Meet the Artist: Kayleigh Mihalko
Kayleigh Mihalko, always a creative person, first learned about needle felting while taking a puppetry class in college as a part of an Acting minor at Southern Connecticut State University. The class made eight different types of puppets over the 16-week semester, one of which was a needle felted puppet. Being a busy college student, Kayleigh filed away the knowledge but couldn't take it up as a hobby then.
Five or six years after graduation, Kayleigh took a video production class at the local access studio. The final project was to shoot a local event with the field equipment and produce a 30 minute episode that actually aired on their channel. Kayleigh happened to pick a needle felting class that was being taught at a local art studio. (Watch the final episode HERE)
A few years later, Kayleigh decided it was time to focus on one craft instead of half a dozen. That was when she remembered how fun needle felting had been. It reminded her of pottery without the mess. Soon, she found herself buying all the supplies needed in order to make her own pieces.
One of the first creatures she made was a tiny foxtato, based off of the meme that says, “I’m a tiny foxtato and I believe in you. You can do the thing.” She ended up making about a dozen of these foxtatos to give away to my friends on her trivia team as presents and to a couple of friends who needed some encouragement.
What started out as something fun has become a bit of an obsession. Needle felting is Kayleigh’s hobby-of-choice and to her amazement, other people really seem impressed and even want her pieces as their own.
And that is how Needle Felted Fuzzies came to be. In 2018, Kayleigh started teaching needle felting workshops and was asked to sell her items at a couple of consignment and gift shops in the area.
Needle Felted Fuzzies can now be found for sale at Trish’s Treasures in Seymour, The Valley Art Council’s Main Street Gallery in Ansonia, and online through an Etsy shop. Regularly scheduled classes and workshops are listed on Facebook and NeedleFeltedFuzzies.com.