Moo.com rewards employees by immortalising them in felt

When employees of online stationery brand moo.com have been with the business for two years they receive a special gift – a felt doll created in their likeness by textile artist Helen Greenstein

Greenstein, who lives in Atlanta, has been working with moo.com for over two years, in which time she has created more than 100 employee dolls. “I’ve been using their business cards for eight years,” she says. “Their cards are great for artists since you can have as many different images on the back that you’d like. They happened to see my business cards with my work on them in production and reached out to me. I had only done a handful of dolls when Moo initially contacted me. They launched me into being a full-time artist. A dream come true, to be honest.”

moo.com employee Rachel and her felt figure by Helen Greenstein
moo.com employee Rachel and her felt figure by Helen Greenstein

Moo employees qualify for one of her dolls once they have been with the company for two years. “They take pictures of the employee, and have even set up a white background they shoot in front of,” Greenstein explains. “Typically the doll is wearing what the employee is wearing in the picture. (Plaid shirts are my nightmare, in a good way.)”

moo.com employee Lina and her felt figure by Helen Greenstein
moo.com employee Lina and her felt figure by Helen Greenstein
Detail of moo.com employee Paul felt figure by Helen Greenstein
Detail of moo.com employee Paul felt figure by Helen Greenstein

“The additional notes about the employee for the accessories is the fun part,” she continues. “And the employees have fun with it too. They’ll even pose in their picture with the objects. They’ve been things like a baby blanket (for someone who’d just had a kid), to a microphone (sings in the office), to a kiwi bird (no idea why), to a Princeton Football to… you name it, I’ll make. I live for the accessories.”

moo.com employee Sam's felt figure by Helen Greenstein
moo.com employee Sam’s felt figure by Helen Greenstein
moo.com employee Jyoti's felt figure by Helen Greenstein
moo.com employee Jyoti’s felt figure by Helen Greenstein

“Once I have photos and notes, I do a flat Illustrator drawing for approval. It’s an opportunity to ensure I have all the details correct… hair colour, beard or stubble, etc. Finally, once it’s completed I send my contact a quick shot of the doll for approval. When I have about 8-10 done, I ship them off.”

“Every doll is hand-cut, hand-stitched. No machines. Just me, felt and some thread and stuffing,” Greenstein says. “The simple ones take about 10 hours. (No accessories, basic clothes.) But, on average they take about 20 hours each. The Gibson guitar took 10 hours alone.”

What has been the most challenging one to do so far? “The accessories are always challenging because of how small they are. The camera was particularly difficult. I studied sculpture in college, so I’ve found myself applying those techniques to the felt. It’s not so much challenging, as it is fun. Really fun. Working out how exactly I’ll make a socket wrench with flat felt is what I look forward to.”

moo.com employee Chris and his felt figure by Helen Greenstein
moo.com employee Chris and his felt figure by Helen Greenstein
moo.com employee Blanca and her felt figure by Helen Greenstein
moo.com employee Blanca and her felt figure by Helen Greenstein

How long will the project will go on for? “Until they don’t want them anymore! They keep adding employees to the spreadsheet we share, and we just recently renewed the contract. The employees really look forward to getting them. So, hopefully it will continue for a while,” Greenstein says.

See more of her work here

100moodolls

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