pass in the hallways or sit next to in class.
Meet Hannah Krauss, a concurrent enrollment student here at Carroll. She’s studying English and Secondary Literature and plans on teaching when she finishes college. Seems like a typical student, right? Well this typical student has her own business.
Who would’ve thought just by passing her in the hallways?
Using the website Etsy to launch her store called “The Wandering Ewe,” Krauss specializes in making needle felted dolls, animals, knit cozies, and fiber accessories out of wool. It’s certainly a unique hobby that Hannah loves doing, and the products she creates are all handmade and one of a kind. The question is: how did it all start?
“My mother had always loved sheep, and wool, and the whole knitting idea,” says Krauss, “and had been taking the family to the Maryland Sheep and Wool festival every year. The one year I wasn’t able to go to the sheep and wool festival, my mother came home with a spinning wheel. So we started spinning wool into yarn, and really became addicted to it!”
And it didn’t stop there. Hannah and her mom began to dive deeper and deeper into their newly found hobby, which eventually turned into a passion.
“When we moved into Carroll County and had a few acres, we got sheep and started spinning and knitting a whole lot more, from their wool. We started attending the Carroll County Fiber Arts Group in Westminster, where one night another member there offered to show me how to needle felted. I absolutely loved the art. I began buying felting needles and making flat, cookie cutter ornaments. Then I found a book on how to make needle felted dolls. I loved that even more! But as I don’t play with dolls, I needed to do something with them. And so I got the idea to sell them.”
After doing some research, Krauss came across Etsy and decided that it would be a perfect start for the business that her and her mom wanted to create. Officially opening shop on November 23, 2011, Hannah is excited that she’s nearing her, what she calls, second “Etsyversary” this year.
So what exactly does Krauss make?
“Really, I specialize in needle felted items,” says Krauss. “I’ve made a lot of Waldorf-style dolls in the past, but I’m starting to make more woodland animals, as I’ve started seeing that those sell a little better than the dolls. But I also love knitting, and I love tea cozies. Tea cozies are knitted covers to go over tea pots and helps to insulate it and keep the tea warm for a longer period.” Hannah also makes cup cozies for cups of tea and mugs of coffee.
When asked what made her want to sell her unique products, Krauss enthusiastically replied with “Several reasons! Firstly, I love it. I thoroughly enjoy the process of starting out with a bit of wool, taking my felting needle and sculpting it into a hedgehog, gnome, pumpkin, ornament, etc. You get this neat feeling at the end when you can look at your supply (my drawers full of wool), and then at the end result. It’s almost like magic! The same goes for knitting as well. Secondly, because I love it, my finished products started to build up. I don’t play with dolls, so I needed to do something with them. And there are only so many teapots that one can own to put tea cozies on! Also, I wanted to be able to make a little money to put towards college, and to be able to make it doing something I love seemed like a great idea.”
This concurrent student here at Carroll doesn’t seem so typical anymore, does she? Hannah is proof that there is more to a person than meets the eye. School student by day, The Wandering Ewe by night.
Want to contact Hannah about her shop? You can find out more on Etsy.
[learn_more caption=”Disclosure Statement”] Hannah Krauss serves as The-Quill‘s junior reporter covering the English departments and President’s Office. More information on Hannah in that regard can be found here.[/learn_more]